Spotlight: Joe Hart v Chelsea
- Mon 25 Feb 2013, 11:18AM
- Posted by @dclayton_MCFC
We turn the spotlight on City keeper Joe Hart - guardian of the best defence in the Premier League so far this campaign.
The man who was unmasked as The Harlem Shaker and is on course for a third successive Golden Glove award for most clean sheets kept in the Premier League during the season, proved exactly why he is England's No.1 with - in many ways - a match-winning save during the 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday.
Roberto Mancini believes his goalkeeper can become even better and wants perfection from his charge because he knows what he is capable of. The Blues' boss said: “Joe is the best keeper in England and one of the best in Europe. I’m pleased he saved the penalty but a keeper like him can do better.
I want him to be perfect and he could be if he wants. He is the best
...Mancini on Hart...
The Press were generally as one in their praise of Joe's penalty save from Frank Lampard.
"Lampard, handed the chance to score his 200th Chelsea goal, shot low to Hart’s right, only to see his England team-mate produce a stunning save.
"It was a turning point. Chelsea had fluffed their chance to take an undeserved lead and it imbued City with the determination to make their early dominance pay."
"As Ba raced at goal he eluded Kolo Touré before Hart went to challenge him. He tried to pull out but there was contact so Andre Marriner pointed to the spot. Yet Lampard's kick was saved impressively by the goalkeeper and Kolo Touré scrambled it away for a corner.
"Hart's effort roused his team-mates. Silva, again, was the conductor-in-chief."
Finally, Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail wrote: "One goal short of 200 for Chelsea and three off Bobby Tambling’s club record, Lampard would have expected to score having converted his last 10 penalty attempts.
"But Hart second guessed his England colleague and was already diving to his right when Lampard drove the ball low towards the corner. There was nothing wrong with the shot but Hart got a hand to the ball and turned it away at full stretch. ‘A crucial moment in the game,’ admitted Benitez."
In Joe's words
"Lamps is a big hero of mine and it was nice to save it but I gave it away so I had to. It was just a case of trying to go the right way and getting a strong hand to it."
12: Joe has kept a dozen clean sheets in 27 Premier League matches this season - the best in the division.
Fixed penalty notice: Joe has saved four penalties for City so far - Danny Murphy, Cesc Fabregas, Lampard and Scott Sinclair have all seen spot-kicks saved by Hart.
30%: Joe has faced 23 penalties in his club and international career so far - he has saved seven which roughly equates to one save in three.
Spot King: Only Steven Gerrard can claim to have the upper hand against Joe with penalties having scored three against him so far (one while with Birmingham).
205: Appearances Joe has made for City so far.
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart "We'll not give up even if 12 points behind with one game to go"!!!— BBC Radio Manchester (@bbcradiomanc) February 24, 2013