PHILIPPE Clement today launched an impassioned defence of VAR after Rangers earned a draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie thanks to an injury-time penalty which was awarded after referee Nick Walsh viewed a replay.

Fans of the North-east club were incensed when Walsh ruled that Stefan Gartenmann had fouled Connor Goldson inside his own area after being urged to check his pitchside monitor by his Clydesdale House colleague Andrew Dallas.

Barry Robson and his players were livid when the Ibrox club’s captain James Tavernier stepped up and converted from 12 yards to earn the visitors a 1-1 draw and a cinch Premiership point.

However, Clement, who remains unbeaten as Rangers manager after eight games, agreed with the decision and expressed the view that the new technology makes the sport fairer.

“I was asked this question a few weeks ago about my opinion of VAR,” he said. “I’m a fan because it makes the game more honest. 

“Of course, there are still some mistakes and some decisions that stay in a grey area. There are a lot of opinions after games. People respond and are fans for one team or another. 

“But, in the end, if you are objective, you can only say VAR makes the game more honest than in my days. So I’m a fan of that. Clearly, it’s a penalty. If you pull a shirt like that it’s a penalty. You cannot use your hands in that way.”

The Herald: Rangers captain James Tavernier equalises from the penalty spot against Aberdeen at Pittodrie todayThe Belgian felt that his team, who conceded a first half goal to Bojan Miovski at Pittodrie, had dominated the game with Aberdeen and deserved to triumph.

Rangers, who have a game in hand still to play, could have reduced Celtic’s lead at the top of the Premiership to six points if they had won.

But Clement said: “We should have won this game. We had the best chances. It was a day - and you have them - that things don’t fall your way.

“That’s because of a good goalkeeper on the other side, twice hitting the crossbar, not taking good chances. But finally we got the goal and I think for everybody it’s really clear that it’s a penalty. Connor’s shirt is really pulled.

“So at the end we lose two points, but the big working point is that our first 15 minutes were not good. I’ve said that to the team.

“We were not sharp enough at the start of the game. The moment we started winning the duels, after 15 minutes, we started to dominate, we created chances, we played the best football. So we need to get to that level for 90 minutes.”

Clement added: “If you have the expected goals we had today, we should have scored more goals. It’s a big expected goal tally for an away game against a tough opponent, a good opponent.

“All credit to Aberdeen. For sure when you go behind against them, they defend with numbers, with a lot of passion, in small spaces.

“So it’s not easy to create all these chances. So in that way, the team did really well. And then it’s about centimetres. Twice we hit the crossbar. That could have been two goals and we had some other really good opportunities.”

Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack, who played for Scotland against Norway during the international break, missed the Aberdeen game due to an unspecified injury.

Clement admitted that the player, who is contention for a Euro 2024 finals berth, may have to consider whether he continues representing his country if he wants to prolong his career.   

Asked if the former Aberdeen player would be available for the Europa League meeting with Aris Limassol in Govan on Thursday night, Clement said:  "We don’t know yet. I don’t think it will something for a long time, more a short time, but I don’t know if he’s going to be ready for Thursday night. I think it will be on the edge. 

"We can think about that (if Jack continues playing for Scotland). I’ve been in that situation also as a player, when in one moment you feel your body is getting more difficulty in coping with both because you never have a rest moment. 

"We will see in the next couple of weeks if we need to have this talk or not. But first I want to speak with my medical staff about those things."