Player ratings as Ireland record an unbelievable result in Austria
Four games. 10 points.
Martin O'Neill takes criticism as surely as the seasons come but, even more surely, he shuts them all up and we all enjoy the sunshine.
Ireland beat Austria 1-0 in Vienna to surge to the top of Group D in the World Cup qualifying stages.
After a shaky start, the Republic came out a different team after the break with pure confidence and ready to kill off Austria. It was brave, it was calculated, it was bloody brilliant.
Darren Randolph 7
Never has a man walked so casually and glanced so nonchalantly at a dangerous free kick like Alaba's fizzing by his post. That's what Randolph gives you: heart-melting winks, cool gum-chewing, confidence even when he's not confident. A good game.
Seamus Coleman 7
Never has a man hated opposition of any kind so much. Coleman is one of the most driven, most aggressive, most possessed defenders out there and he clattered around Vienna like a wrecking ball with all the precision of a Wes Hoolahan pass.
Shane Duffy 7
Questions of him before the game. Answered most of them but toed a line that had everyone at home cowering behind their fingers worried he'd see red.
Ciaran Clark 8
Questions of him before the game. Answered all of them. Tonight.
Robbie Brady 7
Superb ball for Jon Walters in the first half when the striker should've scored and an even better ball in the second when the striker did score but was deemed offside. Bloody well went and got himself ruled out of the Wales game in March though when he deliberately kicked the ball away from Austrian hands.
The better the player, the stupider the crime. So this was unforgivably silly. We'd obviously still forgive him though.
Jeff Hendrick 7
Strong, tireless, tough. Any ball he really saw, he was wide and isolated but he looked after possession and put in the proverbial shift.
Glenn Whelan 6
Injured early in the first half and had to come off.
Harry Arter 7
Grew stronger and stronger into the game. Began pretty quiet but the more the occasion grew, so too did Harry Arter, playing in his first competitive game with Ireland. Whilst he's a clever and tidy midfielder, this man has serious bite and it'll take a good player to oust him from that middle three.
17 months and three caps later, everyone accepts that Harry Arter is an Ireland player pic.twitter.com/Ri6VfP6B5L
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) November 12, 2016
Wes Hoolahan 7
Ah, where do you start?
Okay, let's start with his lost few balls early on as green jerseys camped in their box and Hoolahan actually tried to hold onto the ball. You could see some critics emerging - away from home and all that...
Wes delivered though. He did so literally when he curled McClean straight in for the only goal of the night. Where as most players would've sprayed it wide and made a break into the box themselves, Hoolahan decides to just put McClean through on goal. Lazy, really.
James McClean 8
Heart, energy, honesty, principles. James McClean has it all.
Broke down the left without relent in the second period and his run and finish for the goal was epic. Could yet go down in history.
Jon Walters 6
We didn't use his arse enough throughout the game but he should've scored in the first period. We'd only have thrown it away had we scored that early though.
David Meyler 7
Took a few minutes to warm up into the game and almost to Ireland's expense too. Steadied himself and steadied the ship though and even started spraying some gorgeous balls forward.
David McGoldrick 6
Replaced Hoolahan late on but, you know, Hoolahan is irreplaceable.
Aiden McGeady 6
Took two players on in injury time and actually kept the ball.