The fall-out from Seamus Coleman's abhorrent injury dominated the post-game reaction at the Aviva last night. Martin O'Neill looked visibly shaken as he spoke to RTE. He said it was a decent point if not a perfect performance, but admitted that his mind was consumed by the injury to Seamus Coleman, and admitted that Gareth Bale's tackle on John O'Shea moments before was not good.
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) March 24, 2017
Chris Coleman also spoke to RTE afterward, in which he stressed that Neil Taylor was "not that kind of player", adding that Taylor was upset by the tackle and denied that there was any intent in the challenge.
The post-match press conference was "tense", per Chris Wathan of Wales Online. and Coleman had a pop back at Ireland over a frenetic, physical game in Dublin, saying that there were a number of Irish players who were fortunate to escape punishment for their challenges. Repeating his odd, "British Derby" refrain, Coleman said the following:
It was a typically British derby game, there was needle all the way through the game. I’m not complaining about that. A couple of your [Ireland] boys were lucky to stay on the pitch, it was a little bit of both. Your boys did not come off with halos above their heads.
This was a tense press conference https://t.co/ZmwW4SKjLT
— Chris Wathan (@ChrisWathan) March 25, 2017
The most notable incident involving an Irish player was this clash between Glenn Whelan and Joe Allen, with the Irish midfielder thrusting his elbow into his Stoke teammate's jaw.
Ashley Williams was also deeply unhappy with a challenge by Shane Long a couple of minutes earlier.
As for Gareth Bale's egregious lunge on John O'Shea, Coleman pleaded the fifth:
As for the Bale tackle, I’m going to sit on the fence. I’ve not seen it on television, I’ve only seen it in real time and for me, he has to go for it.
I think we are making a bigger deal out of it because it’s Gareth Bale. It was a physical game, there were tackles flying in all game. I don’t want to see anyone sent off, but their tackles flying in everywhere, some from Ireland’s boys, some from our boys.
We’ll see it one way, Ireland will probably see it another way. We didn’t expect to come here, get the ball down and win by playing pretty football.
Bale himself had a rather strange defence for his tackle.