‘We were scaling him up before kick-off – come and make that clear!’: Chris Sutton left stunned at Joe Hart’s goalkeeping as his clatter nearly ruined Celtic’s hopes of qualifying for the Europa League
- Chris Sutton reprimanded Joe Hart on Thursday for his role in AZ Alkmaar’s first goal
- The former England stopper failed to clear a loose ball, leading to a goal
- Former Celtic star Sutton said Hart’s mistake ‘killed’ Ange Postecoglou side
- The Scots managed to hold on to the Europa League group stage and push through
Chris Sutton has taunted Joe Hart after the Celtic star howls in front of his new club, with the pundit claiming the Englishman’s lack of decisiveness has ‘killed’ Ange Postecoglou’s side against AZ Alkmaar.
The Scots arrived in the Netherlands with a healthy two-goal lead in their Europa League qualifier and they looked set to carry on after Kyogo Furuhashi opened the scoring in the second leg.
However, the Eredivisie side was handed a lifeline on Thursday night after Hart failed to race off his line fast enough to clear a loose ball, allowing Zakaria Aboukhlal to win the ball and place it into an empty net.
Chris Sutton taunted Joe Hart after the goalkeeper’s blunder against AZ Alkmaar
And Sutton blamed Alkmaar’s first goal solely on Hart’s door, claiming his mistake “killed the team” in the Netherlands.
‘We can point the finger at’ [Stephen] Welsh, but Joe Hart should just see that and come and clean it up,” he told Premier Sport. “When in doubt… I mean, talk about cheering on a team.
“You’re in the perfect position – a goal ahead, three goals ahead in the draw – and Joe Hart, when in doubt, just put your foot through it. He killed the team there, Joe Hart did. I don’t care what anyone says.
The former England stopper was beaten to a loose ball by Zakaria Aboukhlal and was punished
The AZ Alkmaar striker was able to slide the ball into an empty net after a costly mistake by Hart
Sutton criticized Hart’s lack of decisiveness, saying his mistake ‘killed’ Ange Postecoglou’s side
“Before the game we were talking to Joe Hart about his experience which has been so important to the team, he just needs to come and make that clear.”
Hart – who came to Celtic from Spurs this summer – was called into action after defender Stephen Welsh failed to clear a long ball from the Dutch outfit and former Celtic star John Hartson said the Scot was also to blame for the goal.
“I totally agree, Hart should be more aggressive and put his foot through the ball there, but Stephen Welsh…it’s a hard head, you’re a defender, just head him back where he came from” , he said. added.
The Scots managed to hold on to this season’s Europa League group stage
The hosts withdrew another goal later in the first half when a comical defense from Carl Starfelt saw the Swede put the ball into his own net, with Hart having no chance to keep the ball out.
Hartson was furious at the 26-year-old’s howl, labeling the Celtic defender’s commitment as “Sunday competition.”
“You would see that in Sunday league football they paid £4.5 million for this player. By the way, that’s his fourth or fifth big mistake since he’s been at the club.”
Postecoglou’s squad managed to weather the storm in the second half to win the draw and advance to the group stage.