"Joy, provocation"; Bayer Leverkusen heartbreaker explains outburst at Celtic defender

By Euan Davidson

November 26, 2021

Bayer Leverkusen man Robert Andrich is unlikely to be a popular name amongst Celtic fans for the foreseeable.

His double, the first a header from a corner, drew his Leverkusen side level with the Bhoys. The ex-Union Berlin midfielder has been, we grudgingly admit, an impressive purchase by Gerardo Seoane.

But there was a particular moment last night where even Andrich admitted he might’ve got a bit carried away.

Photo by Ralf Treese/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

On the 82nd minute, when Andrich scored his equaliser, he went straight to Celtic defender Anthony Ralston to give him a piece of his mind. Andrich now joins Brazilian superstar Neymar in the list of players Ralston has wound up on the continent.

Speaking after the game, Andrich said [Bild]:

“At 2-2, the emotions with me maybe ran a little.

“[Ralston] was my opponent the whole time at the corners. He was probably a little annoyed that he hadn’t defended the first two corners as well. I hadn’t put the ball in on the first corner, but I did on the second. 

“After that, he took his defence very seriously. So I wanted to show him: Here – sometimes you can’t cover me either. It was just joy with a bit of provocation.”

Bayer Leverkusen 3-2 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

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Bayer Leverkusen experience will only help Celtic defender Anthony Ralston

It’s a bitter experience, but Celtic defender Anthony Ralston will be better for this.

Admittedly, Ralston didn’t follow Andrich’s run for his first goal. For the second, the resurgent Bhoys defender just didn’t cover his position well enough, allowing a pass to Andrich that culminated in Bayer’s second goal [BT Sport].

Anthony Ralston has been sensational this season. Including in Europe, where he was crucial against Ferencvaros for both wins. Ultimately, what he came up against last night was another level.

Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

He’s going to be better for this. Remembering the wee smug look on Robert Andrich’s face is surely going to motivate him even more. What he’s done so far; getting into the Celtic side, being a regular for a demanding manager in Ange Postecoglou, is proof his mindset is right.

This one will sting. Andrich, to be fair, gave the Scotland defender a compliment, albeit a back-handed one. The former Union midfielder wouldn’t have been provoked to react as he did unless Ralston had sufficiently frustrated him.

Chalk it up as a learning experience, Anthony. It’s onwards and upwards from here, regardless of who gets in your face.

Read more: SPFL boss addresses under-reported Celtic Park narrative for this weekend