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18th Dec 2016

Helpless Joe Hart could only watch this measured-to-perfection Dries Mertens chip

What a finish

Simon Lloyd

Joe Hart will probably be glad to see the back of 2016.

One of the scapegoats of England’s embarrassing European Championships exit to Iceland, the goalkeeper returned to Manchester City only to discover Pep Guardiola was ready to end his time as the club’s number one.

In came Claudio Bravo, and off went Hart – signing a season-long loan with Serie A club, Torino.

Although he’s done his best to adapt to life in Italy by picking up some of the lingo, it’s hardly been a smooth period of transition for him. Since his flap at a cross on his debut resulted in a costly goal, every performance has been scrutinised (although probably more on these shores than over in Italy).

His final away game of 2016 saw him and his Torino teammates travel to Naples, where they faced a Dries Mertens-inspired Napoli.

At 4-2 down with ten minutes to play, the Belgian had already bagged a nine-minute hat-trick in the game when he received the ball inside the Torino box. With his back to goal, he shifts the ball wide and is able to turn and, from a tight angle, lofts a chip towards the far corner of Hart’s goal.

Hart can only watch as the ball sails over his head, dropping into the net.

Yes, he may well have been inside his own six yard box, but Hart can hardly be blamed for this. Not that conceding five goals will make him feel too great about himself.

Catch up with this week’s episode of Football Friday Live: