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5 things we learned about the Republic of Ireland v Wales

5 things we learned about the Republic of Ireland v Wales

Wales will the win the group by beating Denmark in their final game.

By Phil Blanche,
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Last Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 22:16 UK

Wales beat the Republic of Ireland 1-0 in their Nations League encounter in Dublin to go top of the group.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at five things we learned from the Aviva Stadium clash.

Group win in Welsh hands

Wales play Denmark in their final group game in Cardiff next month knowing that victory will see them top the section and win promotion to League A. A draw would leave Wales waiting on the outcome of the Denmark-Republic game three days later. Ireland will need to win in Aarhus to avoid relegation to League C.

O’Neill under growing pressure

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill is coming under increasing pressure (Niall Carson/PA)

The knives were already being sharpened for Martin O’Neill after Saturday’s dour draw with Denmark. Ireland started on the front foot this time, but the same problem remained – a glaring lack of quality. It is no win in five competitive games for the Republic now and the feeling persists that this is a team going backwards right now.

No Bale, no problem

Wales had won only three competitive fixtures without Gareth Bale since the Real Madrid forward made his debut in 2006.  Bale’s absence deprived Wales not only of their star performer but also their free-kick taker. But Harry Wilson might now be laying claims to those free-kicks after his wonder strike in Dublin.

Arter pays the price

Harry Arter File Photo
The Republic of Ireland’s Harry Arter was punished for a poor challenge on Connor Roberts (Brian Lawless/PA)

Harry Arter said before the game that he had patched up his difference with Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane. Oh, for a Euro on Keane’s thoughts about Arter’s second-half tackle on Connor Roberts. There was no need for the Cardiff midfielder to go to ground and he was punished in spectacular fashion by Wilson.

Giggs’ total faith in youth

Wales boss Ryan Giggs said before the game that he would always give young players a chance and he was true to his word. Giggs could have gone for the safe options of Andy King and Sam Vokes in the absence of experienced players like Bale and Ramsey. But bold picks saw Matthew Smith and Tyler Roberts start for the first time and Wilson’s winner gave them three crucial points.



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