ABERDEEN battled to a point in a fiercely-contested clash with Rangers at Pittodrie last night.

Whistler Kevin Clancy was a key figure in the match as the hosts were awarded one penalty, had appeals for another rejected and Ryan Kent was sent off for Rangers.

The referee awarded the Dons a spot-kick when the ball struck Alfredo Morelos on the arm in the box after Lewis Ferguson headed goalwards.

Ferguson slammed home the leveller, but Stephen Glass insisted after the match that it should've been his side's second penalty award.

The first major claims for a spot-kick were turned down by Clancy, who waved play on when Allan McGregor collided with Ryan Hedges inside the box.

Here's The Verdict on the decision.

The Incident

With the match still goalless after 19 minutes, Jonny Hayes sent a long ball over the top of the Rangers defence for Hedges to chase.

The Welsh forward, who has been linked with a move to England this month, latched onto the through ball bursting into the box and flicking over the onrushing McGregor.

Hedges then went down with McGregor catching the attacker on the leg as he misjudged the flight of the ball and flapped at it.

Replays of the incident showed McGregor connect with hedges just inside the box before Hedges hit the deck as Borna Barisic raced back in to collect the ball as Clancy allowed play to continue.

What they said? 

Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst claimed a VAR official would be needed to solve all of the flashpoints in the Pittodrie duel.

The Ibrox manager admitted the penalty claim could've been different had VAR been in place but also stated that the decision to send off Ryan Kent could also have been changed.

He also commented that Aberdeen's leveller in the second half should've been retaken with the ball moving before Ferguson fired home.

He said: "We saw with the penalty the wind. It is windy here, we saw the ball moving and maybe with VAR it has to be taken over [again].

"That is way it is. We have to accept the decisions by the referee and move on.

"It is a physical game with a lot of tackles, a lot of duels. You know there are going to be yellow cards on both sides.

"I don’t know. It is a decision by the ref. He got booked a little bit before so there is every chance when you make a foul the fans were going to scream.

"It is normal in a place like this. With ten men, I think we did well and worked hard to get the point."

Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass was left bemused by the decision as he claimed the referee and assistant had different reasons for it being turned down.

He said: "I don’t even look for one any more.

"The linesman said there wasn’t enough contact for a penalty and the ref said there was no contact.

"I think we got what we deserved with the penalty in the second half; I didn’t feel we were under a hell of a lot of pressure

"I think it was coming. We came out really on the front foot in the second half, so it was a matter or time.

"I had real belief and they showed real belief that they would come back and win it."

The Rule

The IFAB Laws of the Game state a foul should be awarded  "if a player commits any of the following offences against an opponent in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force: charges, jumps at, kicks or attempts to kick, pushes, strikes or attempts to strike (including head-butt), tackles or challenges, trips or attempts to trip"

The incident may have been viewed as an obvious goal-scoring opportunity as Hedges looked to run beyond the defence and score - however Barisic was doing his best to sprint back and cover.

The IFAB Rule 12.3 states a player should be cautioned if they deny a goal-scoring opportunity in the box but are attempting to play the ball.

It reads: "Where a player commits an offence against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offender is cautioned if the offence was an attempt to play the ball; in all other circumstances (e.g. holding, pulling, pushing, no possibility to play the ball etc.) the offending player must be sent off."

The Verdict

Aberdeen should have been awarded a penalty kick for the incident.

McGregor misjudged his run and ended up catching Hedges as he flicked the ball over the top.

Hedges was loose in his touch but still had a chance to reach the flick if he was not impeded by McGregor.

It was a careless challenge but wasn't reckless or using excessive force.

Should a penalty have been awarded a yellow card should be shown as McGregor was focussed on attempting to play the ball but merely made an error in his tackle.