Player ratings as Ireland lose 2-0 to France in Paris friendly
France 2 Ireland 0.
Here's how we rated the players:
Colin Doyle – 6.5
The Bradford City goalkeeper was Ireland's best player until he made a howler towards the end of the first-half, parrying Nabil Fekir's shot into his own net. It was an unfortunate error for Doyle as he had made several impressive stops before France's second goal, even making a very good save before Giroud's goal to open the scoring. He recovered from his mistake and made some decent stops in the second-half. Despite his error, he was one of Ireland's better players.
Seamus Coleman – 7
His natural attacking instincts were curbed as Ireland camped in their own half and France dominated the ball, but Coleman was still aggressive in the tackle and managed to foil the outrageously talented Kylian Mbappe with some well-timed tackles and put his body on the line.
Shane Duffy – 7
Duffy won many of his aerial battles, until Giroud got a run on him for a header, which led to France opening the scoring. But otherwise, Duffy performed well, or as well as one could expect, to the challenge posed by France. His tendency to aimlessly hoof the ball long when Ireland did get the ball was frustrating but the blame for that should probably be pinned on his manager.
Duffy has become Ireland's best central defender, the best attacking outlet from set-pieces and the team's "playmaker" with his long kicks.
Kevin Long – 6.5
Like Duffy, Long coped okay with the physical challenge of Giroud and can be happy enough with his performance against an extremely talented team.
Derrick Williams – 6.5
A positive debut at left-back against talented opposition. Williams was aggressive and strong in the tackle and didn't do a lot wrong. He handled the step-up from Blackburn Rovers in League One to international football as well as could be expected.
Alan Browne – 6
The Preston midfielder had some loose touches but worked hard and kept his shape as Ireland sought to frustrate France.
Declan Rice – 6
Rice worked hard but unfortunately wasn't given much chance to express himself on the ball. He either watched France dominate possession or watched his teammates hoof it aimlessly over his head towards Shane Long.
James McClean – 5
It may have been an end of season friendly, with Ireland acting as a warm-up for a team seeking to win the World Cup next month, but someone forgot to tell McClean. The West Brom winger crunched into the tackles in the first-half and even managed to pick-up a booking. He set Shane Long away with a decent ball, one of Ireland's few breaks in the first-half, but also almost gifted France a goal early with a heavy touch in midfield which led to a chance for the hosts. He worked extremely hard, but his final ball wasn't always up to scratch.
Callum O’Dowda – 5
O'Dowda started in a central attacking midfield position for some reason and made little impact on the game.
Only O'Neill can explain why he opted to put the talented winger in a central position, while 34-year-old Jon Walters was on the wing to track Benjamin Mendy.
Jon Walters – 5
Walters played on the right for Ireland and held his position as Ireland tried to stay compact and cut off space for France. Again, only O'Neill can explain why he thought it was a good idea to put Walters up against Mendy, Manchester City's excellent attacking full-back.
Shane Long – 5
He was isolated for the entire game, given a thankless task when Ireland had just 17 percent possession the first half and were sitting off the French. Long had to live off scraps and the balls that did come his way were more hopeful hoofs than accurate passes. When he was picked out with a decent pass by McClean in the first-half, Long fluffed his lines and was lucky to see it land with a teammate before the move broke down.
Harry Arter - 5.5
Full of energy but had little impact on the game.
Graham Burke - 5.5
The Shamrock Rovers forward came on for the final 20-minutes and played on the left-wing, while McClean went up front. Again, only O'Neill can explain why it was a good idea to play a striker out wide and a winger up-front.
David Meyler - 5.5
Came on for the final 30 minutes but made little impact.
Alan Judge, Shaun Williams and Matt Doherty - N/A
Not on long enough to rate.