There was real controversy as Rangers took on Partick Thistle in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup, with Michael Beale showing his sportsmanship.
Beale, who spent over five years with Liverpool in various academy roles, took over as Rangers manager in November after a short stint at QPR.
Returning to the club where he previously served as assistant to Steven Gerrard, the 42-year-old is forging a strong reputation as one of Europe’s most talented young coaches.
Sunday showed he is a coach of principles, too, as controversial events unfolded at Ibrox.
Stop what you're doing right now and watch this! ?
Malik Tillman gives Rangers the lead in controversial circumstances which infuriates the visitors ?
Michael Beale then steps in and orders his side to allow Partick Thistle to score ??#ScottishCup | @ScottishCup pic.twitter.com/iUOtLalNGO
— Viaplay Sports UK (@ViaplaySportsUK) February 12, 2023
Midway through the second half, with the scores poised at 1-1, Partick Thistle were preparing to give the ball back to Rangers following an injury to forward Malik Tillman.
But when Kevin Holt collected a throw-in and prepared to clear it into the Rangers half, Tillman charged him down, taking possession and eventually scoring.
The United States international was mobbed by furious Partick Thistle players, whose act of sportsmanship was taken advantage of.
During a delay in proceedings as the referee regained control, Beale spoke with captain James Tavernier and ordered Rangers to allow their opponents to score, with Scott Tiffoney then walking through unopposed to make it 2-2.
Partick Thistle manager Ian McCall shook Beale’s hand in a show of respect, with the rest of the game unfolding for a 3-2 victory for Rangers.
Both coaches agreed after the game that Tillman was victim of a “big misunderstanding,” with McCall lauding Beale for showing “an awful lot of class.”
“I don’t want us to win a football game on a misunderstanding and it was a misunderstanding,” Beale told BBC Sport.
“It would’ve been the wrong thing to do.
“I’ve got high standards but the club I work for has got high standards as well and as Rangers Football Club, we’re in a better place tonight that we did that.
“It’s not an easy thing to do, trust me. We won the game, we won the game in the right way.”