Two of the world’s finest attacking midfielders shared a pitch at the Cardiff City Stadium on Friday night as Gareth Bale’s Wales and Eden Hazard’s Belgium clashed in a Euro 2016 qualifier.
Real Madrid’s Bale, who has been persistently linked with a summer move to Manchester United, scored the game’s only goal on his 50th senior international appearance as Wales recorded one of their best results in their recent history.
The former Tottenham Hotspur winger was subbed off on 87 minutes due to a slight injury concern, while Hazard played the whole 90.
But which player made the best impression? We check it out below.
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Bale had just 45 touches of the ball – 24 fewer than Hazard. However, Bale was much busier overall, as he did more defensive work that the Belgian, who was almost a passenger when Wales were in possession.
Both players are brilliant at running at their opponents. Bale had slightly more success on Friday – completing four dribbles, compared to Hazard’s two. However, Hazard won five free kicks – four more than Bale.
Hazard attempted three crosses, while Bale delivered just one. All four were unsuccessful in reaching their desired target.
Overall Hazard has a better pass success rate. 81.8% of his 55 passes worked out as intended, compared to just 74.2% of Bale’s 33.
However, shooting accuracy was the crucial stat on the night. Bale had just one shot and scored with it, finishing calmly and crispy, as you can watch below. Hazard, on the other hand, registed three shots and failed to even force a save with any of them.