John Robertson believes Alim Ozturk’s stunning equaliser for Hearts in the 1-1 draw at Easter Road on Sunday could rank as the best ever in matches between the Capital sides.
The Tynecastle legend knows what it takes to score against Hibs – he is the leading goalscorer in the fixture with a whopping 27 after all. And Robbo admits Ozturk’s incredible long-range strike ranks up among any he has witnessed.
“It was a phenomenal strike,” said Robertson, who turned 50 earlier this month.
“It is certainly up there with the best derby goal.
“There have been a lot of good strikes down the years. John Colquhoun had two or three outrageous strikes in derbies but Ozturk’s is as clean a strike as you will see.
“People talk about volleying being the hardest technical aspect of the game and it is. But he was running on and had no right to hit it from there.
“I’d like to know the pace it was going at. To beat a keeper off the underside of the bar from 40 yards takes something special.”
Robertson isn’t receptive to Hibs boss Alan Stubbs’ claims that the Turkish defender’s netbuster, that cancelled out Dominique Malonga’s first-half effort, was anything other than a “fluke”.
He said: “ I hear Alan is a wee bit disappointed and rightly so. But he called it a fluke and it is not a fluke – not if you are shooting from that distance. It was a wonderful strike.
“Alan is a wee bit upset with what he feels was Hearts showing no class after the game. But you are down to ten men, you have scored in the second minute of injury time and you have scored with a 40-yard wonder goal to stay top of the league and also unbeaten – are you not supposed to celebrate it?”
Robertson, who watched the match in the Jambos’ Gorgie Suite, added: “There are always going to be celebrations. And there were celebrations in the Gorgie Suite, just like at the game. Had the shoe been on the other foot, the Hibs fans would have reacted in exactly the same way. They have done it before – in my time they have come back from 2-0 down in the last few minutes to get it to 2-2 and celebrated wildly. This is what derbies are about.”