Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Joe Still One of the Best in World ; Nasri Believes Blues Keeper Is Up There with Neuer and Buffon

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Joe Still One of the Best in World ; Nasri Believes Blues Keeper Is Up There with Neuer and Buffon

Article excerpt

SAMIR Nasri has sprung to the defence of under-fire Joe Hart, saying he is England's first truly world-class goalkeeper for a long time.

And because he is one of the top five on the planet, the French ace is backing Hart to come back strongly from the errors which helped Bayern Munich to a 3-1 mauling of City on Wednesday night.

Hart allowed Franck Ribery's sixth-minute shot to squirm under his hand, and the German aces took full advantage to rack up the Blues' first European home defeat in 20 matches.

He was also unconvincing when Arjen Robben smashed a shot at his near post which Hart also failed to keep out to make it 3-0 to the visitors.

Now Hart needs to bounce back in City's lunchtime clash with Everton at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow before heading off for England's crucial World Cup qualifying matches next week.

But Nasri is backing the keeper to come back hard. He said: "When you are a top player like Joe, you don't have problems with confidence. Sometimes you can have a rough patch. But he knows everyone is behind him at the club.

"The good thing for Joe and the rest of us is that we play tomorrow at 12.45 so we don't need to think too long about what happened on Wednesday."

Nasri also named Hart as one of the best five keepers in the world, along with the man who stood at the other end on Wednesday night, Manuel Neuer, and Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon.

"I think it's Neuer, Joe Hart and maybe Hugo Lloris," said Nasri. "Then Buffon too. Joe is in the world's top five, easily. I am not worried about him. For the first time in along time, England have a world-class goalkeeper."

That view was backed up by Micah Richards, who said it was unfair to single Hart out for criticism against Bayern when all 11 men in the starting line-up had errors against their names.

"We all make mistakes," said Richards. …

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