I was watching the highlights of the Champions League games when I came across this work of art. Let’s have a look at some pictures.
Bale brings the ball into the penalty area. Nothing wrong with that, it’s a clever approach. Then he keeps it closer to his left foot and away from the defender. Once again, an intelligent bit of football. So far so good.
Then he kicks it forward with his left foot as he sees the defender diving in. Still nothing wrong.
After that is the truly artistic part. Keep an eye on his right leg and the defender’s left leg.
There is a great deal of daylight between the two.
In the above image, the defenders leg is on the ground. Bale could have easily continued his run but he lets his left leg hang.
We can see he is already on his way down without any contact. In a way he forces contact by falling on the defender.
Let’s look at this from another angle.
The first angle showed us just how much distance there was between Bale’s right leg and the defender’s left leg in one dimension. This angle shows us the other dimension. It’s clear from the picture above.
Even when the defender’s leg is on the ground, Bale’s leg isn’t even close.
Finally he just drags his right leg onto the defender.
The angle from the back clearly shows us daylight between the two players. The last three images also give us a perspective on the distance between them. If you only see the last image or this angle alone, something that the ref might have seen, it could look like a penalty. But see both the angles and try to visualize in three dimensions, you’ll see it’s a pretty blatant dive.
The funny part is the ref’s assistant was barely five yards away just behind the goal line. What’s the point of having these assistants if they can’t see such a dive? One could argue that a true artist can fool a ref’s assistant even at five yards. By that logic Bale deserves an Oscar for his theatrics.
If you add to this the fact that the first and third penalties were a joke, Huddlestone should have been sent off for a violent arm in the face of an opponent, and the inconsistency with the penalty not given for the Crouch handball, you have to wonder what’s going on?
Wonder what ‘Arry, he of the ‘Nasri dived’ fame, thinks of this? Perhaps, in twitchyland, it’s only a dive when your shirt has been tugged and not when you just milk a mistimed tackle that doesn’t really touch you.
The sad part was that almost everyone in the media has missed this one. Could it be that they didn’t even bother checking since this is an honest British lad we’re talking about? Someone please enlighten me if the definition of contact or foul is different in the British Isles.
Anyway, this dive or the diabolical performance by the ref doesn’t bother me. As long as Sagna knows what he will be up against I’ve no concern. For now, let’s just applaud an artistic genius.