Hart heroics keep City in the running
- Thu 04 Oct 2012, 8:00AM
- Posted by Mark Booth
City’s goalkeeper comes in for deserved praise from all quarters as the media reflects on City’s late rally for a point against Borussia Dortmund.
The common consensus seems to be that if Dortmund had inflicted a defeat on City that appeared likely for long stretches last night, then the Blues would be out of the running to qualify from Group D.
As it was, they were met by a goalkeeper at the absolute peak of his game, as Martin Samuel writes in his Daily Mail column.
“It may have taken a little while for the axe to fall but City's heads would have been on the block had they ended with nil points from two matches in Europe,” writes Samuel.
“Hart was considered to have made a mistake for the third goal in Madrid last month, but he had kept City alive for much of the first half. Wednesday night's performance was even better, arguably the best of his career.
“Dortmund could find plenty of ways through City's defence, but no way past Hart.”
...Martin Samuel - Daily Mail...
Ian Herbert of the Independent picked up the baton on the Hart appreciation.
“Hart may never again match his display, which dwarfed even his first-half performance in Madrid, and it was enough to have made the night a rather punishing one for the Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, a spectator, who decided against paying Shrewsbury Town £100,000 for him six years ago,” he wrote.
“Two wins, home and away, against the Dutch champions Ajax seems like a minimum requirement and beyond that they will probably need to win either the return game against Real or their a trip to Dortmund's Westfalenstadion in their final assignment of an unforgiving group.”
Elsewhere, Ben Smith of the BBC signs off his column on the uphill task facing City with some notes of encouragement for concerned Blues.
“It would be foolhardy to rule out a team who clinched the Premier League title in the manner City did last May,” it reads.
“With their fate hanging by a thread against Dortmund, City salvaged a point they did not deserve thanks to Mario Balotelli's late penalty and Hart's heroics to ensure their hopes of qualifying are still realistically intact.
“Beware the wounded animal. Disappointment does not rest easy with Mancini but there is much to do if they are to prevent the nightmare from becoming a reality.”
Finally, Hart’s heroics even drew praise from one of the most unexpected sources – Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney took to Twitter to describe his England colleague as the best around.
Rooney tweeted: "Have to say joe hart has been incredible. For me best keeper in the world"
Don't think there'll be too many disagreeing with Master Wayne after last night's showing...