EURO 2016

How the Ireland players rated against Belgium

EURO 2016By Kevin Palmer
Lukaku was clinical in front of goal
Lukaku was clinical in front of goal

It was a miserable afternoon for the Republic of Ireland as they were hammered by Belgium in their crunch Euro 2016 clash in Bordeaux - here is how we rated Martin O'Neill's men.

Darren Randolph – Commanded his goal as Belgium put Ireland’s under persistent pressure, the West Ham stopper was helpless as Lukaku opened the scoring at the start of the second half – 7

Stephen Ward – A surprise pick to start as Michael O’Neill moved Robbie Brady into a more attacking role, he responded to the call in decent fashion, but he was stretched against quality opponents in Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne - 7

John O’Shea – He did his best to hold the Irish defence together, but the incessant Belgium pressure was always likely to break the resolve of Martin O’Neill’s men - 6

Ciaran Clark – The Aston Villa man has confirmed his worth at the heart of the Ireland defence in this competition and he didn’t let anyone down as he fought valiantly to hold off the Belgian attacking waves – 5

Seamus Coleman – One of the key factors in Ireland’s sparkling display against Sweden on Monday, but the Everton man was not able to get into the attacking third as Belgium rocked Ireland onto the back foot. Ireland missed his attacking threat – 6

Glenn Whelan – We all know that the Stoke midfielder is limited in his range of passing and movement, but he needed to offer more when he got on the ball. Hopeful punts forward simply handed possession back to the Belgians – 6

James McCarthy – A tireless performance from the Everton midfielder, but his chasing down of Belgian players merely delayed the inevitable breakthrough that duly arrived as Lukaku opened the scoring. He lost his man as Belgium doubled their lead – 5

Robbie Brady – O’Neill would have wanted to see more from his most inventive player after he was propelled into an attacking midfield role. Brady should have had more influence on the game – 6

Wes Hoolahan – His impressive display against Sweden could not be repeated on a day when Ireland didn’t have enough of the ball to allow the Norwich man to strut his stuff. O’Neill may have been wise to replace him in a game where he was never likely to be a factor – 5

Jeff Hendrick – Like Hoolahan, his heroics from the opening match were not be displayed once again. Hendrick should some quality on the ball in the Sweden game, but he spent his time chasing Belgian players in Bordeaux - 5

Shane Long – Isolated, frustrated and given no quality service, Long showed his annoyance long before the half-time whistle. He may come under fire for his lack of cutting edge, but Long was feeding off scraps as he tried to make the most of long balls punted in his direction - 5

Subs: James McClean for McCarthy (62 mins) - The game was already slipping away from Ireland by the time he was introduced - 5

Aiden McGeady for Hoolahan (71 mins) - O'Neill clearly has huge faith in this out of form winger, but he has not delivered for some time - 4

Robbie Keane for Long (78 mins) - The veteran record goal scorer is no longer a threat at the highest level of the game - 4