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Ireland Player Ratings

Shay Given 6

Not much to say about his performance, other than we learned that he is still alive after his deployment in the background at Manchester City. Got down to save a first-half strike from Simon Church but was given little else to do by a team that his employers could buy with change on bedside table.

John O'Shea 6

With the newbie, Coleman, ahead of him, the Manchester United defender had a dual role here, and generally marshalled his flank quite well. A mistimed early tackle resulted in a chat with the Northern Irish referee, but he steadied the ship and ticked the relevant boxes from there on.

Richard Dunne 8

Thankfully, the Dubliner is back in favour at Aston Villa, so didn't need this game as badly as those around him. Guilty of a few misplaced long balls in early stages, but nothing got past him defensively, with the Welsh front men pretty much anonymous.

Sean St Ledger 7

Drew the loudest cheer of the first half by using his head at ground level to clear a Welsh attack. The Preston man has had little to smile about this year, and playing alongside three Premier League defenders probably offered a nice contrast. Satisfactory outing.

Ciaran Clark 7

Assured on the ball and it must be remembered that he is still only learning to play left-back, so that made his bow all the more impressive. Scythed down Robert Earnshaw when he switched off momentarily before break, yet regained composure and put in a solid shift to make a strong case for long-term inclusion.

Seamus Coleman 6

A confident first touch suggested a lack of nerves, but the Everton man suffered some frustration in his 57 minutes on the park with a few passes overhit and purposeful runs met with little movement in the area. No reason to be too despondent, though.

Glenn Whelan 6

Keen to be involved after Stoke priced him out of a January transfer window move, and was busy while also displaying some signs of rustiness. Clever break and deft feet instigated second-half counter-attack. Tidy in possession with Ireland on top.

Darron Gibson 6

What do you make of that? The suspicion remains that the Manchester United man really isn't suited to Trapattoni's favoured system, primarily because it places emphasis on protection rather than advancement. Devastating match-winner illustrated what he's capable of in opposition territory.

Damien Duff 7

Prominent in first half and really stepped up his performance level after the break, setting up chance for Long before losing his balance and shooting straight at Hennessey when presented with gilt-edged chance to break the deadlock. Made up for it when Walters gave him a second chance.

Kevin Doyle 6

His face bore the scars of a man who had gone through a bruising experience on Saturday, so little surprise he only figured for 45 minutes here. Generally starved of service and created two first-half openings from his own endeavour.

Jonathan Walters 7

Some good touches from the Stoke man in the opening period, showing the liveliness you would expect from a player looking to make a strong case for future inclusion. A few slack touches thereafter, but really picked it up after the break to give the Welsh defence a hard time and create the insurance goal.

Giovanni Trapattoni 7

He may have made a mess of the preliminaries with the James McCarthy situation, but his gamble on Walters worked, Clark impressed and, while the decision to withdraw Coleman raised eyebrows, Ireland did go on to win the game comfortably from there.


Shane Long 6 for Doyle 45 mins

The in-form Tipperary man put himself about without ever getting a break in the final third.

Keith Fahey 7 for Coleman 57 mins

Bounced back from his strange original exclusion to put the icing on the cake with a delightful free-kick to make it 3-0.

Andy Keogh 5 for Duff 71 mins

Buoyed by move to Bristol City at the weekend, although the game was up when he came on as a substitute here.

Paul Green 5 for Whelan 76 mins

Similar to Keogh, it was difficult for the newcomer to truly make an impact in the game.

Marc Wilson for Gibson 81 mins / Darren O'Dea for O'Shea 84 mins

Not on long enough to rate.

Irish Independent