When Joe Hart referred to himself as a ‘maniac when it comes to penalties’ after Celtic’s thrilling Scottish Cup semi-final win against Aberdeen, he presumably meant it in a positive sense.

When he stepped up to take a spot-kick in the shootout, slightly more colourful shouts could be heard from the Celtic support, though the thrust of the message was similar.

No one could quite believe it as the goalkeeper placed the ball on the spot. This wasn’t just any penalty, after all. It was the decisive one at the end of a thrilling, enthralling contest at Hampden, and the prize was a place in the Scottish Cup Final.

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In-keeping with the maniacal theme of the afternoon, that the responsibility was placed upon the shoulders of the former England number one perhaps shouldn’t have been quite as jarring. They say that keepers are a special breed, after all, and here was further evidence.

His effort, alas, crashed off Kelle Roos’s right-hand post, and Aberdeen were handed yet another reprieve on an afternoon when it looked as though they just would not be killed off.

Where goalkeepers are also different though is that in situations such as these, they aren’t forced to endure that long, lonely walk back to their consoling teammates on halfway, but instead have a chance to redeem themselves.

Eventually, Hart did so, saving Killian Phillips’ attempt low to his left to eventually get his winning moment, and avoid a black mark on his Celtic legacy towards the end of what has been a largely happy and hugely successful union between the parties.

“I always do feel I am going to save one,” Hart said.

“I am a maniac when it comes to penalties. I always feel that I am going to save every penalty, I feel I am going to score every penalty. I don't and I didn't but luckily our penalties were top quality and it allowed me enough time to make the right decision.”

Giving Hart the fifth penalty though wasn’t a moment of schmaltzy nostalgia from Brendan Rodgers as Hart performs his final lap as a Celtic player. The stakes were far too high for that.

Rather, the Celtic manager, and Hart himself in his usual confident manner, felt he was the best man for the job.

“I've got a process,” he said.

“I was put forward and I was committed to my penalty. I just missed it.

“I fully back myself, my team backs me, and my manager backs me. I would put my name forward again. I just pulled it too much.

“For once it paid off being a goalkeeper and I was able to try to reprieve myself.

“I have taken them in Under-21s tournament, I have taken them in plenty of pre-season games. I believe that I am a good penalty taker, and I am gutted I didn't score today but we got the win.”

Words that suggest he wouldn’t hesitate to step up and take another one in the final, should it come to it.

“One hundred percent,” he said.

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“I always put myself forward. You need people with clarity of mind and people who are confident in what they are doing. That's me, that sums me up as a player, I always put myself on the line but sometimes I miss.

“I fully believed. I went through my process. I missed. We move on.”

What Celtic now move on to is a critical five-game stretch that will decide the fate of the league title, starting next Sunday with a tricky-looking trip to Dundee.

A cup final finale to Hart’s career awaits at the end of May, but for now, full focus must be on Dens Park to ensure the curtain call is a memorable one.

“All season I have wanted to be a part of everything and wanted to put myself forward,” Hart added.

“It was disappointing when we went out to Kilmarnock in the League Cup, but other than that we have stayed right in the competitions that we can, bar the Champions League.

“We are going right to the wire potentially in the league and we have a date [to look forward to] at the end of the season.

“We are in a good spot, we need to keep our focus. We will have a good training week coming up before we focus on Dundee.”