JOE HART must be sick and tired of retrieving the ball from the back of his net when Celtic embark upon the European trail.

The 36-year-old 75 rimes-capped England international keeper was helpless when Atletico Madrid ran amok in the Spanish capital three weeks ago as they crammed six goals past him.

The Hoops were already 1-0 adrift when Daizen Maeda was sent off in the 22nd minute and the hosts doubled their advantage in first-half stoppage-time when Alvaro Morata was left with a simple tap-in from six yards.

SINKING FEELING…Joe Hart is left helpless as Alvaro Morata nets Atletico Madrid’s second goal in the 6-0 flop.

The defence was shredded in a lopsided second-half with four more efforts thumping into the rigging behind the overworked netminder.

Celtic have now conceded a mindboggling total of FIFTY-FOUR goals in their last 24 Euro ties with Hart involved in 49 of the losses.

Of course, the finger of guilt cannot be pointed solely at the one-time Manchester City No.1 as he has been tasked with trying to keep opponents at bay with defenders awol on far too many occasions.

Hart 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.

Following the 2-0 loss to Feyenoord in Rotterdam in the opening Champions League Group E game in September, damning statistics highlighted the fact the Hoops had conceded more away goals (2.4) than any other side to have played 30 away games in the tournament.

LOOK BACK IN ANGER…Joe Hart is beaten again.¬†

At that stage after 37 outings in Europe’s elite competition, the Hoops had shipped an embarrassing 89 goals.

That has now risen to 95 after the mauling in Madrid and Hart goes back into the firing line against Lazio in Rome tonight.

In the midst of the landslide of lost goals, there has been a solitary clean sheet – the 3-0 victory over Anderlecht in Brussels in 2017 when Craig Gordon was in goal.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Lazio v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author