By James Black
Motherwell striker Ryan Bowman has defended himself against accusations he deliberately broke Rangers defender Fabio Cardoso’s nose with an elbow.
The Gers defender was left with blood pouring from his face following the second-half flashpoint as the two players contested a high ball.
Referee Steven McLean allowed play to continue as Cardoso was clearly injured before sending both managers to the stand as tempers flared on the touchline.
Cardoso will get assessed before Rangers’ game with Kilmarnock on Wednesday night to see if he requires surgery to repair his nose.
The Motherwell striker was booked after an identical incident in the first-half but has now bizarrely claimed Cardoso’s head hit his elbow instead.
“It’s the way I jump,” he said after the game, as quoted by the STV website.
“I use my elbows for leverage, most strikers do that.
“I’ve out-jumped him but his head hit my elbow.
“The first one is a yellow card.
“The second one, it’s one of them, it happens in football all the time.
“But it’s how I jump. I haven’t intended to hurt him.”
Referee McLean took no action over the incident and unless Scottish FA compliance officer Tony McGlennon decides to look at it again, then Bowman looks to have got away with it.
McGlennon could be busy however in the wake of the fiery semi-final between the Gers and Motherwell with Bowman, kicks by Louis Moult and Bruno Alves and both managers possibly being hauled for the disciplinary chief.
With Cardoso’s short-term availability unclear, 19-year-old Ross McCrorie is the most likely choice to come in to replace the Portuguese defender.
McCrorie came off the bench to take over from Cardoso on Sunday and appears to have put himself ahead of Danny Wilson in the pecking order for a first-team place.
In other Rangers news, Caixinha has said who should be to blame for the Hampden Park loss.