Player ratings: Italy v Republic of Ireland
This was Ireland's best performance under Martin O'Neill so far, as Ireland and Italy played out an entertaining 0-0 draw at Craven Cottage.
Here's how the players rated.
David Forde – A fine save from Marchisio in the opening minutes, and denied the Italian brilliantly once again in the second half. 7
Stephen Ward – Quiet but a lot of a good work off the ball to allow Pilkington space. 6
John O’Shea – Marshalled the defence well, particularly during the second half when Ireland came under more pressure. 7
Alex Pearce – Sturdy, and no blame goes to the Reading player for the injury that may have ruled Riccardo Montolivo out of the World Cup. 7
Seamus Coleman – Not his busiest performance for Ireland and looks like he could use a good rest in the summer. 5
Aiden McGeady – Got in the game more as the game went on, linked up well with Shane Long as Ireland dominated their opponents in the first half. Kept the tempo up in the second half, only his finishing let him down. 7
David Meyler – Was at the centre of Ireland’s best play in the first half, with one shot producing a fine save from Sirigu, but quiet compared to his fellow midfielders. 5
Anthony Pilkington – Some decent touches and tested Sirigu with a free-kick in the first half, while one exhibition of ball juggling had us purring. Narrowly wide with a blasted effort early in the second half, he was Ireland’s best player. 8
Jeff Hendrick – Some forceful runs from midfield from the Derby man, definitely one to be excited about going into the Euro 2016 qualifiers. 7.5
Wes Hoolahan – Once again, Ireland’s creative outlet. Some lovely touches early on and almost released Long before he was foiled by Sirigu. Quieter the longer the game went on with some uncharacteristically sloppy touches. 6.5
Shane Long – Some fine chances in the first half and he’ll have been disappointed not to have put Ireland ahead with one of a couple of efforts. Showed a lack of pace early in the second half when he almost ran clear, and then shot straight at Sirigu moments later. Never gave up, but came up short. 6
James McClean – Didn’t add much when he came on, was too easily knocked off the ball by a resolute Italian defence.
Simon Cox – Had one great chance to play in Quinn, but fluffed it.
Stephen Quinn – Not on long enough to rate.
Paul Green – Not on long enough to rate.