Sport Soccer

Friday 20 April 2018

Bhoys' joy marred by Izaguirre injury

Aberdeen 0, Celtic 1, Gavin McCafferty

Celtic left-back Emilio Izaguirre suffered a broken leg during the club's Scottish Premier League victory at Aberdeen yesterday.

The Honduran left-back was carried off on a stretcher after going down in agony following a sliding challenge from Peter Pawlett.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon revealed tests had shown up a fracture, with the club soon confirming Izaguirre had broken his fibula. Further tests will reveal whether Izaguirre, who was the SPL's player of the year last season, requires surgery on his right leg.

The injury happened when the 25-year-old fell awkwardly following the challenge early in the game, which Celtic won 1-0 courtesy of a 74th-minute goal from Anthony Stokes.


Lennon said: "It's a huge blow for us to lose him and we don't know how long he is going to be out for. He is being assessed at the minute and we'll know whether he requires surgery -- if he does, he will be out for three months anyway."

"You can always tell by a player's reaction and Emilio is not a player to feign injury," Lennon said. "So the concern was immediate and he was taken into the dressing room and looked at and the word came out it was a fracture."

Celtic ended up with Adam Matthews and Charlie Mulgrew in the full-back positions and Lennon may look to bring in reinforcements. They are currently in the transfer market for a goalkeeper with a deal for Poland international Grzegorz Sandomierski coming to fruition.

Celtic, who had played four friendlies since their opening SPL win over Hibernian, began with a 4-1-4-1 formation with Gary Hooper a lone centre-forward and Stokes out wide on the left. Celtic dominated possession throughout, though, and Kris Commons twice tested home goalkeeper David Gonzalez in the opening stages.

The hosts were able to relieve the pressure only occasionally, mainly because of the pace of Darren Mackie. However, they threatened in the closing moments of the first half when a shot from Scott Vernon was parried by Lukasz Zaluska.

The frustration was becoming audible from the Celtic support as the game wore on, but they got the breakthrough after home left-back Richard Foster was caught in possession.

Commons slid in to take the ball and exchanged passes with Stokes before laying the ball back for the Irishman to sweep into the bottom corner from 10 yards.

Celtic were comfortable and substitute Georgios Samaras wasted a good chance to double their advantage when he headed wide from Mulgrew's cross. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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