CELTIC hero Chris Sutton was far from impressed by his old club’s defending in the 4-2 Europa League loss against AC Milan in the Europa League last night.
Neil Lennon watched in horror as his side allowed a two-goal lead to slip away as the Italian levelled before half-time and finished the comeback with another two after the interval.
Vasilis Barkas, the most expensive goalkeeper in the club’s history at £4.5million from AEK Athens in the summer, certainly did nothing to enhance his reputation in front of the one-time England international striker.
The Greek was motionless when AC Milan scored their first goal from a long-range free-kick and Sutton asked: “Correct me if I’m wrong, but has he made a save of note since he arrived?”
Barkas shipped five goals – two to Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side and three in the first game against the Serie A outfit – before he made way for Scott Bain in October.
However, the former Dundee netminder conceded 16 goals in seven appearances – with one shut-out in the 2-0 victory over Aberdeen in the delayed Scottish Cup semi-final – before he was axed with the Greece international returning.
THAT LOSING FEELING…Vasilis Barkas is beaten by Brahim Diaz’s effort for the fourth goal in the 4-2 defeat.
Barkas lost two in the humiliating defeat against Ross County on Sunday that saw the holders exit the competition after their first defeat in 36 domestic Cup-ties and he failed miserably in the San Siro, The opponents had five shots on target and scored with four. The other attempt was straight at the keeper.
To be fair, Kristoffer Ajer, Jeremie Frimpong and Hatem Abd Elhamed were struggling, too, to cope with their defensive duties as the Parkhead men blew the opportunity of a confidence-boosting triumph against Italy’s league leaders.
The media pundit was left bemused by some dire work at the back and it was Brahim Diaz’s fourth goal after he waltzed through the rearguard that led to Sutton making another telling statement.
The former £6million Hoops forward, co-commentating for BT Sport, stated: “Don’t want to defend, can’t defend”
He added: “It’s not been good enough under Neil Lennon. Europe has been a disaster. It’s been an embarrassment.”
The collapse in the San Siro is the first time in 13 years that Celtic have lost three consecutive games in Europe. They also conceded a lamentable 17 goals in doing so and they bring down the curtain on a wretched campaign on Thursday when Lille visit Parkhead.
The French and Italian aces are already through to the last 32.