Aaron Ramsey quipped that he might get back on penalty duty for Wales after Gareth Bale’s miss in the 2-0 win over Turkey.
Wales put themselves onto the verge of the last 16 at Euro 2020 thanks to goals from Ramsey and Connor Roberts in Baku on Wednesday.
Bale set up both goals and turned in a supreme performance overall, crafting a game-high five chances (a Euro record in a single game since at least 1980) and having five attempts himself – in total, there were 34 efforts throughout the match, the most of any game in the tournament so far.
However, the Wales captain did have some making up to do after his 61st-minute spot-kick woe, with Bale slicing his attempt way over.
Indeed, he became the first player to miss the goal frame entirely with a penalty at the Euros since Raul did so for Spain against France in 2000.
Asked for his thoughts on the miss, Ramsey jokingly told BBC Sport: “He’s tried to wobble it into the top bins. Maybe I’ll get back on them now!”
“It was a big moment but we didn’t really panic, we stuck at it, we dug in and we left everything out there,” the Juventus midfielder then reflected.
“That’s what we’ve built our success on over the last few years, is really working hard for each other, and we showed that tonight.”
Bale, meanwhile, took the miss in his stride, saying: “Yes, I missed the penalty but thought I showed good character to help the team, we needed that victory more than anything and to get a second goal at the end was the icing on the cake.”
Though his composure from the spot was found wanting, Bale was excellent, with his link-up play with Ramsey a joy to watch at times.
They created a total of four chances for one another against Turkey, the most of any duo in a single game at Euro 2020, while at Euro 2016, the most by any pair in a single game was also Bale and Ramsey (six in a group match against Russia).
1.64 – Aaron Ramsey accumulated a non-penalty expected goals (xG) figure of 1.64 against Turkey, the most of any player in a single game at the EUROs since Cristiano Ronaldo’s 1.88 against Netherlands at EURO 2012; Ramsey took eight shots fewer than Ronaldo. Predator. #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/jsGSEzEVMU
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 16, 2021
Bale played in Ramsey twice in the opening stages, but the former Arsenal man, who tallied up a non-penalty expected goals (xG) figure of 1.64, failed to find the net until the third such opportunity.
“He [Ramsey] got in a few times, we’ve always linked up well since our early days,” Bale explained.
A raking, pinpoint pass from Bale allowed Ramsey to beat Turkey’s offside trap and, after taking the ball down expertly on his chest, he finished it off coolly.
“It was a relief,” Ramsey acknowledged. “I had two opportunities before that to score.
“The first half was superb, to a man. We created so many opportunities and really dominated the play. Second half we showed character, dug in, and I thought we thoroughly deserved the win in the end.”
Only France (six) have won more matches across the last two European Championship finals combined than Wales (five), and Robert Page’s team sit on four points from their first two Group A games.
Third place is the lowest they can finish, and a spot in the last 16 looks well within reach given the four best third-placed sides progress.
“We’ve given ourselves a brilliant opportunity now, we’ve still got a game to go, that was a really good point against Switzerland and it gave us the platform to go on and get the win,” added Ramsey, who is also looking forward to a return to Italy, where he plies his trade domestically.
“It’ll be nice [going to Italy]. I’ve got a few team-mates playing for the national team, so that’ll be nice, but I’m representing my country and want to do everything to win that game as well. It’ll be a good battle!”
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