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Here Are The Irish Player Ratings Live From Bloody Dreamland

Here Are The Irish Player Ratings Live From Bloody Dreamland
By Gavin Cooney
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Darren Randolph - 7.5

The turf surrounding's Randolph goalmouth was hideous, and any qualms we had surrounding his kicking from open play were heightened when he screwed a ball out of pay in the opening stages. Grew into the game, however, growing increasingly confident with the all at his feet:

Was beaten all ends up by the Insigne shot that bounced off the post, and we had the customary mad punch off his line in the 80th minute.

Seamus Coleman - 8

Coleman was handed the honour of captaining his country, and he set the tone early. Where he typified Ireland's passive approach against Belgium, he set the tone for this, proactive performance: clattering Di Sciglio within the first thirty seconds, in a tackle which may be spoken in the same, awestruck tone as Roy Keane's mincing of Marc Overmars in 2001. Defensively sound, but Coleman disappointed going forward  Coleman watched Euro 2012 from a bar in Donegal. Four years on, he was determined to make the most of this belated opportunity. Delighted for him.

Shane Duffy - 7

Duffy was brought into the side for his added aerial threat. Had some shaky defensive moments in the first half, including an awful pass-back to Randolph and a positional misjudgement in first-half stoppage time that was thankfully alleviated by some superb covering by Richard Keogh. Better in the second half, beguiled by one superb defensive header underneath his crossbar on the hour mark.

Richard Keogh - 8

Keogh was marvellously solid, covering for Duffy and stepping up to win the ball frequently. A nonsense not starting him previous to this.

Stephen Ward - 6.5

Ward was harshly given a 2 in L'Equipe's player ratings for his performance against Belgium and was much improved tonight. Defensively solid against Sturaro, although his crossing left much to be desired: some of those high chipped balls seemed to graze the closed roof of the stadium. In the most Irish of all things: he was grand.

James McCarthy - 7

The inclusion of McCarthy over Glenn Whelan was arguably O'Neill's biggest selection call. McCarthy thrived in the solo midfield role in Whelan's absence against Germany in the qualifiers, but the tournament thus far has been the nightmare from which McCarthy could not wake. McCarthy looked patently unfit as the Belgian game wore on, but he was very good in this game.

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Did not get on the ball as much as Hendrick, but was defensively solid, before being subbed for Hoolahan. His importance uring the game was borne out within seconds of his substitution: Italy found space for the first time, with Insigne clattering Randolph's left-hand post.

Jeff Hendrick - 7

Ireland's best player on the ball in the first half, and grazed the upright with a long-range shot in the first half. Faded as the second-half wore on.

Robbie Brady   - 8

The set-piece specialist was suspect on placed balls but marvellous from open play. Brilliant from a more central role, including a super run  for the goal.

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He found pockets of space consistently, linking well with Hendrick and Coleman, to whom he switched play very effectively. We did, however, need his set-piece delivery to be on point, and as the game wore on, Brady shanked free-kicks into the arms of Sirigu with  exasperating regularity. but who cares. He fucking scored.

James McClean - 7.5 

A fine performance by McClean, an ever-willing runner, drawing a number of fouls from Italian defenders. Not all of these were outside the box, although the ones outside the area were the only ones given:

 

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McClean was also excellent in supporting Ireland's strikers.

Darryl Murphy - 7

Murphy's hold-up play was outstanding, less the anticipated battering ram than a lanky stick of velcro: the outlet Ireland desperately needed up front against Belgium. Sadly spent most of the game looking towards Darren Randolph rather than Sirigu. Made way for Aiden McGeady on 70.

Shane Long - 6

This tournament is condensed in the images of an exasperated and anguished Long complain in disbelief to referees at his being penalised for fouls on opposition defenders. He got little change out of Ogbonna, and was ultimately booked for sarcasm:

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If you were to break Shane Long's tournament down to a pie chart, 60% was spent on the deck, 20% chasing balls into the channels, with the remaining 20% of it spent on his heels in the penalty area, too slow to react to a good Irish cross. The latter happened here in the 72nd minute, with Long out of position to capitalise on an excellent McClean cross.

Substitutions: 

Wes Hoolahan - 9

OH MY GOD WHAT A MISS WES WHAT A MISS FUC- OH GOD WHAT A PASS HOLY SHIT WHAT A PASS WHAT A GOAL

Aiden McGeady - 6

Threatening to give the nation an aneurysm before Brady and Wes combined.

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Stephen Quinn - 10 

Gets a ten because he came on when we were winning.

Referee Rating: 

See Also: Here Is The Final Draw For The Euro 2016 Knockout Stages, Featuring The Republic Of Ireland

See Also: Here Are The Irish Player Ratings Live From Bloody Dreamland

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