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Football

11th Jun 2022

Ireland player ratings as Stephen Kenny’s team hammer Scotland

Robert Redmond

ireland scotland player ratings

Ireland 3-0 Scotland.

The Republic of Ireland beat Scotland 3-0 in the Uefa Nations League on Saturday. Kenny’s team recorded an impressive victory at the Aviva Stadium thanks to goals from Alan Browne, Troy Parrott and Michael Obafemi.

After 13 attempts, Ireland have finally recorded a win in the Nations League. The victory over Scotland, who had only lost one of their previous 10 games before Saturday, was also Ireland’s first win at home in a competitive since beating Gibraltar in June 2019.

Here is how we rated the Ireland players.

Ireland v Scotland: Player ratings.

Caoimhin Kelleher – 7

The Liverpool goalkeeper came into the team to earn his sixth cap. Kelleher was arguably at fault for Ukraine’s goal on Wednesday night, but he didn’t put a foot wrong on Saturday.

Kelleher was, as always, a calm presence in possession and ready to sprint off his line and sweep up behind Ireland’s defence. He also commanded his area well and comfortably claimed a few crosses into the area.

Nathan Collins – 7

Collins has been Ireland’s best player in the international window and retained his place as part of what appears to be Kenny’s first-choice back three.

Collins wasn’t called on to do a lot against a feeble Scotland front line, but he was solid at the back again. The 21-year-old looks set to become a key player for Ireland over the next few years.

Shane Duffy – 6

Duffy was shaky in possession and played a few sloppy passes, but he showed why he is an essential part of Kenny’s team with his role in Ireland’s opening goal.

From James McClean’s corner-kick, the Brighton defender rose above everyone else in the penalty area to head the ball back across the six-yard box, where Alan Browne knocked the ball over the line.

Duffy’s goal threat, and effectiveness in either penalty area, made up for his shortcomings with the ball at his feet.

John Egan – 7

Egan went off injured in Ireland’s defeat to Ukraine on Wednesday night and wasn’t expected to be fit for the Scotland tie, but the Sheffield United defender recovered in time to captain Ireland on Saturday.

Egan helped Ireland start the game well, showing his range of passing with an excellent switch of play that led to the team creating their first effort on the Scottish goal.

Another solid display from Ireland’s most reliable defender.

Alan Browne – 7

The Preston North End midfielder came into the team to replace Cyrus Christie and played as a right wing-back, and it couldn’t have worked out any better.

Browne scored his fourth goal for Ireland on his 20th appearance, knocking the ball over the line after Duffy headed it back across the six-yard box.

He brought some much-needed energy to Ireland’s right flank and showed his goal-scoring instincts.

Josh Cullen – 7

Cullen retained his place in the team from Ireland’s defeats to Armenia and Ukraine and had his best game of the international window so far.

The Anderlecht midfielder, winning his 18th cap, kept Ireland ticking over with his passing in midfield, and also helped prevent Scotland from mounting a comeback by winning the ball back several times.

Cullen was aided by having Molumby playing beside him and looked more comfortable than in Ireland’s previous games in this window.

Jayson Molumby – 8

Molumby, who was Kenny’s captain for the Ireland Under-21s, came into the team to earn his 13th cap, replacing Jeff Hendrick who struggled in Ireland’s previous two games.

The West Brom midfielder was tasked with providing Cullen with more support than Hendrick, and offering more of a presence when Ireland didn’t have the ball. He achieved both.

Molumby flew into tackles and offered Ireland significantly more bite and energy in midfield than Hendrick. He was also brave and never shied away from receiving a pass.

Molumby’s best contribution of the day was for Ireland’s third goal. The midfielder won the ball high up the pitch before Obafemi scored a stunning long-range strike.

Ireland won the midfield battle in a game for the first time in a long time.

James McClean – 7

McClean replaced Stevens on the left wing and was an upgrade on the Sheffield United wing-back. The Wigan Athletic winger delivered some dangerous crosses and helped set up Ireland’s first goal with his corner.

Jason Knight – 7

Knight was Ireland’s best player against Ukraine and rightfully retained his place against Scotland.

The Derby County midfielder was once again the team’s busiest player in the opening period of the match and helped set the tone with his energy and work rate off the ball.

He also dropped into midfield when Ireland didn’t have possession and disrupted Scotland.

Troy Parrott – 8

Parrott scored Ireland’s second goal of the game after linking up brilliantly with Michael Obafemi. The Tottenham Hotspur forward, who started on the left of a front three, beat Scotland defender Jack Hendry in the air and knocked the ball into the path of Obafemi.

Parrott jumped up off the ground and ran beyond the Scotland defence, where Obafemi found him with a wonderful lofted pass and the Dubliner nodded home to double Ireland’s lead. It was an excellent goal, the likes of which didn’t seem possible for the Irish team against Armenia and Ukraine.

Kenny, however, looks to have stumbled upon a productive partnership with Obafemi and Parrot.

Michael Obafemi – 9

Obafemi came into the team to earn his fourth cap and his first start for Ireland. The striker scored 10 goals in his last 14 games for Swansea City and earned his chance to start ahead of Callum Robinson, who looked tired in Ireland’s last two matches.

Obafemi did not waste his opportunity. The Swansea forward set up Parrott’s goal to double Ireland’s lead with a perfect pass over the Scottish defence. He then scored a stunning long-range strike in the second half, firing a thunderous shot past Craig Gordan in the Scotland goal.

But, beyond these moments of individual brilliance, Obafemi’s all-around game was also impressive. The former Southampton striker held the ball up well and was a threat with his pace running beyond the Scottish defence. He was forced off with an injury in the second half but had been Ireland’s best player until that point.

Substitutes.

Scott Hogan – 6

The forward almost scored a header only to see his effort cleared off the line.

Hourihane – 6

On for the final 20 minutes, the midfielder helped Ireland see out the win.

Jeff Hendrick & Callum Robinson – N/A.

Neither were on the pitch long enough to be rated.