Turkey 0-2 Wales: Bale misses penalty but sets up both goals in Group A thriller

By Sports Desk June 16, 2021

Wales are on the brink of the Euro 2020 knockout stages after Gareth Bale set up two goals, either side of a dismal penalty miss, to help Robert Page's team to a 2-0 win over Turkey.

Bale, who provided a sublime assist for Aaron Ramsey to break the deadlock after 42 minutes in Baku, sliced way over from 12 yards with just over an hour played, wasting the chance to put Wales clear.

Yet the Euro 2016 semi-finalists overcame the setback, holding their nerve in defence before Bale atoned with another fantastic assist, this time for Connor Roberts to score with the last kick of the game.

It took Wales, temporarily at least, top of Group A, and with the four best third-placed teams progressing into the last 16, they look well placed to make the knockouts.

Ramsey's first chance came in the sixth minute, the Juventus midfielder electing to shoot rather than square to the unmarked Kieffer Moore, with Ugurcan Cakir pulling off a fine save at his near post. 

Having been found brilliantly by Bale, Ramsey squandered another golden opportunity in the 24th minute, blazing over when one-on-one with Cakir. 

Yet amid mounting Turkey pressure, it proved third time lucky for Ramsey. Bale was the architect with another sensational pass over the defence which the former Arsenal man controlled with his chest before slotting into the bottom-left corner. 

Bale would have gone from provider to scorer had a venomous effort had enough dip to drop under the crossbar, though Wales should have been pegged back moments later. 

A corner was flicked onto Burak Yilmaz, whose acrobatic attempt flashed over from close range. 

Turkey should have been made to pay, but Bale – having drawn a clumsy tackle from Zeki Celik – sent his spot-kick soaring over. 

Danny Ward made a stunning save to deny Merih Demiral and Wales made it count – Bale driving in from a last-minute corner to tee up Roberts, who prodded home to put the last 16 firmly within reach.

Related items

  • Benzema altered his 'game and ambitions' when Ronaldo left Real Madrid Benzema altered his 'game and ambitions' when Ronaldo left Real Madrid

    Cristiano Ronaldo helped Karim Benzema "on and off the pitch" while at Real Madrid, but Los Blancos' current talisman knew he could do more when his former team-mate departed.

    Ronaldo is Madrid's all-time leading goalscorer, having netted 450 times in all competitions between 2009 and 2018, when he joined Juventus.

    Benzema has since picked up the mantle, however, scoring a remarkable 131 goals in the past four seasons. While Ronaldo's Manchester United future is in doubt, his old strike partner is thriving.

    Of players in Europe's top five leagues last term, only Robert Lewandowski (50) – who will go up against Benzema in LaLiga after his switch from Bayern Munich to Barcelona – scored more goals in all competitions than the France forward, who averaged a goal every 88 minutes.

    Asked ahead of the Super Cup clash with Eintracht Frankfurt whether Ronaldo's exit had directly benefited his own form, Benzema told a news conference: "It's true I've scored more goals but when Cristiano was here we had a different style, I provided more assists and he helped me on and off the pitch.

    "I knew I could do more [at the time] and when he left it was the time to change my game and ambitions, I'm doing that at the moment."

    Benzema's form has seen him emerge as a favourite to win this year's Ballon d'Or, a bid only strengthened by Madrid's success in LaLiga and the Champions League last campaign.

    But the striker is simply focused on his team's exploits, adding: "I'm not like that in terms of whether I'm the best or not, I always give my all for this club, the best club in the world.

    "I have to give more and more every year, it's true I had a very good season, but other people can comment on if I'm the best in the world. I'm focused on helping my team in matches, that's all I can say.

    "I'm not thinking about [the Ballon d'Or], there's trophies to win every year, that's very important. I always stress the importance of success for the team that leads to individual success."

    For Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, there is little doubt that he has the best forward in world football at his disposal.

    Asked if Madrid, who wanted to sign Kylian Mbappe before Benzema's compatriot signed a new deal with Paris Saint-Germain, needed to bring in a back-up striker before the transfer window closes, Ancelotti replied: "We have strikers, plenty of them. Benzema, Mariano [Diaz], [Eden] Hazard, Rodrygo, Vinicius [Junior], have I forgotten any?

    "When you're missing the best striker in the world, there are alternatives, but it's impossible to replace Benzema, no player in the world can replace Karim. If anything happens, we will adapt."

  • Wijnaldum spoke to former Liverpool team-mate Salah before making Roma switch Wijnaldum spoke to former Liverpool team-mate Salah before making Roma switch

    Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed former Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah was among those who advised him to join Jose Mourinho's Roma.

    Having left Liverpool for Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer last year, Wijnaldum headed to Roma on a season-long loan deal last week.

    Wijnaldum lifted the Champions League and Premier League trophies during a successful five-year spell at Anfield, but his impact was limited during a frustrating 2021-22 campaign in the French capital.

    While the Netherlands international made 38 appearances in all competitions for PSG last season, fellow midfielders Danilo Pereira (2,623), Marco Verratti (2,621) and Idrissa Gueye (2,043) all played more than his total of 1,992 minutes for the Ligue 1 winners.

    After becoming the latest arrival of a busy transfer window at the Stadio Olimpico, Wijnaldum said former Giallorossi winger Salah, alongside Kevin Strootman and PSG wing-back Achraf Hakimi, encouraged him to move to Italy.  

    "First of all, I wanted to come because of the effort the club put in to sign me as a player," Wijnaldum told a news conference on Tuesday. 

    "Also, I spoke with Mo Salah and Kevin Strootman about Roma, about the club and the city, and I only heard good stories about it. 

    "I even spoke with Achraf Hakimi about it, even though he played at Inter Milan, he said [Roma] was a beautiful club and a beautiful place and I would be happy here. So that convinced me a lot.

    "I know the club, we played them twice when I was at Liverpool [in the Champions League in 2018], and the atmosphere at the Olimpico was amazing – so I knew that I would be playing for a club with a great atmosphere and beautiful supporters.

    "But that was basically the only thing I knew, so I asked for some advice from Mo and Strootman and they had good stories." 

    Wijnaldum has joined the likes of Nemanja Matic and Paulo Dybala in signing for Roma ahead of the new Serie A campaign, and added the influence of Mourinho was another factor in his decision to head to Italy.

    "When I arrived, we spoke more about football things. I think his record as a manager speaks for itself," the midfielder said of the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss.

    "The things he did in football, the prizes he won and the clubs he managed, it's unbelievable. 

    "I think every player wants to work with him and I am the same. From the moment I spoke to him, I told myself I really wanted to join the club – but that was the case even before.

    "I think the thing that convinced me the most was the amount of effort the club, through Mr [director of football, Tiago] Pinto and the manager, put in to sign me. At that moment I felt really wanted and appreciated by the club and that helped me make the decision."

  • Werner makes RB Leipzig return after frustrating Chelsea spell Werner makes RB Leipzig return after frustrating Chelsea spell

    Timo Werner has rejoined RB Leipzig from Chelsea on a four-year contract.

    The Germany forward failed to live up to expectations since moving from Leipzig to Stamford Bridge for a fee of £47.5million (€50m) two years ago.

    Although reports suggested his return would initially be on loan with an option to buy, the Bundesliga club have instead secured him on a contract that expires in 2026.

    The 26-year-old scored just 10 Premier League goals in 56 appearances for the Blues, having arrived at the club with 95 goals for Leipzig between 2016 and 2020 to his name – that remains a club record.

    Werner was not included in Thomas Tuchel's squad for Chelsea's 1-0 win over Everton in their first game of the Premier League season, and he said farewell to the club in a social media post on Tuesday.

    Werner wrote: "Dear Blues, today marks the end of my journey with Chelsea FC.

    "I am incredibly grateful for the time I spent at this special club. At this point I would like to express my appreciation for my teammates, the coaches and staff, and especially for you, the special supporters of Chelsea Football Club.

    "I felt so much love and support throughout the last two years and I will never forget how you guys stood behind me in good and in challenging times!

    "We lifted trophies like the Champions League together and I will always remember the song you wrote and chanted for me. I'm already looking forward to hopefully playing at Stamford Bridge again one day! See you soon, Timo."

     

    Soon after, Leipzig confirmed the transfer had been completed.

    Their statement read: "Timo is back – and is now snapping again for RB Leipzig!

    "Our record goalscorer (95 goals) is returning to the Bundesliga after two years in the English Premier League with Chelsea and is again hunting for goals for the Red Bulls.

    "The attacker has signed a four-year contract until 2026."

    Despite Werner's failure to live up to the hype after his £47.5m (€50m) switch to Stamford Bridge two years ago, his tally of 23 goals in all competitions since he joined Chelsea is the joint-highest in the Blues' squad, alongside Kai Havertz, who also arrived from the Bundesliga in 2020.

    With 17 assists, Werner has directly contributed to 40 goals in his 89 appearances, putting him behind only Mason Mount (46 goal involvements in 108 games).

    Only Mount has had more shots than Werner (191) in the last two seasons for Chelsea, though the former Stuttgart star converted just 12 per cent of those efforts while missing 32 big chances (defined by Opta as an opportunity from which a player would be reasonably expected to score), showing his profligacy in front of goal.

    Werner scored 28 Bundesliga goals in his last season with Leipzig, outperforming his expected goals (xG) of 21.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.