Christopher Jullien insists that the dirty tricks of Alfredo Morelos at Ibrox just made him stronger as he revealed what he said to the striker during Sunday’s win.
The player, who has emerged as a leader on the pitch in the last couple of games, was seen chasing after the Colombian on Sunday.
The big Frenchman beat his chest and pointed at Morelos (pictured above on the left), who it was later shown had deliberately stamped on his foot in the penalty box in a bid to goad him into a reaction.
Speaking to the media, Jullien said: “That’s the game. He is a good player and one who tries to use a trick to disturb a defender. He stamped on my foot, but that’s part of football.”
Morelos plays the part of a hardman on the pitch, but it’s one that usually backfires on him like some sort of Wile E Coyote, falling victim to his own hare-brained schemes against his Road Runner nemesis.
And like the cartoon character, his attempts often descend into slapstick farce where he is hoist by his own petard.
Morelos, in trying to wind up the opposition, ends up losing the plot and getting sent off himself, as seen with his multiple red cards last season and his long-running battle with Aberdeen’s Scott McKenna.
The total could have been doubled in one game had John Beaton seat him off for his various assaults on Celtic players last December, but he finally got what was coming to him in spring.
Then, he nudged Scott Brown trying to get a reaction. Broony simply clipped his heeled which prompted Morelos to lose the rag and swing his elbow into the Celtic captain’s face. Straight red, and all his own fault.
Jullien reckons such tricks are the equivalent of “trash talk” between players in other sports and says it’s part of the game. Equally, though, he wasn’t going to fall for the sly manoeuvre, which if Morelos’s ploy worked would have most likely resulted in a penalty and red card.
Jullien revealed: “I said to him after he stamped on my foot, ‘You can come more and more, more than one time. The more you come at me, the more the zero stays on that scoreboard’.”
And what of the match on Sunday? Simple. It was, says Jullien, his “best moment in football”.
Perhaps if Morelos concentrated more on his own game, he might finally score in a big match and enjoy some good moments of his own.
In the meantime, as the Road Runner says as it’s zooms off into the distance, meep meep!