JOE HART must have experienced that old familiar sinking feeling when Alvaro Morata’s header sailed past him to give Atletico Madrid a 2-2 draw at Parkhead 13 days ago.
Celtic have conceded an inexplicable total of FORTY-EIGHT goals in their last 23 Euro ties with the 36-year-old 75 times-capped England keeper involved in 43 of the losses.
Of course, the finger of guilt cannot be pointed solely at Hart as he has been tasked with trying to keep opponents at bay with defenders awol on far too many occasions.
THE LAST POST…Joe Hart dives to push Antoine Griezmann’s penalty-kick onto the upright, but, unfortunately, the rebound went straight back to the Frenchman to score Atletico’s first goal in the 2-2 draw.
Morata, for instance, was left totally unguarded at the far post when the Hoops defence failed to cut out a right-wing delivery and the ball travelled across the face of the goal with the rearguard in disarray.
The prolific Spanish hitman, who had scored against Scotland two weeks earlier, was all on his lonesome as he stooped to knock a header beyond the exposed netminder.
Hart may have been invited to fish the ball out of the rigging on 43 occasions, but he is not alone to suffer the ignominy. Scott Bain has been beaten four times in the x-certificate sequence while Vasilis Barkas, in his only European excursion during Ange Postecoglou’s reign, flapped at FC Midtjylland’s equaliser in the new manager’s first competitive game.
DEFIANT…Joe Hart is ready for the Madrid challenge.
Following the 2-0 loss to Feyenoord in Rotterdam in the opening Champions League Group E game in September, damning statistics highlighted the fact Celtic had conceded more away goals (2.4) than any other side to have played 30 away games in the tournament.
At that stage after 37 outings in Europe’s elite competition, the Hoops had shipped a mindboggling 89 goals.
There has been a solitary clean sheet – the 3-0 victory over Anderlecht in Brussels in 2017 when Craig Gordon was in goal.
It’s time to put up the shutters, Celtic. The Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid would be an ideal place to start.
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Atletico Madrid v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.