The brilliant role Josip Juranovic played in dramatic Celtic winner that deserves real credit

By David Walton

February 21, 2022

BBC pundit and Celtic great Pat Bonner has moved to highlight the class role played by Josip Juranovic in our winning goal against Dundee yesterday.

After a pulsating clash against the Dee at Parkhead, there have been 2 players picked out for a special mention with regards to the winner. Giorgos Giakoumakis is rightfully getting plaudits for the header which secured his hat-trick, whilst Anthony Ralston has also been lauded for a sensational cross into the penalty area.

However, not much has been said about the big role Juranovic played in the winner. Remember, it was he who had to time his challenge to perfection to stop Max Anderson running through on goal on a counter-attack. He then joined in the attack and dashed to the other end of the pitch to make a run that opened up the space for Ralston to cross.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

It was a fantastic piece of individual play that hasn’t, as of yet, been given the level of credit it deserves. But Bonner was keen to highlight it on BBC Sportsound after the clash:

“Don’t underestimate the role that Juranovic had in that goal also. It was him who was in a 1-v-1 situation defensively and he just bided his time and bided his time. The fans were getting a little bit frustrated thinking that he should’ve went earlier and he didn’t.

“He just used his experience to win it and he delivered. He then joins in the attack as Celtic full-backs do. So he played a big part in it.”

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Josip Juranovic plays vital role as Celtic importance laid bare once again

You simply cannot underestimate just how vital a role Juranovic plays in a Celtic jersey. Once again his importance to the cause was highlighted in a sequence that led to the winning goal, and it was a scenario in which he required composure, quality, and energy.

Imagine if he had mistimed that challenge on Anderson for example. He would’ve given away a free-kick, nabbed a booking, and another minute would likely have been killed of time. Frustration would’ve build around Celtic Park and it would’ve made it more difficult to find that winner.

Even after the challenge he had to show real desire and pace to get involved in the attack. He immediately put on the afterburners and made a darting run down the right side. Had he not done that and instead sat back, there would’ve been no space for Ralston to get a cross into the penalty area.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

So much of yesterday’s winning goal comes from the class and composure of Juranovic. Even this early on, he easily looks like one of the bargains of the summer window. It’s incredible we managed to bag a talent of his quality – Croatia’s number 1 right-back – for £2.5m [Scottish Sun].

His role in that winner yesterday highlights the willingness to fight for the cause that exists throughout this squad. You really can’t underestimate just how easy it would’ve been for Josip to catch his breath after winning the ball back and playing it forward.

Going the extra mile is what will ultimately lead us to the Premiership title. It’s fantastic to see those energy levels be rewarded.

In other news, “He’s absolutely spot on”; Michael Stewart loved what he heard from Celtic boss after Dundee win