Celtic player claims teammate 'jinxed' Joe Hart's penalty

Aberdeen v Celtic - Scottish Cup Semi Final
Aberdeen v Celtic - Scottish Cup Semi Final / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

The dust has settled now after the two Scottish Cup semi-finals at Hampden Park this weekend. There will be another Glasgow Derby this season when Celtic face the Rangers in the final. The last time the Hoops met the 'original' side at the stage was 22 years ago. It is going to be played on May 25, a favourite date for many fans if they are looking for good omens.

Rangers got through to this year's final after a 2-0 victory over Hearts in an unremarkable match. Celtic had a tense and nervous ending to theirs after Aberdeen scored a couple of very late goals. equalising both times.

Celtic should have finished the game off well beforehand. But Aberdeen's goals took the tie to extra time and then to penalties. That's where the drama stepped up several notches on the pitch and for fans in the stands and watching on TV around the world.

Celtic's penalties were pretty good. There was a chance to win the match when to most fans’ surprise Joe Hart stepped up to take the fifth and missed, as he could only find the post.

Celtic player claims teammate 'jinxed' Joe Hart's penalty

Hart made amends later by saving Aberdeen’s seventh penalty, from Killian Phillips, and the match was won. But what was going on with the English goalkeeper being number five on the penalty list? Had other players stepped backwards not fancying their chances? The club's record on penalties isn't that great this season.

Alistair Johnston has shared how Hart's penalty might have been 'jinxed'. As reported by The Scottish Sun, the Canadian international said:

"My first thought was, ‘I’m going to have to take a penalty’. I’m just happy that the thing went in.

“There was relief when Joe made the save. He had the chance to win it and then big Carter- Vickers said, ‘This is going to be a fairytale for Joe’.

“I said, ‘You can’t say that out loud, you’ve jinxed it’. Then he hit the post.

“I knew I was going to take the sixth penalty and that I was next. Cheers mate!"

Hart taking a spot kick was always part of the plan though as Johnston explained:

"He was always down to take the fifth penalty, that was always the plan. They gave us the list straight away.

“After that it was a case of, ‘Who wants one?’.

“To be fair, that’s all keepers do in training sessions, take penalties into each other."

It was a relief in the end to see Celtic win. It was also worrying to see the game go to penalties when better finishing earlier could have sealed a win much sooner. There was at least some comfort from the decent penalties, Hart’s miss aside. It was also great to see the Englishman redeem himself with the save that won the match.