Celtic star Alistair Johnston left with 'eleven studs' on his leg after that John Lundstram red card tackle

Celtic star Alistair Johnson has opened up on his experience of that horror challenge from Rangers star John Lundstram.

Celtic star Alistair Johnston has opened up on John Lundstram’s horror tackle that led to a red card during last weekend’s Old Firm. Celtic are just one game away from successfully defending their Premiership title, and their Old Firm win over their biggest rivals allowed them to take a big step towards that.

One of the key players in that win was actually a Gers player, with Lundstram orchestrating his side’s collapse with an own goal and a red card all within the first half. The red card was awarded for a very high challenge on Hoops man Johnston.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Johnston has now spoken about what it was like to be on the wrong end of that challenge. “I saw the yellow come out and, to be fair, I saw the ball 30 yards away and thought maybe he did win the ball,” said the 25-year-old Canada international.

“But he definitely won me as well! I didn’t realise how bad it was until I saw the replay of it. In the moment he caught me pretty good, but it looked even worse than it was. A gash was halfway up my leg as well and down the side of it. I knew in the moment it probably wasn’t a great challenge and that’s why VAR is here.

“You can have a look at those tackles again to really see what happened. I think there are quite a few good freeze frames I’ve had sent to me that painted a pretty straight picture of what happened.”

On VAR, Johnston added: “I thought that was what VAR was for, to eradicate decisions where they might have missed something. I thought that one was pretty black and white.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“So whatever the controversy was after, I think they made the right call and I think it was a pretty open and closed case. I am all for a big challenge as a defender. But, again, I think that’s what VAR is there for. He caught me pretty good but it almost could have looked in real time like he did win the ball and I just kind of got caught in the middle of it. When you slow VAR down you see that, no, he got me and I actually kicked the ball. It was the right call at the end of the day and I don’t think anybody would have any complaints about it.”

Rangers John Lundstram is sent off for a foul on Celtic’s Alistair Johnston.Rangers John Lundstram is sent off for a foul on Celtic’s Alistair Johnston.
Rangers John Lundstram is sent off for a foul on Celtic’s Alistair Johnston.

Johnston was then asked if he required stitches on the injury. “Thankfully not. But I do have about 11 stud marks on my legs — you can count them,” replied the defender, who played on ahead of being substituted in the 74th minute.

“I was a bit worried it might be the end of my game. But it was different to last year’s ankle injury when I got up, tried to put weight on it and it didn’t feel structurally strong at all. This one I just felt it would potentially hinder me a bit in terms of my mobility.

“That’s something as a defender, especially when you are playing against a team like that, where they are going to be direct and they are going play off second balls. So I was worried how it might affect me in terms of making a split-second decision or turning. So that was more the safe option to come off when it was a bit swollen and sore. I was just happy we ran through all the tests and structurally everything was right “It was just about getting the swelling out and everything feels better now.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.