PHILIPPE Clement has dismissed claims that Rangers forward Fabio Silva is a diver and aimed a thinly-veiled swipe at Celtic great and Sky Sports co-commentator Chris Sutton by accusing Scottish football pundits of wearing “coloured glasses”.

Sutton was working for the satellite broadcaster during the Old Firm match at Ibrox on Sunday and he savaged Silva when the Portuguese forward won a penalty in the second-half following a foul by Alistair Johnston.

The £30m Wolves loanee, who was making his debut in the world-famous fixture, has been heavily criticised by supporters of both Glasgow clubs since the 3-3 draw in Govan for his over-the-top reaction to several challenges.

Clement admitted that he had spoken to Silva about certain aspects of his conduct in the wake of the derby – but he also launched an impassioned defence of his player and suggested that the flak which has flown in the former Porto kid’s direction has been partially motivated by personal allegiances.

He also revealed the 21-year-old had been left with stud marks on his legs as a result of the physical treatment which he received from Brendan Rodgers’ charges during the course of the cinch Premiership match at the weekend.  

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Asked if he felt the post-match reaction to Silva’s display had been justified, he said: “It is not justified in everything because I see that some people with coloured glasses throw everything on the same pile.

“But there were two actions which I was not happy with him about and I show him today also about that. He should have been stronger in the duel and he was not strong enough.

The National: Celtic's Alistair Johnston and Rangers forward Fabio Silva were involved in a couple of“And in other moments he got really kicked. He's also got two really deep marks in his calves after this game, cuts from the studs. There were a few actions where he could go down because there was a severe tackle or duel, and two where there were not that I've talked to him about.

"So don't start to create now - and this is what people on the other side try to do - a sort of narrative around him because he's not been doing that in other games. He was in the beginning an emotional young guy. Yes, he's 21, but it's getting better and better. He has two actions that I was not happy with him. I spoke to him about it so it will not happen in the future.

“For him it was also his first Old Firm. It's the first time in this situation so those are normal things. He will become stronger out of this. We had a really good talk. I showed him the images, he understands. This is again an evolution for him as a player and as a person also, to become stronger. Those are the interesting lessons.”

Clement reiterated his firm belief that Rangers deserved to be awarded a penalty kick for the Johnston challenge on Silva and stressed that he had been unhappy with some of the decisions which referee John Beaton and VAR official Nick Walsh had arrived at.

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“It's clearly a penalty,” he said. “Because only if you have coloured glasses you say it's not a penalty. People who are neutral, or maybe even if they say they have coloured glasses, they say a neutral thing.

“I see the Ref Watch in England and Dermot Gallagher (Sky Sports refereeing expert) - who is neutral, although maybe people say he is more a favourite of Celtic, I don't know if it's true or not - but he clearly says it is a penalty. And all the situations were clear in the game. 

"I'm also disappointed when we score a goal and they go back more than 10 seconds. You can also have the discussion - the defender of Celtic touched the ball first, so you can say that's a new action. I didn't make any comments about that, nothing.

“So don't put a stamp on Fabio about that situation because he got kicked on the knee. That's the reality. It's a penalty.”

The National: Beaton initially booked Silva for diving after the Johnston challenge – but he rescinded the yellow card and gave the spot kick after being urged to look at the incident again on his pitchside monitor by his VAR colleague Walsh at Clydesdale House.

Clement acknowledged the original decision may have been a result of the player’s willingness to go to ground at the slightest contact before that. However, he is hopeful the former Anderlecht and PSV Eindhoven striker will mature as a result of the experience. 

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“That's what I also told him,” he said. “Referees always need to take moment after moment. But it's human also. I'm also like that. That's why in training, I don't whistle fast for a foul because I want my players to be prepared to keep going and not stopping. Fabio took it in a good way and it's again making him better as a player. It will help him in the rest of his career.”

Clement confessed that he struggles to accept his players being singled out for diving by pundits who ignore footballers at Premiership clubs they used to play at who are equally guilty of exactly the same offence.

“I have difficulty with other people talking about my players because in other teams I see players also going down a lot,” he said. “Maybe not this time in the game but in other games a lot. You guys know all about who I am talking about.”

Celtic have written to the SFA seeking clarity on the Rangers penalty award – but Clement has stressed once again that he believed Beaton and Walsh handled the Old Firm game well throughout.

“I don’t have any comments about what Celtic want to do,” he said. “It’s their choice what they want to do. We need to focus on ourselves and what other teams are thinking or doing is not important for me. We had some things we can discuss and have our thoughts about. But in general I think the referee and the VAR were good in that game.

“I think it’s team work to be a referee now. Have you guys every refereed a game? I’m not joking. I understand better because I’m in that position every day and it goes so fast and you need to be at the right angle to see everything. We are lucky we can see after the game with all the cameras and views and replays.

“They have an impossible job to make every decision right. That’s impossible to see everything on the pitch in a split second. They might have a lucky day. So VAR is there to help that way. It’s more and more team work. It’s good that the grey zone that exists becomes smaller.”

The National: Philippe Clement was proud of his Rangers players