Slavia Prague’s manager says Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor’s save in the dying moments of the first leg of their Europa League clash is the best he has ever seen.
And Jindrich Trpisovsky admits his side will have to outsmart the goalkeeping ‘genius’ if they are to rescue their quarter final hopes.
The onus is on the Czech champions to take the game to Steven Gerrard’s Rangers in Thursday’s Europa League last-16 second leg after allowing Filip Helander to grab an away goal in last week’s 1-1 draw.
But Trpisovsky’s side would have touched down in Glasgow carrying a lead had it not been for McGregor’s wonder save at the Eden Arena.
Former Rangers boss Ally McCoist hailed the astonishing reaction stop to thwart Lukas Masopust’s goal-bound header, claiming it even topped former England keeper Gordon’s Banks’ famous effort against Pele at the 1970 World Cup.
And shocked Slavia boss Trpisovsky said: “I don’t remember such a genius save. It really was outstanding and I would say it is even better than the legendary save of Gordon Banks.
“I would say that the header was a really good hit and the field was wet, but McGregor just had it by a pinky.
“I would say that he is a pivotal part of the team and we saw the other day that he saved a penalty against Celtic last season. He is really capable of holding the team.
“I have to say that I have never seen a better save. I can’t understand it.”
Slavia stunned Brendan Rodger’s Leicester in the previous round, winning 2-0 at the King Power Stadium to knock the former Premier League champions out of the competition.
But Gerrard’s newly-crowned Scottish champions have gained his respect with the way they performed in the Czech capital.
“We are aware of the result from the first match and also aware of the strength that Rangers have and the way that they play,” he said.
“They haven’t only showed it last week, but they have showed it during the whole season.
“We know that Rangers are a tough, strong and resilient opponent and it will be very difficult to make them play our own way but we have had time to prepare.
“We are entering this match at the moment where Rangers are going through and nowadays in football every team has to have good defence as well as good offence.
“We know that we have to score a goal and that is our aim. We are going into this match with that plan and nothing is changing about our plan. We have to defend well as well as attack.
“Rangers have got their own style, which they don’t change much. We just can’t let ourselves get surprised.”
Trpisovsky expressed concerns about the state of the Ibrox pitch before jetting out to Glasgow, but he was left pleasantly surprised after getting an up-close look.
He said: “The pitch looks better than was talked about. At first glance, that shouldn’t be a problem.”