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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 22 October, 2019


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Ireland 0-0 England

No goals, not much entertainment and, thankfully, no trouble to report. There was always going to be hype around an Ireland-England fixture but it’s hard to look beyond the fact that this was nothing more than a warm-up game ahead of next weekend.

Martin O’Neill used the opportunity to get another look at players on the fringes and attentions now turn to Scotland, where victory is essential if Ireland are to have any hope of making Euro 2016.

Flag 94Mins

Full-time: Ireland 0 England 0 

Soccer - International Friendly - Republic of Ireland v England - Aviva Stadium Wayne Rooney questions a decision. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images


Walters robs Jagielka but falls over the Everton defender and concedes a free-kick. The Ireland fans aren’t happy with that decision.


Townsend’s drive is parried by Given and the ball is chipped back in where Coleman has to head away.

Theo Walcott is on for Lallana, meanwhile.


Smalling’s header is gathered up the second time of asking by Given.


Barkley holds onto the ball too long and is robbed. Ireland pour forward in numbers and Arter then blasts a shot past Hart’s goal.

Two changes for England – Phil Jagielka for Cahill and Jamie Vardy for Rooney. It’s the Leicester City man’s debut.


The legend that is Paul McShane has just joined the action. He’s on for O’Shea.


Barkley lashes the ball over the bar, then plays a beautiful ball to Milner after a surging run. McClean has tracked his man all the way and makes a timely challenge to win Ireland a goal-kick.


Sterling goes to ground easy and the ref is having none of it. Minutes later, the ball falls to the feet of Henderson and he blazes over.

That’s Sterling’s final involvement. He leaves with Andros Townsend coming on. Everton’s Ross Barkley has also just replaced Wilshere.


SENIOR INTERNATIONAL DEBUT KLAXON! Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter is introduced with Whelan making way.


Decent opportunity for Ireland. McClean lays off to Walters and his drive it batted away by Hart. McGeady follows up but takes a poor touch and the chance is gone.


England are probing for an opener again with Rooney and Jones both failing to test Westwood with headers.

And here comes Shay Given to take the Ireland keeper’s place. The Aston Villa man is getting a half hour.


Rooney looks to score with a free-kick from 25 yards but it’s comfortable for Westwood to catch.


Another Irish change – Murphy leaves the pitch for Jon Walters. He will be kicking himself that he didn’t stake a claim for the Scotland game with a goal.


England work the ball well with Lallana and Sterling involved. Henderson gets a shot 20 yards out and it’s blocked as far as Sterling. He attempts to curl the ball into the top corner but is unable to find the target.


A Brady free-kick runs through to Hart and bounces out off the Man City keeper’s chest.


Wilson is caught out by Henderson and he threads the ball into the feet of Rooney, who looks to be through one-on-one. His touch is horribly heavy, however, and the ball runs through to Westwood.

Flag 46Mins

The teams are back out on the pitch and Ireland have made two changes. Shane Long, who scored when the sides last met at Wembley in 2013, is on for David McGoldrick, while James McClean replaces James McCarthy. That second switch means Hendrick is moved into the middle, with McGeady going right and McClean on the left.


Half-time: Ireland 0-0 England

Soccer - International Friendly - Republic of Ireland v England - Aviva Stadium Daryl Murphy and Chris Smalling contest a high ball. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images


Lallana has a pop from distance and Westwood dives but it’s a couple of yards over the bar.

Down the other end, McGeady plays in Goldrick, whose left-footed shot is blocked behind for a corner. They keep the pressure on and earn another corner before the whistle goes for half-time.


A bit of back and forth from both ends of the ground now. England kick off with God Save The Queen, before Ireland’s singing section belt out The Fields of Athenry. All very jovial.


Hendrick blocks Bertrand and England have a free-kick in a decent area. Lallana clips it to the back post but Smalling misjudges the flight of the ball.


Chance! Yet another set-piece from Brady is sent into a dangerous area where Murphy is on-hand to direct it disappointingly off-target. You would expect better from the Championship’s top scorer.


More decent passages of play from Ireland. Murphy and McGoldrick have been excellent in holding the ball up and bringing other players into play.


The best chance of the game by a long way. A long ball is headed into the path of Murphy by Hendrick and he shoots just wide of Hart’s post with the outside of his boot.


Sterling has been heavily-involved in the last few minutes but he is getting jeered and booed for every touch. Presumably Liverpool fans but it would make you laugh.


An Ireland free-kick is whipped in with venom from Brady and Rooney has to stretch to take it off the toe of Hendrick. From the corner, the Derby County midfielder connects with a header but it’s weak and Hart collects.


Brady hits Raheem Sterling with a heavy (but fair) challenge and the Liverpool man goes down holding his face.

England’s first corner is cleared and McGeady looks to find McCarthy on the break but he is snuffed out.


Wayne Rooney with his first meaningful touch as he looks to find some space on the edge of the box but the Manchester United captain goes down very easily under a challenge from Marc Wilson. Referee waves play on.


The Boys in Green have begun promisingly here and have had all the possession in the opening seven minutes. They earn a third corner and Hart comes to punch, before Hendrick fouls Lallana.


Great feet from Seamus Coleman there to get away to two opponents and earn a free-kick.

Ireland have set up in a 4-4-2 with Jeff Hendrick taking up a position on the right wing, McGeady on the opposite side and Whelan partnering McCarthy in midfield. That leaves Murphy and McGoldrick up front.


Ireland kick-off and are immediately on the attack. They win two corners in quick succession but Northern Irish referee Arnold Hunter then gives a free-kick to England. Bright start.

That’s the two national anthems out of the way, where there was (expectedly) more booing from the Ireland fans during God Save The Queen. Right, let’s get to the football.

The England fans attempt to get a chant going but it’s roundly booed by the home supporters.

Here come the two teams…

We’re 15 minutes away from kick-off and the stadium is filling up nicely. There’s a huge roar from both sets of fans as Jack Charlton is introduced to the crowd. Nice touch.

Jack Charlton is introduced to the crowd Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Fans having fun with a cardboard cut-out of Sepp Blatter outside the stadium earlier.

Soccer - International Friendly - Republic of Ireland v England - Aviva Stadium Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

IRELAND: Westwood, Coleman, Wilson, O’Shea (c), Brady, McCarthy, Whelan, Hendrick, McGeady, McGoldrick, Murphy.

ENGLAND: Hart, Jones, Cahill, Smalling, Bertrand, Henderson, Wilshere, Milner, Lallana, Sterling, Rooney.

The big news from an Irish point of view is that Keiren Westwood starts in goal ahead of Shay Given, David Forde and Darren Randolph, while Ipswich Town duo Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick are named in attack.

It look like a 4-3-3 with Robbie Brady continuing at left full-back and James McCarthy, Glenn Whelan and Jeff Hendrick in midfield. That would leave Aiden McGeady joining Murphy and McGoldrick in a front three.

England, meanwhile, have named a strong starting XI. Jack Wilshere joins Liverpool pair Jordan Henderson and James Milner in the centre of the park and it’s two more Reds players — Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling — are alongside Wayne Rooney up top.

GOOD AFTERNOON AND welcome along to the Aviva Stadium, where we’re in our seats for a particularly early kick-off. 20 years on from one of the darkest nights in the history of Irish football, England return to Dublin for what’s sure to be a much more pleasant experience.

There’s a strong Garda presence in the city centre and around the stadium but so far, so good, as no trouble has been reported. We’re just under an hour away from kick-off and the teams have just dropped.

About the author:

Ben Blake