"Ultimate coolness"; 90s Celtic favourite blown away by international last night
90s Celtic favourite Simon Donnelly was hugely impressed by what he saw from Croatia international Josip Juranovic last night.
When Celtic were given a penalty, due to Bayer keeper Lukas Hradecky making contact with Kyogo Furuhashi, Juranovic had an age to wait before taking the spot kick.
When he did, his magnificent chip had hearts in mouths. It hit the underside of the bar and nestled into the net, to the sheer relief of supporters, players and Ange Postecoglou.
Speaking on the Go Radio Football Show, Donnelly confessed he’d tried it himself, with a similarly fortuitous outcome. Albeit, in markedly different circumstances.
Donnelly said [Go Radio Football Show, 5.37pm]:
“The elevation, soon as it left his foot, I thought “ooh, this is close”. Thankfully for [Josip Juranovic], and everybody connected to Celtic, it hit the underside.
“I think Zidane is the famous one, isn’t it? In the World Cup final? They’re good when they come off.
“I did one for St Johnstone down at Palmerston. I think we were 3-0 up at the time so there wasn’t much pressure on me!
“He had a wee bit of time. See sometimes when you’ve got a penalty and you’ve got a wee bit of time before the referee actually blows the whistle, between the VAR and everything else, I think that puts a bit more pressure on you.
“But he showed ultimate coolness.”
Josip Juranovic and his ultimate coolness nearly saw Celtic through
In fairness, it was an amazing moment.
Juranovic had the whole of a stand of angry Bayer Leverkusen fans right in front him. Not only that, a goalkeeper who had shown his brilliant best at Celtic Park weeks earlier.
To even attempt a Panenka on a stage like that, in those circumstances, took sheer confidence. If he hadn’t scored, it would’ve put Celtic on the back foot in a game that was vital for Europa League progression.
We didn’t get the result we wanted. But wee moments of genius show the confidence players have under Ange Postecoglou. The same is true of James Forrest’s brilliant flick to David Turnbull, or Jota’s first-time shot past Hradecky.
We could mine last night for all the positives and negatives. But we’ll always have Josip Juranovic and his audacious chip against Bayer Leverkusen. It wasn’t quite Simon Donnelly for St Johnstone against Queen of the South, but we’ll take it.