'The home side’s double substitution summed up the gulf in class' - Danish media reaction to Irish loss
The Copenhagen Post has singled out Ireland's double substitution of Wes Hoolahan and Aiden McGeady as the single moment that summarised the gulf in class between Ireland and Denmark in last night's 5-1 drubbing at the Aviva Stadium.
A hat-trick from Tottenham Hotspurs midfielder Christian Eriksen effectively crushed any hopes that Ireland had of qualifying for next summer's FIFA World Cup in Russia after Martin O'Neill's side bowed out of the World Cup race 5-1 on aggregate.
With Ireland trailing 2-1 at half-time, after a Shane Duffy header had given the hosts an early lead, O'Neill brought on Norwich City midfielder Wes Hoolahan and Sunderland winger Aiden McGeady, the moment that apparently epitomised the gulf in class between the two sides according to The Copenhagen Post.
"It was always going to be Denmark’s night if they could find their A game, and besides Ericksen, the likes of Pione Sisto and Andreas Christensen also rose to the challenge.
"If any one moment summed up the gulf in class, it was the home side’s double substitution at half-time.
"In the 1994 World Cup trailing 0-2 to the Netherlands, they were able to call on the likes of Jason Macteer and Tony ‘I once had an Irish wolfhound’ Cascarino from the bench.
"Tonight, again needing two goals to save the game, they threw on Aiden McGeady of Sunderland and Wes Hoolahan of Norwich City – two players at English Championship sides, the division that national coach Martin O’Neill recruits over half his squad from.
"History has shown you can win the English Premier League with kids, but you certainly can’t win the World Cup with a team from the English Championship."
Meanwhile Danish tabloid Ekstrabladet were understandably elated with Christian Eriksen's performance and said that the Spurs midfielder added several chapters into the history books.
"I'VE WRITTEN IT before, but we tolerate a certain repetition: Christian Eriksen is absolutely at the peak of his career both at club and national team," wrote Allan Olsen.
"Against Ireland he was at the same time the youngest man ever to round the 75 international games, and a good WORLD cup in Russia will send him right up in the Michael/Brian Laudrup, Peter Schmeichel and Preben Elkjær-class.
"He is the offensive leader of the Danish national team and it has Åge Hareide also its share in the. Yes, maybe it nordmandens greatest triumph, that he has got Christian Eriksen to light so clearly as landsholdsstjerne, and exactly what has brought Denmark to the WORLD cup.
"Of COURSE a player like Christian Eriksen to the world's biggest football feast, where he is on top of the purchase can easily become the popular center of attention.
"In the match against Ireland, he sought all the time the empty space, and he was all the time the necessary offensive threat.
"It was a fight where you could write themselves into the history books, and Christian Eriksen did not with a page or two. It was several chapters verdensstjernen gaflede to him!"