Football

The Irish Player Ratings On A Devastating Night Vs Denmark

The Irish Player Ratings On A Devastating Night Vs Denmark

The dream start... Or was it? When Shane Duffy poke the ball past Kasper Schmeichel before Denmark had even arrived, the roar around the Aviva suggests all in attendance forgot how bad we tend to play when we take an early lead.

There was no questioning the commitment and the desire in the first half an hour, but Denmark's leveller was a shock to the system that neither the fans or the players could recover from before we were hit again by a knockout blow.

Once the infuriatingly classy Eriksen had bagged his second of the game soon into the second-half, we were looking ahead to the Euro 2010 qualification group draw. When we have to open up, we look like we could concede any number of goals. 5-1 was the final score, and it could have been more for the visitors.

Denmark were deserved winners as we just didn't have the fire-power to compete, but here is how we rated the Ireland players in the second leg.

Darren Randolph - 7

Made two super saves before conceding two quick-fire goals that he could do nothing about. It was the same again in the second-half, nothing he could do, failed by the defending in front of him.

Cyrus Christie - 6

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A terrific start to the match, picking up where he left off in Copenhagen where he was one of our best performances. Unlucky with the error for the goal, but he seemed like the only one who didn't lose confidence as a result. His attitude is outstanding and it's a real shame that our right-back is the only player who likes to take a man on and try to dribble into the box.

Shane Duffy - 8

Future Ireland captain, not only our best defender but probably our best-attacking theat as well. Scored the goal that we all hoped would be enough and didn't put a foot wrong after that, our man of the campaign. Nobody should be worried about North Korea's nuclear missles because if they launch one we can just sent Shane Duffy up to head it away.

Ciaran Clark - 6

Another decent showing without doing much to warrant special mention, himself and Duffy have formed a partnership we can rely on going forward.

Stephen Ward - 4

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Could not have picked a worse time for his first mistake in years, one of the most reliable players over this campaign, a terrible decision to try and beat Yussuf Poulsen cost us the goal that sucked the life out of the Aviva Stadium. The timing of his second mistake in years was also far from ideal, and was again punished by a goal. A bad night for a good player.

David Meyler - 5

You got the sense that he was trying too hard when himself and James McClean both tried to clear the same ball early on, and had to make way for the creativity of Wes Hoolahan once we went in trailing at half-time meaning he wouldn't have made the impact on the game he wanted.

Harry Arter - 4

Will be having nightmares about Pione Sisto popping the ball through his legs for a while to come. Withdrawn at half-time as we needed more creativity on the pitch, not the Bournemouth man's finest showing in an Ireland jersey.

Jeff Hendrick - 4

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Lucky to keep his place on the pitch when Arter and Meyler were withdrawn at half-time as while neither of those players offer a goal threat, at least they offered something. Can't be guaranteed his place anymore.

Robbie Brady - 4

We haven't yet found a role to get the most out of Robbie Brady. We're not getting enough from one of our better technical players, but his set-pieces are usually good enough to make him one of our most influential players regardless. Tonight they weren't up to scratch, and it wasn't pretty.

James McClean - 6

Deployed as left-wing, right-wing, and striker all at the same time, McClean ran himself into the ground in the first half chasing every lost cause and never giving a Dane an extra second on the ball. Missed a good chance with a header shortly after the hour mark and wouldn't get another one.

Daryl Murphy - 6

Gave it his best, we couldn't ask for anything more from big Murph. Did an excellent job of holding up the ball against two centre-halves on his own and covered every blade of grass he could.

Substitutes - 4

Desperation in throwing on McGeady and Hoolahan, who were always going to struggle against the physicality of the Danish midfield and thus offered very little. McGeady's inability to beat the first man with a cross is bordering parody at this stage. Poor Shane Long can't buy a goal either, and when he dinked his one good chance over the bar it sort of summed up our night.

Bitterly, bitterly disappointing.

Mikey Traynor

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