Celtic boss slams Socceroo's 'stupid' tackle
McGowan was sent off in the 89th minute of Dundee United’s 4-0 loss to Celtic overnight in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals.
The Australian was dismissed for a challenge on Liam Henderson, which came only two minutes after Celtic’s Anthony Stokes had been given his marching orders, prompting a melee as tensions flared.
The match was the third in 11 days between the two clubs, with six red cards coming in those highly-charged encounters.
The incident prompted a stunning attack on McGowan from Celtic boss Ronny Deila.
"It was a red card, a stupid tackle on the sidelines," Deila told reporters.
"We need to get these things out of football.
“It was a youngster trying a little trick in the corner. You could have stayed there and kept him out wide instead of going in with both feet.
“He could have injured him for life.
“At 4-0 it must have been frustration.”
McGowan moved to defend himself on Twitter, replying to numerous fan tweets and claiming it was a “hard not dirty” tackle and wasn’t “two footed” and also retweeting a supporter who labelled the challenge not worthy of a yellow card.
Disappointing result! Fans were terrific again!Apologise to Liam if caught him but I'm sure got the ball first! Congratulations to Celtic
— Ryan McGowan (@rmcgowan89) March 18, 2015
Dundee United assistant manager Simon Donnelly felt the officiating had been harsh.
"I've not seen the McGowan tackle at the end,” Donnelly told reporters. “I've had reports it's a good, strong tackle.
“I think the reaction of the Celtic players on the back of them just having a red card possibly influences the referee, but I'll need to see it again.
“Is it any worse or any different to Scott Brown's (which went unpunished) two weeks ago?"
The two clubs will meet again in the Scottish Premier League on Saturday.
Meanwhile, in further news from Scotland, Celtic have told FourFourTwo they hope to have Tom Rogic back in full training in the next couple of weeks after a long-term groin injury.
Rogic has been seen competing in some Celtic training drills in recent weeks, but hasn't resumed full training.
The Socceroo hasn't played a competitive game in almost 12 months since his Melbourne Victory loan stint.