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Ireland Player Ratings As Stephen Kenny's Side Hammer Scotland At The Aviva

Ireland Player Ratings As Stephen Kenny's Side Hammer Scotland At The Aviva
By Gary Connaughton

Gary Connaughton reporting from the Aviva Stadium

Well, that's more like it!

Ireland fans entered this evening's game against Scotland fearing the worst, with a failure to improve on their last two performances likely to result in yet another defeat for Stephen Kenny's side.

However, this was night and day compared to their previous pair of fixtures.

Ireland pressed brilliantly, attacked with cohesion, and largely looked very good in possession en-route to a fully deserved 3-0 victory.

Here's how we rated the performances on the day.

Ireland player ratings vs Scotland

Caoimhín Kelleher - 7

Had one routine stop to make in the opening 45 minutes, with the Liverpool player expertly sweeping up dangerous balls in behind on a couple of occasions.

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He wasn't asked to do much more after halftime, with Kelleher's only contribution being a couple of decent claims on crosses into the box.

Nathan Collins - 7

Collins looked very solid on the right side of the back three, although he was not asked many questions defensively in the first half. He did produce a couple of excellent carries into the middle third.

The 21-year old looks like he has been at this level for quite some time.

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Shane Duffy - 6

Got away with one after giving the ball in a very dangerous position early on.He got away with a similar wayward pass just before the half hour mark as Scotland fired just wide.

However, he was a menace at the other end. It was his knockdown that led to the Ireland opener, while he would also have his own effort directed onto the bar after a smart save from Gordon.

Duffy could have scored a hat-trick, but he easily could have given away as many at the other end. An odd game for him.

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John Egan - 7

Egan has little to do in a defensive sense in the opening 45 minutes, although he was perhaps the best Ireland defender on the ball. He pressed excellently in the second half, cutting out a couple of dangerous counterattacks.

In truth, it was a comfortable evening's work for the Cork man.

Alan Browne - 8

Almost opened the scoring early on when his cross was heading towards the bottom corner, only to be clawed away by Craig Gordon. He would manage to do so in the 20th minute, reacting quickest to Shane Duffy's knockdown and turning the ball home.

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Andy Robertson was not as much of a threat at the other end as was once feared, with Scotland struggling to get much going in attack. Always a willing runner and excellent on the ball, it was a very good performance from Browne.

James McClean - 7

Struggled on the ball early on, finding it difficult to pick out passes as Ireland played the ball into midfield. He was also caught out defensively on a couple of occasions.

McClean did improve quite a bit as the game went on, playing some lovely balls into the area both from set-pieces and open play. He will need to improve defensively if he is to nail down this spot in the team.

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Josh Cullen - 7

Needed to show more for the ball in the early stages, with the Scots packing the middle third to stop Ireland from playing out from the back. In fairness, he did press relentlessly when out of possession.

Cullen was better after the interval as Scotland dropped off a bit while also keeping that ferocity in the tackle.

Jayson Molumby - 8

Did not offer much on the ball in the opening half, seemingly passing it backward on the few occasions he did pick up possession.

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However, he did burst into life when asked to press the opposition and put in some excellent challenges. It was his turnover that led to the Obafemi goal in the second half, with Molumby leading the charge from Ireland and putting his body on the line on a number of occasions.

He was much improved after the halftime break and turned out to one of the team's better performers.

Jason Knight - 7

Produced a couple of trademark driving runs on the ball in the opening half, bringing a huge amount of energy to the Ireland team. Scotland seemed intent on fouling him whenever he got the ball at his feet.

It was another good performance from the Dubliner, who has to start every game for his team moving forward.

Troy Parrott - 8

Had a reasonably quiet opening to the game, but he burst into life just before the half hour mark. His clever run was brilliantly picked by Obafemi, with Parrott nodding home to extend Ireland's lead.

The forward certainly picked up his performance from that, producing some beautiful pieces of play in the final third. He exuded confidence, playing out of tight spaces on more than one occasion. Much more like it from the Spurs man in comparison to his performance in Armenia.

Michael Obafemi - 9

Pressed brilliantly from the front in the early stages, forcing the visitors into a few mistakes. His assist for Troy Parrott's goal was out of this world, brilliantly pciking out the run of his teammate to set up a simple finish.

Obafemi was brilliant in the first half, but the best was yet to come. He would score an absolute stunner just after the break to extend Ireland's lead to three.

He was given a standing ovation when taken off in the 55th minute. We need to see more of him in a green jersey.

Substitutes

Scott Hogan - 7

Came agonisingly close to his first Ireland goal, only for his header to be cleared off the line. Hogan pressed well after coming on.

 

Conor Hourihane - 6

The game was well won by the time Hourihane came on in the 73rd minutes, with Scotland having a bit more possession from that point as the game petered out. As a result, the midfielder did not have much of an impact.

 

Jeff Hendrick & Callum Robinson - N/A

Not on long enough to rate.

 

SEE ALSO: Bray Wanderers Fans Condemned For Disgraceful Behaviour At Longford Town

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