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Player ratings: here’s how we scored the Boys in Green tonight

Ireland gave something of a mixed bag in Poznan, here’s how we rated them.

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Shay Given -4: Three mistakes, which we would have described as uncharacteristic a week ago, but have become a feature for a goalkeeper who is nowhere close to full fitness.

His touch on Antonio Cassano’s header was weak, but his spilling of the preceding shot was worse.

John O’Shea -5: Personified the early increase in intensity from the group, he was back in Champions league mode.

A firm, fair challenge on the edge of his own box after 20 minutes set Aidan McGeady clear to counter attack, but the chance was wasted and O’Shea soon settled back into his comfort zone. Fortunate not to give penalty away for handball when flying in on Mario Balotelli.

Sean St. Ledger -6: Coped well with Italian threat in first half, got his body in the way at two vital times. Italians claimed a penalty from Antonio Cassano’s shot, but St Ledger stood firm with his shoulder taking the hit.

Richard Dunne – 6: His usual, rock solid self. Read Italian movement well to organise and hold the fort as St. Ledger picked up the scraps. Timely block on his six-yard-line early in the second half. Neither centre backs could be faulted for either goal.

Stephen Ward -4: Once again looked extremely uncertain of his position. One of many misplaced passes was easily intercepted to give the Azzuri possession in the final third which led to opening goal.

Damien Duff – 5: Marked his 100th (and possibly final) game for Ireland with one of his most ineffective displays. History will remember him for his exploits in 2002, not 2012. Managed to cause brief confusion by clearing from behind goal-line, that may have been a vital touch in days before goal-line officials.

Keith Andrews -7: Less than touch-tight to Cassano when the 35th minute corner was whipped in, but other than that he was Ireland’s best player. Showed he is dangerous from distance and forced rare saves from Gigi Buffon. Grew in stature until receiving his late red card and will be desperately unfortunate if he is not a Premier league player next season.

Glenn Whelan -6: Industry and fight in midfield, little more you can ask from the Stoke midfielder. But on occasions when open field did present itself he sought out difficult final passes which were beyond his ability.

Aidan McGeady -5: Wasteful in possession when the game was scoreless, but did provide some rare pace in breaking from the back. Would have played longer than 65 minutes if Duff were not on his 100th cap.

Kevin Doyle  - 6: Responded to being dropped with typical endeavour, but leading the line has so often proved a fruitless task in this side. Replaced by Jonathan Walters after 75 minutes.

Robbie Keane – 4: Running patterns were a touch on the manic side and when chances to dribble were presented he miscontrolled at vital moments. Goal scoring has always been his greatest skill and he was never given a sniff tonight.

Substitutes

Shane Long – 3: Given 25 minutes in place of McGeady, but unfairly played out of position and the ineffective result was predictable. A fine player in his position, not on the wing.

Jonathan Walters  - 3: Replaced Doyle with 15 minutes on the clock, gave Keane a foil and slipped the country’s top scorer into a left-hand channel late on, but it came to nothing.

Simon Cox: Not on long enough to be rated

As it happened: Ireland v Italy, Euro 2012

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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