HIBS defender Darnell Johnson CROCKED Emilio Izaguirre during Celtic’s 2-0 win on Wednesday – and then PRAISED the Hoops star afterwards.

The on-loan Leicester City player was booked for a crunching tackle on the Honduran international left-back with only eight minutes left to play at Parkhead and the champions coasting to three points.

However, Johnson launched into a wayward lunge on Izaguirre that was later described by Brendan Rodgers as a “clumsy challenge”.

The full-back had to be stretchered off, but, thankfully, the injury looked worse than originally thought.

Johnson, who has signed with the Easter Road club until the end of the season, insisted he tried to tackle Izaguirre fairly and never intended to hurt his opponent.

Taking to Twitter, the former England Under-20 international said: “I try always to challenge fairly. Respect to Emilio Izaguirre for greeting me after the match. True professional.”

Izaguirre, who has had ankle problems in the past, feared the worst after the robust tackle, but he could be fit to face St Johnstone in the Scottish Cup at Parkhead on Sunday.

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