Wales v N Ire ratings: Child’s play for Bale; Evans bros impress

Date published: Saturday 25th June 2016 7:33

Gareth Bale: Celebrates with his daughter at full-time

Gareth Bale: Celebrates with his daughter at full-time

TEAMtalk rates and slates the performances of the players and coaches following Wales’ 1-0 victory over Northern Ireland in their Euro 2016 last-16 tie.

WALES

Wales: Line up a wall against Northern Ireland

WAYNE HENNESSEY: Produced two decent saves in the first half to keep Northern Ireland at bay and steady under high crosses. 7/10

CHRIS GUNTER: Tried to add width to Welsh attacks but little thrust off and targeted by Northern Ireland as Lafferty pulled onto him. 6

JAMES CHESTER: Solid performer all tournament and once again stood up to the challenge to stop everything which came his way. 8

ASHLEY WILLIAMS: Hit the ground in frustration when he appeared to suffer an ankle injury and manfully battled on for the full 90. 7

BEN DAVIES: Kept his concentration well to win a couple of vital defensive headers and ensured that no one got the better of him. 7

NEIL TAYLOR: Licence to get forward and delivered one decent ball for Vokes to attack and did defensive duties well. 7

JOE ALLEN: Ran the show against Russia but found it a lot harder this time with white-shirted midfielders snapping at his heels. 6

JOE LEDLEY: Recent injury seemed to catch up with him as he made little impact in midfield before being substituted just after the hour. 5

AARON RAMSEY: Danger when breaking forward in first half, began to get on the ball and probe to good effect in the second. 7

GARETH BALE: Shackled for the most part but broke free to deliver the telling cross which led to McAuley’s own goal. 7

SAM VOKES: Ran some useful channels but had little change from Northern Ireland defence and planted best chance wide. 5

Subs

Hal Robson-Kanu (on for Vokes, 55): Provided extra mobility to Wales attack and got in the box to force McAuley mistake. 7

Jonathan Williams (on for Ledley, 63): Quick feet added impetus to Wales attacks and survived collision with skipper Williams. 7

Manager

Chris Coleman: Changed his side when he needed to in order to add fresh impetus, and although he may have lost the tactical battle initially with Michael O’Neill, he ultimately won the war. Taking Wales into the last eight (at least) will also look impressive on his CV. 8

 

NORTHERN IRELAND

Stuart Dallas: Takes on Ashley Williams

MICHAEL McGOVERN: Was nowhere near as busy as he had been against Germany in the same stadium and had no chance with the decisive own goal. 7

AARON HUGHES: Surprisingly used as a right-wing back, the 36-year-old offered little going forward but he coped with Bale and others well enough. 6

GARETH McAULEY: Ultimately it was his own goal that decided the tie, though he did little else wrong and had to stop Gareth Bale’s cross reaching Hal Robson-Kanu for the cruel moment. 6

CRAIG CATHCART: Part of a typically solid Northern Irish backline, although he was fortunate Sam Vokes headed wide when he lost him. 7

JONNY EVANS: Another colossal performance from Northern Ireland’s best outfield player at the tournament. Did not deserve to be a loser. 8

CORRY EVANS: Popped up everywhere in midfield in an energetic display which was only outdone among his colleagues by his brother’s own showing. 8

STEVEN DAVIS: Would have enjoyed seeing plenty of the ball having previously chased others in France and he helped drive Northern Ireland forward. 7

OLIVER NORWOOD: His set-piece deliveries were poor, though he was industrious in the midfield before tiring and being replaced. 7

STUART DALLAS: Almost opened the scoring with a swerving first-half effort that was saved by Wayne Hennessey and bombed up and down as usual on the left. 7

JAMIE WARD: Deployed as a strike partner, rather than out wide and he never really got going, though he did test Hennessey with a rising try before being substituted. 6

KYLE LAFFERTY: Recalled to the starting line-up and gave everything he had, holding the ball up well, yet he had no sniffs of goal. 7

Subs

Conor Washington (on for Ward, 69): Dropped for Lafferty and failed to have any influence even after Northern Ireland fell behind. 5

Niall McGinn (on for Norwood, 79): Not the super-sub on this occasion as he saw his late crosses instantly cut out by the Welsh full-backs. 5

Josh Magennis (on for McAuley, 84): Had created the second goal against Ukraine but there were to be no late heroics here. 5

Manager

Michael O’Neill: Will be hugely disappointed after seeing his side slightly edge the first half, but his side just lacked that little element of match-winning class.

Can leave France, however, with his head held high, and only question mark might be the lack of action for Will Grigg…. 8

 

Agree with our ratings? Let us know your scores, and thoughts, below….

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