Football

Hart failed to save it.

Joe Hart slammed for failing to save Gareth Bale's free-kick

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As a goalkeeper, you should fancy your chances of saving a free-kick from 35-yards.

Even if that man you’re facing is Gareth Bale.

But Joe Hart, who is considered one of the best goalkeepers in world football was beaten by the Real Madrid superstar from that sort of distance.

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We all know the Welshman is capable of producing moments of magic from a dead-ball. He strikes the ball with power and swerve, making it really difficult for shot-stoppers.

However, with 42 minutes on the clock and very little between England and Wales in their crunch Euro 2016 fixture, Hart couldn’t keep out Bale’s strike.

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It was a decent enough effort from the forward but it wasn’t exactly in the corner and didn’t really swerve. The Manchester City goalkeeper got a strong hand on it but failed the turn it around the post, only pushing it into the corner of his net.

While some may credit Bale for his second free-kick in two matches, the majority of people on Twitter were slamming Hart for the role he played in the goal. He certainly won’t want to see some of these Tweets as he was absolutely ripped to shreds:

The free-kick begs the question why goalkeepers choose to have a wall with a free-kick so far out. Surely if he is given a clear sight of the kick he will be able to make an easy save.

Euro 2016 campaign in the balance

With the Three Lions trailing to the Welsh at half-time, it leaves their Euro 2016 campaign hanging by a thread. Roy Hodgson’s side would have just one point from their opening two group fixtures and would need a win against Slovakia to give them any chance of qualifying for the knock-out rounds.

If they do lose to Chris Coleman’s team, they will know that finishing top of the group would become impossible meaning the opponents in the last-16 are likely to be harder.

England v Wales - Group B: UEFA Euro 2016

But given their underwhelming 45 minutes display in Lens, England won’t be thinking about the latter stages of the competition. They desperately need to turn this match around or face yet another early elimination.

Unchanged team

Hodgson opted to keep the same side that drew with Russia on Saturday meaning the likes of Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane kept their place.

But, after quiet performances against the Russians, it was the same again for the pair with Sterling being criticised for not finishing a glorious opportunity early on in the first-half.

England v Wales - Group B: UEFA Euro 2016

As for Kane, he’s struggling against the three centre-backs of Wales and the England boss could call upon the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy in the second-half.

Whatever happens in the second 45, England need to change something or else they could be heading home after Monday’s match with Slovakia.

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Wales
Euro 2016
England Football
Football
Premier League
Joe Hart
Manchester City

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