Full Ireland ratings after pitiful home defeat to Luxembourg
IRELAND 0-1 LUXEMBOURG
10 games into the Stephen Kenny era and Ireland are still without a win. Their World Cup 2022 dreams are dead in the water. The full Ireland ratings do not make for pretty reading.
A Gerson Rodriguez pile-driver settled a poor game if football at the Aviva Stadium as Luxembourg shocked a pitiful Ireland side.
Stephen Kenny made three changes from the Ireland side that lost to Serbia, midweek, as Gavin Bazunu started in goal for his debut and both James Collins and Jason Knight came in.
Luxembourg gave as good as they got in the first half, with Oliver Thill trying his luck from long-range and Gerson Rodriguez the most dangerous of the visiting XI. Ciaran Clark was at full stretch to block one goal-bound effort while Rodriguez forced a back-pedalling save from Bazunu.
Ireland's best chance of the half came when Callum Robinson teed James Collins up, only for the Luton striker to slide in and shoot straight at the goalkeeper.
The visitors continued to create in the second half and Vincent Thill forced a save from Bazunu. Kenny started to bring on the old(er) guard as he urged his team to play with a quicker pace.
The home side's best chance of the second half fell to Collins again as he was just wide with an overhead kick from a Robbie Brady cross.
As for Luxembourg, they were full value for the three points as they defended stoutly, tackled and pressed with intent but went looking for goals. The sole moment of class was that Rodriguez strike from distance. It was a fine goal to win a dreadful match.
Here's how we rated Stephen Kenny's boys in green:
Gavin Bazunu - 7
Comfortably got behind a long-range effort to settle into the game. Came out commandingly for a couple of testing crosses, and talked to his defence and midfield throughout. Had to scramble back to keep out Rodriguez' speculative lob. Denied Vincent Thill after the break. Could do nothing for the goal.
Seamus Coleman - 6
Tried to get up the pitch to create chances but ran down a couple of blind alleys. Never stopped for his team.
Enda Stevens - 5
Came inside from the wing to get involved in a couple of attacks.
Darragh O'Shea - 6
Did all that was required of him in defence. Was not expecting that speculative Rodriguez pop.
Ciaran Clark - 7
Important headed clearance after a dangerous cross was curled into the six-yard box. Excellent sliding block on a goal-bound effort from Rodriguez. Gave away a couple of rash frees.
Jason Knight - 5
Really drove the team on in the opening stages. Tidy in possession. Created little in the second half.
Josh Cullen - 5
Some crisp passing in through the red lines. Picked out Browne with a superb pass into the box. Passing accuracy fell off in the second half as he tried to force the issue.
Alan Browne - 5
Wasteful with a couple of corners. Got in behind the Luxembourg defence on a couple of occasions. Drifted out of the game and gave away some silly fouls.
Matt Doherty - 6
Looked to pull up with a muscle injury, early in the half, but plugged on. Played one good ball over the top in the lead-up to that Collins chance. Withdrawn at half-time, most likely due to injury.
Callum Robinson - 7
Put one on a plate for Collins, early in the game. So often his team's brightest attacking spark. Had a few fizzes from long-range. Would have been handy if any had hit the target.
James Collins - 5
Should have opened up his body to tap home Robinson's cross. Squandered one counter-attack by passing straight to a Luxembourg defender. Went close with an overhead kick.
Robbie Brady (for Doherty '45) - 7
Positive, driving run was his first involvement. Put in a fine cross for that Collins overhead effort. Put in a sublime cross that Shane Long could could finish off, after 77 minutes.
James McClean (for Clark '61) - 6
Got two decent crosses into the box
Shane Long (for Robinson '71) - 4
Had a weak header on target, moments after coming on. Then missed out on a great Brady cross before handling a ball by trying to control it.
Jayson Molumby & Troy Parrott - Not on long enough to rate