3 things we learned from Turkey v. Wales

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Gareth Bale connected with Aaron Ramsey and Connor Roberts for a pair of goals, as Wales topped Turkey 2-0 in the sides’ crucial Group A clash at EURO 2020 in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Wednesday.

[ MORE: EURO 2020 hub ]

The victory puts Wales in a strong position with four points from their first two games. With four of six third-place sides advancing to the knockout rounds, the Dragons look poised to be in the round of 16.


Three things we learned: Turkey – Wales

1. Enter Bale, the deep-lying playmaker: Look, the very best of Gareth Bale is already in the rearview mirror, and that’s a shame (for all of us), but the Welsh superstar still has more outrageous talent in his boots than 99 percent of professional footballers the world over — yes, he was that good at his peak. A la the final years of a fellow Welshman’s (Ryan Giggs) career, Bale appears to have seamlessly transitioned into a deeper, more central role, which should now see him hit stupendous pass after stupendous to set up scoring chances for Wales and his next club team. The ball he floated and placed onto the chest of Ramsey for Wales’ goal will feature heavily in the end-of-EURO 2020 montage. The dribbling on display to set up the late insurance goal was equally dazzling.

2. Bale, from the penalty spot, however…: Look, no one is perfect, OK?

3. Turkey much better than Italian dud: There’s really no other way to put it: Turkey were abject and awful against Italy in the EURO 2020 curtain-raiser on Friday, so it was a bit of a surprise when they actually turned up against Wales. Alas, zero points from two games leaves Turkey in a desperate position, needing a win in their final group game and a bit of help in other groups to go through as one of the 3rd-place sides.

Man of the match: Gareth Bale – Missed penalty kick and all, Bale still set up a pair of goals and reminded everyone he can still be that guy for Wales.


Ramsey’s day didn’t start quite as brightly as it ended, as the want-away Juventus midfielder missed a handful of chances that should have given Wales an even earlier lead.

Of course, Ramsey atoned for his earlier transgressions not long before halftime. Bale dropped the sensational ball over the top onto Ramsey’s chest, and all that was left was the easy part.

Wales’ penalty kick was won when Bale was fouled right on the edge of the penalty area in the 60th minute. It was, of course, Bale who stepped to the spot and sent the ball into orbit.

The last meaningful kick of the game saw Roberts sweep the ball home after Bale took a short-corner routine and raced up the end line with the ball before picking out and cutting it back to Roberts.

Up next for Turkey is a clash with Switzerland on Monday (12 pm ET), while Wales will face Italy at the exact same time.

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