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Dublin: 4°C Friday 5 March 2021

Player ratings: Here's how we thought the Boys in Green did against Italy

Martin O’Neill’s side held the four-time World Cup winners to a 0-0 draw.

Ireland Jeff Hendrick with Marco Verratti of Italy.
Ireland Jeff Hendrick with Marco Verratti of Italy.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

David Forde 7 – A couple of good saves from Marchisio and pounced on any loose balls in the box. Rightfully Ireland’s number one right now.

Seamus Coleman 6 – A quiet enough night for the Everton full-back who didn’t get forward as much as we’re used to seeing but went about his defensive duties with wholehearted effort.

Alex Pearce 6 – Unlucky to catch Riccardo Montolivo late with his trailing leg early on which resulted in a suspected broken leg for the midfielder. Made some timely interceptions in a decent performance.

John O’Shea 7 - The Ireland skipper marshalled the backline well with a number of solid tackles.

Stephen Ward 6 – Recovered from an early slip and went about his business well.

Aiden McGeady 6 -Showed nice touches at times and did excellently to create the Long chance but not as influential as we would all like him to be.

David Meyler 6 - Well-struck shot on target after 27 minutes tested Sirigu and never stopped closing down blue shirts throughout the 90 minutes.

Jeff Hendrick 7 – Super work rate from the Derby County man alongside Meyler and definitely a player who will bring something to the Irish midfield going forward.

Anthony Pilkington 8 -  The Norwich winger impressed in his fourth senior appearance and showed Messi-like technique to evade several challenges. Drove a shot narrowly wide in the second half.

Wes Hoolahan 7 - Always looking to find an opening with his intelligent passing and put Long through early in the second half before being substituted.

Shane Long - Really needs to be more clinical. Headed straight at Sirigu from McGeady’s cross, then couldn’t beat the keeper when put through by Hoolahan early in the second half.

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James McClean 6 – Lively on the left when introduced and created the chance of the match for Quinn with a strong run.

Stephen Quinn 5 - Had a golden opportunity to put Ireland 1-0 up after coming off the bench but smashed his strike off the crossbar.

Simon Cox 6 – Worked hard to find a winner in the latter stages of the game.

Paul Green – Not on long enough.

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About the author:

Ben Blake

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