England and the Republic of Ireland played out a very disappointing goalless draw at the Aviva Stadium. The clash, which offered few clear chances, failed to get out of second gear.
The best opening fell to Wayne Rooney early in the second half, as he was played through by Jordan Henderson. However, the skipper’s first touch was terrible and allowed Kieren Westwood to gather up the ball.
Here is how England’s players got on during their
GK- Joe Hart 7
Despite Ireland’s good work in the opening half-hour, he only had one save to make. But, it was an important one as he got a hand to Daryl Murphy’s effort as found a way through the England defence. Perhaps as a reward for a fine stop, the referee gave a goal-kick. He also made a good save from Jon Walters’ powerful strike during the second-half, although the effort was straight at him.
RB- Phil Jones 6
The Manchester United man was making his sixth appearance in the full-back role, but struggled early on with the trickery of Everton winger Aidan McGeady, who appeared to be able to turn him very easily. He looked lively going forward, but that is not the reason he is in the side.
CB- Gary Cahill 7
The Chelsea marshalled the back four relatively well for the majority of the game. However, when England conceded a set piece, they looked vulnerable on every occasion. As the most senior member of the defence, you would imagine that it was his job to organise them better.
CB- Chris Smalling 6
Was given a tough time by Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy in the first half. The 32-year-old created a fantastic chance for himself after the Manchester United man put up little fight to win a ball coming out of the sky. Looked much more assured in the second-half, but only once Murphy had been replaced.
LB- Ryan Bertrand 6
He was handed the first start of his international career, and made a lively start, as you would expect from the Southampton man. He was unafraid to get down the line and offer support to either James Milner or Jack Wilshere.