Lee Johnson has claimed Elie Youan was wrongly sent off against Celtic.

The Hibs striker was shown a second yellow in just the 24th minute of the contest at Parkhead after a collision with Cameron Carter-Vickers.

The forward, 23, was first booked after 19 minutes before his dismissal five minutes later.

But Johnson has defended Youan and insisted the incident could have even resulted in a free-kick for his side despite the striker connecting with Carter-Vickers' head.

“Having played myself, he's pinned Carter-Vickers, who’s a strong boy," said Johnson of the second yellow incident. "The start of it was almost a foul, or potentially a foul for us.

“Elie Youan is then off balance and being pulled over the left shoulder and therefore tries to get contact on the ball - which he does - and the head of Carter-Vickers. But at that point, Carter-Vickers has ducked into it.

"A 6’3 player is ducking into the ball that makes himself about 5 feet. When you add all those up together, it’s definitely not a booking. It’s just a foul either way, then we continue the game.

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“This is the problem with the VAR part of it. The grey area is that they don’t always overturn because they don’t want to make the referee look like he's made a mistake."

Calling for VAR checks even in the case of a second yellow leading to a red, Johnson added: “Surely if there’s a sending-off and it has such a major factor in the game, then that needs to be looked at as well? Whether it's a yellow card, red card, hand ball or penalty.”

While Johnson was disappointed to leave Parkhead emptyhanded he was pleased with his side's performance as he compared a much-improved showing to the last time visiting Celtic Park.

“I was certainly pleased with the character," he said. "It's a difficult enough place to come, and then to be restricted in the way we want to play, in my eyes, a really poor decision.

"That puts more demands on the players but I thought they were outstanding from start to finish. We tried to play as well, but we had to defend for our lives.

“But we looked disciplined. We looked organised and I thought we showed spirit and how far we’ve come from the previous time we played at Parkhead."