A chastening evening for the Republic of Ireland as, after an encouraging early 1-0 lead, World Cup hopes were crushed by a Christian Eriksen inspired Denmrak.
Darren Randolph 7/10
Made a brilliant first half save from William Kvist to keep Ireland in the lead in the first quarter and was kept busy during the second half and looked after his business efficiently, stopping in quick succession from Pione Sisto and Christian Eriksen. Could do nothing about any of Denmark’s five goals.
Stephen Ward 2/10
Got caught badly for the visitors’ go-ahead goal, giving the ball away to Yusuf Poulsen in the middle of the field to gift the opportunity for a devastating quick break finished by Christian Eriksen and he handed Eriksen his hat-trick with a clumsy touch in the box when he was under no pressure. Had a nightmare.
Ciaran Clark 5/10
The Newcastle United man made a couple of timely interventions and though wasn’t as spectacular as his centre-half partner in terms of getting his head on the ball in the opposition box he was solid. Clark was sacrificed with 20 minutes to go as striker Shane Long was brought on up front.
Shane Duffy 6/10
Put Ireland ahead after just five minutes when he was on the spot to exploit Nicolai Jorgensen’s defensive error. Never looked overly comfortable when he had the ball at his feet, but defended well in the air as always. Got his head to a passable second half chance, but couldn’t generate the required power.
Cyrus Christie 4/10
Always better going forward than when in reverse. He played a brilliant ball in on 21 minutes to give Daryl Murphy the chance to put Ireland 2-0 up, but when he was asked to defend he struggled and got turned too often. Busy in the opening minutes of the second half, but faded like his team mates before the end.
David Meyler 5/10
The returning captain mixed the good with the bad. He tried to lead from the front and won a few strong 50-50 balls early on, but his race was run at half-time and Maritn O’Neill didn’t send him out for the second half. The Hull man was replaced by Wes Hoolahan as Ireland looked for more creativity.
Jeff Hendrick 3/10
Lucky not to have been taken off at the break when it was Meyler who was pulled out of the midfield by management. Completed a miserable few days following a sub-standard showing in the first leg in Copenhagen at the weekend. This game passed him by.
Robbie Brady 4/10
He had a few bright moments in the first half and flashed a chance wide in the second. He played the ball into the box for Duffy’s opener, though couldn’t take credit for the assist as a defender helped it on. So often the man to stand up when Ireland have needed him in the past, this game largely went on around him.
Harry Arter 4/10
Snapped into a few early tackles to set the tone at the start, but struggled to get his foot on the ball and create in the middle of the field. He got beaten down the touchline by Pione Sisto on his way to set up Denmark’s leveller and watched all of the second half from the stands, replaced by Aiden McGeady.
James McClean 5/10
As we come to expect, the Derry man threw himself into everything with 100 per cent commitment and got a little bit of joy. Nodded a good second half chance over the bar when the game was gone at 3-1 down and ultimately he wasn’t able to instil any real fear in the Danish defence. A little unlucky to give away the late penalty
Daryl Murphy 4/10
Had a great first half chance to put his side 2-0 up when Cyrus Christie played a deft ball in on 21 minutes. He got in ahead of Simon Kjaer and stretched his left toe to to the ball, but it went just wide. Tried hard, but didn’t have the craft or the support to open the Danish defence.
Wes Hoolahan 5/10
Sent on to try and bail out a sinking ship for the second half, but not even the Wessiah could manage to pull off an Aviva Stadium miracle.
Aiden McGeady 4/10
Came on at half-time to give the team more go-forward and he did that, but there wasn’t enough end-product for the possession he got hold of.
Shane Long 6/10
He was given 20 minutes up front to try to get some joy, but saw little service. Worked one good opening and chipped just over from the edge of the box.
Martin O’Neill 3/10
This is a results business and his team went down to a 5-1 hiding at home. Did the lack of ambition against a limited Denmark team in Copenhagen on Saturday night cost the Boys in Green? We’ll never know.
The game was over at half-time when the Danes were 2-1 ahead and none of the three changes he made had any real positive effect on the situation. Defensively Ireland were a shambles and they offered little going forward. A sad end if this is to be his final act as manager.