Dons boss Derek McInnes has launched a scathing criticism of Kristoffer Ajer for his role in Sam Cosgrove’s red card.
Leading scorer Cosgrove was controversially dismissed by referee Euan Anderson for a tackle on Norwegian defender Ajer in the 2-1 loss at Celtic.
McInnes insists Ajer was “laughing’ and “winking” at Cosgrove as he lay on the pitch following the tackle.
The Dons boss insists it was a “brilliant” challenge from the striker where he clearly won the ball.
McInnes confirmed Celtic boss Neil Lennon also backed him up that it was not a red-card offence.
Aberdeen will appeal the straight red and two-game automatic suspension and are confident of it being successful when video footage is studied.
McInnes said: “You have big Ajer winking at him and laughing at him lying on the ground.
“If Sam hits Ajer going at that speed Ajer is hurt.
“The boy was clearly not hurt.
“I thought it was a poor decision.
“We will 100% appeal it.
“I spoke to the referee and I thought he had a good game.
“He thought that Sam has caught the player with his leg, but I have seen it again and he has not.
“If he goes in at speed and hits the player at any point then you can understand the referee sending him off.
“When you go in at speed like that you have to make sure you get the ball and 100% it is a brilliant tackle.
“I have watched it 20 times now, Cosgrove won the ball cleanly.
“It is actually a great tackle and he just goes into it with a bit too much speed which gives the officials something to think about.
“The referees and officials need to be better than that.”
The SFA are set to ask clubs to decide on the potential introduction of video assisted referees (VAR) to Scottish football in the New Year.
A study into the potential costs and benefits has been commissioned by the SFA. It is understood VAR would cost Scottish football £1 million per year to implement.
McInnes said: “VAR could have helped out, but you still need the referee to make the right decision.
“After the game Neil Lennon, and it is easy for a winning manager to say this, but he said that no way was it a red card.
“He thought we had been harshly treated there.
“Celtic were 2-1 up, they are a strong team, they are going well, so there is nothing to say that it changes the course of the result. But it certainly gives you a better chance if Cosgrove stays on.
“I think we have been very harshly treated.”
Cosgrove had netted his 20th goal of the season in the first half to level with the league leaders.
Celtic went ahead early on via a Christopher Jullien strike before Odsonne Edouard fired the Hoops into the lead moments before Cosgrove’s red.
The performance was in stark contrast to the 4-0 capitulation to Celtic at Pittodrie in October.
The defending champions scored all four goals in the first half.
McInnes said: “We were very good in this game.
“By and large we defended with real guts, determination and spirt.
“There was a respectability about the performance and a commitment from the team that our supporters need to see when we come to Glasgow.
“Last time we played Celtic we were so poor in the game in all aspects, especially in the first half.
“I think this time we can look people in the eye.
“It was a competitive performance from my team.”
Despite being down to 10 men McInnes believes his team still pushed Celtic.
He said: “We had spoken at half-time, me and my staff, if it stayed 1-1, with about with 15 minutes to go, we would try to make another positive sub.
“Celtic had a lot of games lately and Wednesday night might have taken a bit more out of them, and I did think that might be a factor.
“We being the fresher team, we might just have been able to capitalise on that.
“We did give them a couple of scary moments late on.”