Hart scolded after Bayern thumping
Posted Friday, October 4 2013 at 01:00
LONDON- England coach Gary Neville led the criticism of Joe Hart after the Manchester City keeper suffered a nightmare at The Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night.
Hart was badly at fault for two of Bayern Munich’s three goals, and might have done better for the one in between, as City were given the runaround by the reigning European champions.
Reflecting on the way England No 1 Hart was beaten by a speculative early effort by Franck Ribery and an Arjen Robben shot on the hour, Neville, one of national manager Roy Hodgson’s senior assistants, said: ‘It’s the power of the shot (for the opener). He’s got to do better there, Joe Hart, beaten at his near post. It just goes through his hand. It’s not the start Manchester City wanted or the goalkeeper. ‘You have to say Joe Hart’s got to do better again at that near post (for the third). That’s twice he’s been beaten there tonight. He’ll be disappointed again.’
City manager Manuel Pellegrini refused to point the finger at Hart but, when asked whether the blunders might have sapped his under-fire keeper’s confidence, he said: ‘Of course I worry about mistakes, and the effect they might have, but that was never going to be an easy game for any of the players against such a strong side as Bayern.
The worst thing is that the side you saw was not the one everyone has seen in the Premier League on a weekly basis.
‘I was surprised by what happened and how far Bayern were in front by the time we scored. Alvaro Negredo’s goal was only a little one, because we were already 3-0 behind. It is just one game, and you cannot draw too many conclusions, but we know exactly what we need to do to improve.
‘I am certain we will do that and convinced we will still qualify for the knock-out round.’ Bayern’s former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben rubbed salt into the City wounds by claiming it had been an ‘easy’ win. ‘The first 70 minutes we played some terrific football,’ he said. ‘We were so dominant against a big team in Europe. We didn’t expect an easy game like that. ‘It is a compliment to our team but we expected more from City. We didn’t give them any space, we pressed them right up to the goalkeeper and they just kicked it away. Sometimes they gave us too much space and we used space well.’
Bayern boss Pep Guardiola refused to gloat, saying: ‘I believe in being respectful to the opposition, and I would not say it was easy. I was extremely happy with the way we played, but if David Silva’s free-kick had gone in, instead of hitting the bar, near the end, who knows what might have happened?’
Man City 1-3 Bayern
Juventus 2-2 Galatsaray
Shakhtar 1-1 Man United
Madrid 4-0 Copenhagen
Anderlecht 0-3 Olympiakos
Leverkusen 2-1 Sociedad
CSKA 3-2 Plzen
PSG 3-0 Benfica