Player ratings

Fri, Jun 15, 2012, 01:00

SHAY GIVEN 5Torres’ strike for the opener was sweetly struck but it went straight over the Donegalman’s head. If Ireland were to ever get anything from the game they needed the likes of Given to save shots like that, as he is capable of doing. Did make a series of good stops though.

JOHN O’SHEA 5

Ponderous on the ball when in possession, passing let him down again. That said, like the rest of the defence, he had to cope with an onslaught for 90 minutes due the midfield getting overrun, and Iniesta on thr Spanish side was imperious.

RICHARD DUNNE 5

Was robbed by Torres in the build-up to the goal, having made a smashing tackle, but then failed to clear. Harsh to criticise that, perhaps, but there were few positives, authoritative at times but mostly given the runaround and had no answer to Torres’ pace.

SEAN ST LEDGER 5

After a relatively good game against the Croats, St Ledger found himself in deep water here. Little went his way, least of all when he was dispossessed by the relentless opposition for the third goal.

STEPHEN WARD 5

Made a couple of good tackles and tried to get up the line but got beaten by crossfield balls over the top from Xavi and let Alvaro Arbeloa make himself a constant threat. Beaten too easily by Torres for the first and might have done better in cutting out the pass for the third.

DAMIEN DUFF 5

Found himself going backwards for practically the entire game as Jordi Alba ran the show on the left flank with Andres Iniesta. Hard to criticise an honest effort and his replacement in the second half was as much to do with tired legs as anything else.

KEITH ANDREWS 6

Like Whelan, he did some things well and covered the most ground of any Irish player but without a coherent and familiar plan to deal with the Spanish threat there was never going to be a happy ending to this one for Andrews.

GLEN WHELAN 5

Worked and worked and worked but too often sloppy in possession, mainly because of the intensity of the Spanish midfield’s work-rate. Overcomplicated things at times but he was up against five of the best midfielders in the world and had to improvise at times.

AIDEN McGEADY 5

If there was ever a time for McGeady not to overcomplicate things it was against Spain, but the Spartak winger got his side into trouble too often and too far up the pitch. When he did find the space to cross, the delivery was not good enough.

SIMON COX 6

Worked really hard in the 45 minutes he was on the pitch, dropped deep to collect and worked Casillas early on. Can’t have been expected to do much more having been thrown into the deep end by the manager. Might even have had a case for staying on the pitch.

ROBBIE KEANE 5

Really did not have much to work with, having no target man beside him, but these are the games in which the captain needs to lead and that was not evident from the stands. He did, however, work Casillas on one of his rare sights of goal and the Spaniard saved very well.

MANAGER WATCH 4

Giovanni Trapattoni never experimented with a Plan B before trying it out against Spain. No target man from the start was a wrong move.

SUBSTITUTES 5

Jonathan Walters won aerial ball and harried well. James McClean’s was on a hiding to nothing. Paul Green was rounded by Fabregas for the fourth goal.