The Euro 2016 British derby between England and Wales matched all its hype as both teams played out a tense game that ended in a sigh of relief for the Three Lions as Daniel Sturridge scored a scrappy goal in the 91st minute to save Roy Hodgson the blushes and give England a 2-1 victory over the Welsh.
— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) June 16, 2016
The buildup to this contest was strewn with jibes from the Welsh side. After all, England were the favorites going into this game and whatever advantage could be mustered up by Wales, and in particular Gareth Bale, was tried.
Leading up to the game, Gareth Bale called out England on their passion and said that Wales presented far more pride than their English counterparts.
"I think we've got a lot more passion and pride about us than them." said the Real Madrid midfielder. He then went onto add that England "big themselves up" before actually doing anything, a comment that's fair but was definitely meant with malicious subtext.
England manager Roy Hodgson did not take the ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder's words very kindly and labeled them as 'disrespectful'.
"Receiving disrespectful comments is part and parcel of being a footballer and a football coach,'' said Hodgson
"I don't ever comment on other people. I've been in the game sufficiently long to know every opponent has got an opinion.''
Firing up an already elimination-threatened England turned out to be one of Bale's not-so wise decisions as Jamie Vardy struck an opportunistic goal in the 56th minute to spark celebrations on the England bench. Why Vardy, a Premier League winning striker with 25 goals to his credit this season for his club, doesn't make it to the final XI of Hodgson's team is incredulous.
Bale's comments received a further hit when a game that was heading towards draw and almost end England's European campaign, swerved in the favour of one Daniel Sturridge. The Liverpool striker had had an uneventful half up until that moment where a goalmouth melee resulted in him poking the ball into the back of the net and giving England a probably undeserved victory. But the passionate celebrations that England indulged in might just have been too much for a certain Welsh player.
If ever there is a time for Jamie Vardy's famous Facebook post to be mentioned, this would be it. Sorry Gareth Bale, but you did chat sh*t and your team got banged.