Former Wales international Robbie Savage was left awestruck by Gareth Bale’s sumptuous free-kick as he took to social networking site Twitter in order to revel in the moment.
Yet, like all world class players, Bale has bounced back from that criticism well with a double against Levante two weeks ago and an inspirational display in Israel for the Welsh tonight.
Chris Coleman’s side headed into a meeting with the Group B table-toppers rather in the hope of pulling off victory than expectation, but their performance was reminiscent of side brimming with confidence.
The visitors took the lead through Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey before the former Spurs hero sealed the encounter shortly after half-time in exquisite fashion, prompting Savage to write on Twitter:
Wow bale 2-0— Robbie Savage (@RobbieSavage8) marzo 28, 2015
Gareth Bale is a wonderful player.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) marzo 28, 2015
Every player has the odd dip in form, it's how you respond that's important. Mr Bale appears to be responding well. Take note Merengues!— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) marzo 28, 2015
The world’s most expensive player’s strike took his tally to 15 goals in a Wales shirt, overtaking John Hartson in the all-time top scorers’ charts - though the striker didn’t mind, commenting on the BBC:
"One word for me on Gareth Bale - genius. There's actually an Israel player trying to get back on the line but he could do nothing,” Hartson was quoted as saying.
"Gareth Bale's now scored one more goal for Wales than my 14 - but when someone of his quality overtakes you, then you don't mind too much."
Before the evening was complete, Bale had time to add his second and Wales’ third - taking his tally to 16 - as he exchanged passes with Ramsey before side-footing home powerfully from inside the area,
The victory takes The Dragons to the top of their qualifying group, two points clear of Israel and momentarily six points clear of Belgium who travel to Cardiff for a crunch game this summer.