Man City players defend Joe Hart against harsh criticism from manager Roberto Mancini
Manchester City players stepped in front of the media to defend goalkeeper Joe Hart following harsh comments from their manager Roberto Mancini. The Italian manager was angry at his goalkeeper after Manchester City’s 3-2 defeat against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.
Roberto Mancini labelled Joe Hart responsible for losing a 2-1 lead within five minutes. Senior players from the Manchester City squad closed ranks around Joe Hart and offered support to the England international.
Critics have lambasted against Joe Hart for letting in Cristiano Ronaldo’s 90th minute strike which gave Real Madrid the lead.
“It wasn't Joe's fault,” declared Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany. “It floated past everyone, the way it went down. It's one of those things. There’s not many players in the world who can do that but unfortunately for us he is one of them.”
Vincent Kompany, who is Manchester City’s number one defender, was given the responsibility of tracking Cristiano Ronaldo whenever the Portuguese star came forward. Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany did well to keep Cristiano Ronaldo at bay for most of the game.
“It just floated,” Vincent Kompany continued. “Joe initially thought I might have been able to get it. But there was no chance. It was [to] the side of me and it just floated. I think he's one of the only players that can do that. He's got that skill.
“There's nothing much you can do once he has the chance to take that shot, all you can do is try and close down the space to do that. We hoped that moment would not have come. It happens sometimes - he has shots like that. He was too quick, the way it floated. By the time you got in position it's already gone.”
Joe Hart was one of Manchester City’s top performers in the night prior to Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal. The 25-year-old England international made a number of impressive saves till Cristiano Ronaldo’s dipping shot went past him.
“The same as everyone else: he's played a great game and made some unbelievable saves and to have a couple of deflections beat him in the end is disappointing,” Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry said after the game. “His head's down but he'll realize when he gets home he's played a great game as well.”