The Warm Down: Brilliant Wales display leaves Turkey in fowl mood
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 16: Connor Roberts of Wales celebrates with Harry Wilson after scoring their side's second goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group A match between Turkey and Wales at Baku Olimpiya Stadionu on June 16, 2021, in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Wales gobbled up the chance to take all three points with a 2-0 win over bottom of the group, Turkey, to put them top of Group A at EURO 2020.

A stunning scoop over the Turkey defence from Gareth Bale, a few minutes before half-time, found Aaron Ramsey in acres of space in the Turkey penalty area.

Despite multiple missed chances in the first half, Ramsey brought the ball down on his chest and hammered home to give Wales the lead.

Proceed pandemonium. The Red Wall were in dreamland.

Burak Yilmaz threatened Danny Ward's goal all night but the Ligue One winner, with Lille, was unable to make the breakthrough Turkey needed.

With time ticking down, and Wales just needing to keep the ball away from their goalmouth, it looked as though Rob Page's instructions were to keep the ball in the corner.

However, Bale had other ideas as the Real Madrid man span out of a corner, surrounded by three Turkey players, sweeping the ball across to the on-rushing Connor Roberts to cement Wales' victory.

Another win for Italy, however, this time against Switzerland, bumped Wales down to second with four points.

  • If at first, you don't concede

Try, try, and try again. And that's exactly what Bale did - Wales' superstar.

Bale squandered a chance from the penalty spot to consolidate the victory against a pressing Turkey side. The winger won the spot-kick after being brought down by Zeki Çelik, but never looked confident enough to convert from 12 yards.

That miss made him the first player to miss a penalty during 90 minutes in the EUROs since Raúl Gonzalez in 2000.

Just like all world-class players, Bale did not let this chance faze him, as his quick thinking in the dying moments helped seal the win for Wales.

Wales just needed to keep the ball in the corner but Bale saw a gap in the Turkey defence and sprang into action, skimming the touchline before unleashing a shot and forcing a double save from Uğurcan Çakır.

The resulting corner, the same result. Except this time, Bale played the ball inside to full-back Roberts to slam home the sealing goal.

Game. Set. Match.

Oh. And the Man of the Match award to go with it.

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  • No “I” in team

"We've got Gareth Bale, Dan James, Aaron Ramsey, Kieffer Moore," Page listed as explained the depth in Wales' squad.

"But I don't care what level they're playing at. We respect all the teams we play, but we don't fear anybody.

"When we play like that, we've got goals in the team.

"Joe Morrell... Can't get into a Championship team but is playing like that at international level.

"It's phenomenal what he's doing."

Morrell has made only 10 appearances for Luton Town in the Championship this season, five of which were substitutions off the bench.

The midfielder has actually appeared more times for Wales this season than for his club side. Yet, Page still trusts the 24-year-old to perform on the big stage.

  • David and Goliath

30,000 Turkey fans versus 400 Wales fans. The Red Wall were totally outnumbered on Wednesday afternoon.

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Did that stop them from making their voices heard? Of course not. And if anything, the atmosphere made by the Turkish fans pushed Wales to perform better, with Page wanting to "silence" the 'home' fans.

30,000 fans were unable to drown out a rendition of "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" as it rung around the Baku Olympic Stadium.

And the Wales fans were the only voices heard after the final whistle, applauding any players who had gone for a cool down having not got onto the pitch during the game.

Not even COVID-19 could stop the Red Wall.