Monday, 20 June 2016

Arron Ramsey Shines as Wales destroy Russia to reach Last 16 in EURO 2016,

This was not just a victory but a mark in history.
Another victory and group leadership ahead of England. Whatever happens from this point on, they will talk about this for years.
The scoreline read 3-0 but in truth it could have been five or six. Chris Coleman's side were so much better than Russia it was extraordinary to witness. Gareth Bale looked as though he could beat them on his own and Aaron Ramsey wasn't far behind.

Arsenal's 25-year-old midfielder Ramsey opened the scoring for the Brits with a smart, dinked finish in the 11th minute

Arsenal's 25-year-old midfielder Ramsey opened the scoring for the Brits with a smart, dinked finish in the 11th minute
 Ramsey celebrates in front of his country's adoring supporters after scoring during the Euro 2016 Group B fixture

 Ramsey celebrates in front of his country's adoring supporters after scoring during the Euro 2016 Group B fixture
Swansea City's 27-year-old Ruthin-born left back Neil Taylor then grabbed his first goal for his country in the 20th minute

Swansea City's 27-year-old Ruthin-born left back Neil Taylor then grabbed his first goal for his country in the 20th minute
The  full back (No 3) struck past Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev after the CSKA Moscow skipper saved his first effort

The full back (No 3) struck past Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev after the CSKA Moscow skipper saved his first effort
(From left) Wales captain Ashley Williams, Chris Gunter, Bale, Taylor and Ramsay enjoy their second goal of the game

(From left) Wales captain Ashley Williams, Chris Gunter, Bale, Taylor and Ramsay enjoy their second goal of the game

TAYLOR SURPRISE 

Neil Taylor last scored a goal in April 2010 for Wrexham at Grays Athletic in the Conference in front of 298 people. 
They said Coleman's big players would have to turn up at Euro 2016 in order for Wales to have a chance. Well here in southern France they set the tone and the rest followed to construct the most stunning Welsh performance since Italy were downed by Craig Bellamy and Simon Davies in Cardiff in 2002.
Russia, it has to be said, were cataclysmically bad. How did England not beat them? They are going home and we will not miss them or their supporters.
As for Wales, they head on to Paris on Saturday and who knows where the momentum and confidence of this stunning night will take them.
First, though, let them celebrate. Let them reflect on this, the perfect performance. They almost scored in the first minute and by the 21st they were two up and the game was essentially over.
One scorer, Ramsey, was predictable. The other, full back Neil Taylor, wasn't. That summed up the Welsh, though.
Together Stronger, they say. Together Stronger, indeed.
And then it was Bale's turn. He had to score eventually and with 23 minutes left he did.
Wales perhaps contributed to their own downfall a little bit against England in Lens. Here, they began as if they felt they had some making up to do to the legions that had made the journey south.
Chris Coleman, manager of Wales, passionately celebrates his team's first goal at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse

Chris Coleman, manager of Wales, passionately celebrates his team's first goal at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse
Real Madrid maestro Gareth Bale (left) hits home with the outside of his left boot to land a 67th-minute goal for Wales

Real Madrid maestro Gareth Bale (left) hits home with the outside of his left boot to land a 67th-minute goal for Wales
Bale spreads his arms to celebrate his goal - it was his third of the tournament, which made him Euro 2016's current top goalscorer

Bale spreads his arms to celebrate his goal - it was his third of the tournament, which made him Euro 2016's current top goalscorer
Former Tottenham Hotspur star Bale (left) goes down under the challenge of Russia's 36-year-old defender Sergei Ignashevich (No 4)

Former Tottenham Hotspur star Bale (left) goes down under the challenge of Russia's 36-year-old defender Sergei Ignashevich (No 4)
Wales embarrassed Russia from the start and it was Bale who set the tone. Just as he did against Slovakia 10 days ago and to a certain degree against England, he began as though he felt he could win this on his own. 
In the first minute Bale broke free through the middle and cut left to shoot low at goal from 20 yards. Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev parried and saved the follow up from Sam Vokes. The Burnley striker was offside as it happened but it did not matter. The pattern was set.
Ramsey was the next to break from deep and frighten a Russian defence that seemed to have little about it in terms of organisation. The Arsenal player should have shot but didn't and the move fizzled out. Three minutes later, in the 11th minute, he atoned with a beautiful goal in every way.
The Wales central defender James Chester began it with a neat interception in his own half and when Joe Allen picked up play he turned adroitly to thread a pass to Ramsey. He had timed his run well and was just onside and he carried the ball across the final defender before lifting it over Akinfeev.
It was the perfect start and one that was greeted with hysteria in the Wales sections of the Stadium de Toulouse. Russia looked bewildered and Wales seized the opportunity to strike again.
This time the build-up had a slice of luck about it. Bale broke again from deep — this was already a pattern — but seemed to lose his way 25 yards out until Russia's Roman Shirokov turned the ball wide to Taylor as he attempted the tackle.
How the Wales full back had so much space and time, even he didn't seem to know. Momentarily stage fright struck him down and his first shot, saved by Akinfeev, was pretty weak. But the rebound presented with him a free hit and delivered it back into the net for his first goal since one he scored for Wrexham against Grays in non-league football in 2010.
That was a remarkable story on its own but the bigger picture here was just how dominant Wales were. Every time they had possession, they looked to break straight at the heart of a Russian team that just could not cope when it didn't have the ball.
Bale - who is now 26 years old - stretches to reach a header during a dominant first half for his side in southern France

Bale - who is now 26 years old - stretches to reach a header during a dominant first half for his side in southern France
Russia's 27-year-old old midfielder Pavel Mamaev (left) and Wales' 26-year-old playmaker Joe Allen compete for the ball

Russia's 27-year-old old midfielder Pavel Mamaev (left) and Wales' 26-year-old playmaker Joe Allen compete for the ball
Wales skipper Williams (left) goes toe-to-toe with Russia's captain Roman Shirokov during the first period of the Group B game

Wales skipper Williams (left) goes toe-to-toe with Russia's captain Roman Shirokov during the first period of the Group B game
Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey did have to advance to block when a clearance briefly allowed Artem Dzyuba in and also saved at the near post late in the first half from Fedor Smolov as Russia finally found some composure.
Despite that, the pattern was pretty unchanged throughout the opening half.
Bale ran two thirds of the length of the field on the half hour to leave Smolov for dead and when he squeezed the ball out to Vokes on the right he could have finished the game there and then only for Akinfeev to save with his right leg.
There were other scares for the CSKA Moscow goalkeeper, too, as Bale and Ramsey both drove shots his way from outside the area. On both occasions, Akinfeev shovelled the ball away like an uncertain beach volleyball player.
He, like the rest of the Russian players, headed for the dressing room at half-time looking as though he was ready for a plane ride home.
Bale drew yet another save from Akinfeev immediately after half-time and then a sublime Ramsey pass to the overlapping Chris Gunter looked certain to result in another goal only for the cross to be intercepted by a desperate Russian block at the near post.
Ramsey's next pass, to the bombing Bale, was marginally over-hit but his team-mate still made Akinfeev work, the keeper saving again with his feet to concede a corner that Wales wasted.
Such had been Bale's influence it seemed strange he hadn't scored. Midway through the half he put that right, moving on to Ramsey's pass to score with the outside of his left foot.
Russia's star striker Artem Dzyuba (left) pulls Wales' Spurs left back Ben Davies' shorts as he battles for the ball

Russia's star striker Artem Dzyuba (left) pulls Wales' Spurs left back Ben Davies' shorts as he battles for the ball
Russia's Krasnodar attacker Fedor Smolov (right) shoots at goal during the European Championship encounter

Russia's Krasnodar attacker Fedor Smolov (right) shoots at goal during the European Championship encounter
Wales' supporters that are caught in the sun shield their eyes from the light in their section at the Stadium Municipal

Wales' supporters that are caught in the sun shield their eyes from the light in their section at the Stadium Municipal.



Source: dailymail.

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