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Dublin: 20 °C Saturday 20 April, 2019
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Liveblog

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Hello, and welcome to tonight’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail paul@the42.ie, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick off for the game is at 7.45pm.

Team news here…

Wales: Hennessey, Davies, Williams, Allen, Ramsey, Bale, Brooks, Roberts, Ampadu, Lawrence, Mepham.

Ireland: Randolph, Coleman, Christie, Duffy, Clark, O’Dowda, Hendrick, Hourihane, Ward, Walters, Robinson.

We’re trying to make sense of Ireland’s formation tonight.

Here’s my best guess anyway…

4-5-1:

Randolph

Coleman Duffy Clark Ward

Christie Hendrick Hourihane O’Dowda Robinson

Walters

It could also potentially be a three at the back, with Coleman and Christie as the wing-backs and Ward alongside Duffy and Clark.

Callum Robinson ahead of the game Callum Robinson ahead of the game. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

James McClean who misses the game with an injury Ireland's James McClean who misses the game with an injury. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Some pre-match reading for you…

Alan Judge is the unlucky man to miss out for Ireland tonight.

Every other member of Martin O’Neill’s squad is either playing or on the bench.

We’re under way…

Wales have started this game on the front foot.

Ireland’s main tactic so far has been to boot the ball up to Walters.

Looks like a 4-4-2 for Martin O’Neill’s side, with Christie on the right wing and Robinson up front alongside Walters.

Allen plays a lovely through ball to Lawrence, who beats Randolph at his near post with a powerful finish.

That was a poor goal for Ireland to concede with Clark caught ball watching as Lawrence ran through on goal.

Wales are very much in control of this match right now.

Ireland are struggling to keep hold of the ball on the rare occasions when they get it.

O’Dowda takes a shot from this distance after drifting to a central position.

The Bristol City star’s shot deflects off Williams and falls safely into Hennessey’s hands.

Here’s a look at that Wales goal…

Davies picks out Bale with a long ball.

The Real Madrid star controls it, swivels and curls and unstoppable shot past Randolph from the edge of the area.

Given how the match has panned out so far, you can’t say 2-0 flatters Wales.

Christie bursts through on the counter-attack.

However, his final pass can’t quite play through Walters.

That’s at least somewhat encouraging from an Irish perspective.

Ciaran Clarke dejected after his side conceded their second goal Ireland's Ciaran Clarke dejected after his side conceded their second goal. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Wales break and Ireland look very open.

Brooks gets away from Robinson before playing it to Lawrence, whose shot from the edge of the area is parried away by Randolph.

Wales continue to look the far more threatening and energetic of the two teams.

Here’s a look at that Bale goal…

Davies finds plenty of space out left.

The Tottenham star plays a beautiful cross, which right back Roberts heads wastefully wide from about eight yards out.

Decent chance for Ireland.

Hendrick and Coleman link up well down the right.

The Everton star pulls it back to Robinson, whose first-time finish goes over the bar.

The Preston man really should have hit the target there.

Ampadu knicks the ball off Walters.

He plays a lovely pass to Ramsey, who beats Randolph at his near post with a snapshot from just inside the box.

It’s been a disastrous first half from an Irish perspective.

Just two minutes until half-time.

The whistle can’t come soon enough for this Irish team, who look shell-shocked and devoid of ideas.

Hendrick lofts a ball straight into Hennessey’s arms.

The Burnley star has given the ball away far too often tonight, with Wales’ inexperienced youngsters dominating midfield.

So half-time and it’s been grim viewing from an Irish perspective. 3-0 is a fair reflection of the gulf in class between the two teams tonight.

Ireland have looked slow, ponderous, defensive poor and tactically inept. Wales, by contrast, have been vibrant, lethal and inventive, with a real sense of purpose to their play.

Midfield in particular is a big problem for Ireland — Hourihane and Hendrick simply can’t cope with Ampadu,  Allen and Ramsey.

The second half has begun…

O’Dowda shows decent composure to get away from Ramsey before winning a free kick.

Ireland need more instances like that where players show bravery on the ball.

Ward’s cross is deflected out for a corner. Duffy gets his head to the ensuing set piece, but his effort is straight at Hennessey.

That was a decent move from Ireland in the build up where they actually managed to string a few passes together.

Clark gets booked for taking out Gareth Bale off the ball.

The Newcastle defender has looked very nervy and error-prone this evening.

Another moment of hope for Ireland.

Walters finds space down the right and produces a decent cross.

However, Ampadu manages to win the ball, shielding off Robinson before clearing the danger.

The 17-year-old Chelsea youngster has looked remarkably assured tonight.

Another half chance for Ireland.

Coleman’s cross finds Robinson who steers a header just over.

Bale crosses to Roberts, who controls the ball before firing past Randolph from the edge of the area.

Ireland are a shambles now.

As I type, Ramsey charges through down the left. He plays it to Bale, who curls the ball narrowly over the bar.

Ireland have made a change. Hourihane, who has been disappointingly ineffectual in midfield, is replaced by Shaun Williams.

It’s a competitive debut for the 31-year-old Millwall man, who earned his first cap against France back in May.

Moments later, Stephen Ward jars his knee after falling awkwardly. He’s replaced by Enda Stevens.

Ireland have changed their shape slightly.

Robinson has moved to the left wing, while O’Dowda has now switched to a more advanced, central attacking position.

Wales are still coasting though, with the crowd cheering every pass.

Williams robs Ramsey of possession before producing a lovely dinked finish over the onrushing Hennessey.

What a moment for the former Drogheda United player, even on what is a generally depressing night for Irish football.

Meanwhile, Wales make a change, as Ampadu is replaced by Smith.

Here’s a look at the Roberts goal.

Enda Stevens finds himself in a promising position out left, but overhits his cross.

The pace and intensity has gone out of this game now, with the outcome long since beyond doubt.

With the game won, Gareth Bale departs the action.

19-year-old Tyler Roberts comes on in his place.

Ireland make a final change.

Daryl Horgan comes on for Callum Robinson, who has struggled to make an impact on his debut.

Another chance for Wales.

Tyler Roberts beats two defenders before playing a one-two with Smith.

The teenager’s subsequent shot from the edge of the area is parried out for a corner by Randolph.

watches on as Wales score their fourth goal Martin O'Neill watches on as Wales score their fourth goal. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Wales make a final change.

Paul Dummett comes on for Ben Davies.

The hosts continue to control this game, and look increasingly comfortable and confident as the match wears on.

Ireland just can’t get the ball at the moment and look a defeated team.

As I type, Brooks is played through on goal, but Stevens makes an excellent last-ditch challenge to prevent him getting a shot on goal.

Shaun Williams celebrates scoring his sides first goal Ireland's Shaun Williams celebrates scoring his side's first goal. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

There will be five minutes of stoppage time before Ireland are put out of their misery.

There is a very little happening at the moment, with an understandable lull as the final whistle approaches.

Wales are killing the game, passing the ball casually among their backline, as Ireland chase it haplessly as they have done for much of this game.

That’s that and Ireland have been well and truly outclassed tonight.

Martin O’Neill’s side looked an old team, as they were outwitted by a sharper, more vibrant and technically superior side.

Ryan Giggs gets off to a perfect start as manager, while for Martin O’Neill, what was already a difficult week after the Declan Rice and Harry Arter withdrawals has gotten much worse after this evening’s debacle.

Ireland have now conceded nine goals in their last 180 minutes of competitive football and it’s hard to see where the team can from here.

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

We’ll have more reaction to follow.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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