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Dublin: 18 °C Saturday 24 August, 2019
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Bale's stunning strike further exposes the gulf in class between Wales and Ireland

Martin O’Neill’s side were beaten 4-1 in Cardiff.

ALL OF THE negativity hanging over Martin O’Neill’s Ireland squad in the build-up to this Uefa Nations League campaign translated into a horribly sluggish performance in Cardiff, as Wales recorded a thumping 4-1 win. 

It took the home side just six minutes to cut Ireland apart, as Joe Allen was given time and space to slide a perfectly-weighted ball down the side of Ciaran Clark for Joe Lawrence to hammer past Darren Randolph at the near-post. 

Ireland found themselves two down in the 18th minute.

Jeff Hendrick’s loose ball saw an Irish move break down, and Wales clinically took advantage as Ben Davies’ 60-yard ball picked out Gareth Bale on the right, with the Real Madrid forward cutting inside to curl a sweet strike into the top corner.  

And things went from bad to worse for the visitors either side of the break, as Jon Walters was dispossessed in midfield and Aaron Ramsey rifled home from a tight angle, before Connor Roberts made it 4-0, finishing off a brilliant move from the hosts.

Substitute Shaun Williams pulled one back for Ireland after capitalising on Ramsey’s mistake, lifting the ball delightfully over Wayne Hennessey, but it was a night to forget for the Boys in Green. 

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Ryan Bailey

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