Bell of the ball

While England thumped Montenegro at Wembley on Friday night, there were mixed fortunes for Wales and Northern Ireland.

Last Updated: 13/10/13 at 10:50 Post Comment

Bellamy: qutting international football

Bellamy: qutting international football

Chris Coleman's Dragons recorded a 1-0 victory over Macedonia in Craig Bellamy's final international at the Millennium Stadium, with Charlton striker Simon Church netting his country's goal and in-form Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey missing a late spot-kick.

Read our report here

But Northern Ireland followed up last month's loss in Luxembourg with another disappointing reverse, this time in Azerbaijan, with Michael O'Neill's side defeated 2-0 and seeing Jonny Evans red carded for a cynical challenge in stoppage time.

Read our report here

Wales and Northern Ireland were not in the running for a place in next summer's World Cup in Brazil, with just pride and group position at stake in their penultimate games.

And after the clashes the Sky Sports experts - Mark Bowen and David Healy - gave their thoughts on how their nations performed...

Former Wales left-back and current Stoke assistant manager Mark Bowen

"In his last game at home, Bellamy could have pulled rank when Wales got the penalty but the fact he didn't shows his professionalism, while he was a constant menace to Macedonia throughout the game. He will be such a miss because of what he brings in terms of pace and energy.

"Ramsey, meanwhile, delivered a midfield masterclass, running things from start to finish - he took a pub player's penalty, mind you! - and Coleman's game-plan, with a lot of new players, worked very well. However, it will be a major bonus if we come away with anything from Belgium on Tuesday (7.55pm, Sky Sports 3)."

David Healy - Northern Ireland's record goalscorer (36 in 95 games)

"It was very disappointing; the performance was a little bit better than the Luxembourg game but we have had the same disappointment on the road. I'm sure O'Neill will have a go at Evans about his ill-discipline - I love Jonny but had no idea what he was thinking when he pulled the Azerbaijan player down - but we had one chance in the second half when Martin Paterson hit the post and that was it.

"Azerbaijan like to play out from the back and we didn't guard against that; we had the numbers advantage when they broke for their first goal but players were sloppy in defence, which has been a concern over the campaign. Michael's doing everything he can but he just doesn't have the number of experienced players we had in the past - and he is not getting any luck."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

L

oved the article. i remember at school, after failing an exam, I would become obscenely secretly happy if I discover that others failed as well. Misery loves company...Now here is to hoping Chelsea joins the party and Stoke city wins the league...Cheers!

gabu
The Premier League: As Crazy As A Bag Of Snakes

C

haos reached its ultimate reckoning last weekend with Tony Hibbert looking assured at left back and Osman looking like a cultured ball playing midfielder before busting a gut to get to the back post for a Samuel Eto'o ball. Different chaos but chaos. If Kone scores the winner tonight I fear the world will end.

jelasfirsttouch
The Premier League: As Crazy As A Bag Of Snakes

A

beautiful demonstration of why stats mean diddly-squat in football.

cheshire-gooner
WhoScored's PL Team Of 2014 So Far...

Footer 365

Premier League: Gus Poyet challenges Sunderland to be the first team to beat Chelsea

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has challenged his players to become the first team to beat Chelsea this season.

Brandao jailed over headbutt on Motta

Brazilian striker Brandao jailed and fined 20,000 euros (£15,850) for headbutting Paris Saint-Germain's Thiago Motta.

Premier League: Arsenal's Jack Wilshere has ankle surgery and will be out for around three months

Arsenal will be without Jack Wilshere for around three months after the midfielder underwent ankle surgery.

Mail Box

Arsenal Fans Are Full Of Hope Again...

Arsenal fans have been sucked back into believing Wenger can bring the glory years back after beating Borussia Dortmund. Plus, more on Liverpool's worrying decline...

Makes Sense To Make Gerrard Liverpool Manager

That's the thoughts of one Mailboxer, who wants Jamie Carragher as defensive coach. Plus views on Arsenal, Malmo v Juventus, Alexis Sanchez & tremendous improvement...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property