DCSIMG

How Scotland rated against Northern Ireland

Player ratings for Scotland's 3-0 win over Northern Ireland last night.

Allan McGregor

The Rangers goalkeeper's hold on his country's No 1 position appears increasingly secure. McGregor would have started this match irrespective of Craig Gordon's injury withdrawal and the 29-year-old prevented Northern Ireland from taking the initiative when he made a smart tenth-minute save to deny Niall McGinn. There was little else of note for McGregor to do until he saved Rory Patterson's late header.

7/10

Alan Hutton

As ever, the Tottenham right-back was at his best when surging forward into the opposition half. There was plenty of scope for him to do so against an insipid Northern Irish side. The 26-year-old, winning his 19th cap last night, was asked very few questions of his defensive qualities and was able to operate as an auxiliary winger most of the night.

7/10

Steven Caldwell

Even against opponents as generally unthreatening as a weakened Northern Ireland were last night, the Wigan centre half can look uncertain and unconvincing. Caught out of position on a couple of the rare occasions Scotland found themselves on the back foot. The 30-year-old should have scored his first international goal but headed a Charlie Adam corner against the crossbar from close range.

6/10

Christophe Berra

Caught flat-footed during the early exchanges when Niall McGinn got past him too easily to get a shot on target. But the Wolves man was the more solid of the Scotland central defensive pairing, bailing partner Steven Caldwell out when he got back to block another McGinn effort before half-time. Merits the chance to establish himself in the side.

7/10

Phil Bardsley

His Scottish roots may be tenuous, but the Sunderland man is proving to be a real find for Craig Levein in the left-back position where Hearts' Lee Wallace now has a serious rival. The 25-year-old was steady in defence and excellent going forward, having a role in Scotland's opening goal and coming close to finding the net himself with a sweetly struck shot which Northern Ireland goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey saved well. Replaced by Mark Wilson in the 58th minute.

7/10

James McArthur

An evening the 23-year-old Wigan midfielder will never forget. Drafted into the starting line-up before kick-off when Scott Brown pulled out because of injury, he marked his second appearance for his country with a dramatic goal. His right foot curling effort was surely intended as a cross but it beat Jonny Tuffey all ends up to put Scotland 2-0 up. It was the highlight of a steady and confident performance by the former Accies man.

7/10

Charlie Adam

While his quarterback style of passing can be overly ambitious at times, it is a delight to behold when it works as it often did last night. The Blackpool captain's set-piece delivery was a particular source of concern for Northern Ireland, as evidenced by the corner which led to Scotland's opening goal. Replaced by Barry Bannan after 57 minutes, Adam's stock continues to soar.

7/10James Morrison

Much of what he does is understated, but the West Brom midfielder is tidy in possession and tactically disciplined. Paid attention to holding duties when necessary, but always prepared to burst forward. Came close to his first Scotland goal with a header well saved by Tuffey. Made way for Chris Maguire with 11 minutes remaining.

7/10

Kris Commons

If George Burley can point to one hugely positive legacy of his time in charge of Scotland, it is the introduction of Commons to the squad. The new Celtic midfielder maintained his highly impressive recent form, torturing Northern Ireland with his pace and clever footwork. Marked his eighth appearance for the Scots with his second goal, sealing a terrific personal display before being replaced by Craig Conway in the 72nd minute.

8/10

Steven Naismith

The Rangers player's touch was marginally off in the early stages, but he grew in assurance and effectiveness as a foil for former club-mate Kenny Miller. Produced a wonderfully weighted first time pass to set up Scotland's third goal for Commons shortly before being replaced by Robert Snodgrass in the 58th minutes.

7/10

Kenny Miller

On an evening of great personal significance, as he captained Scotland for the first time, Miller delivered a typically selfless and committed display. It was marked by his 13th goal for his country, although the Bursaspor striker might easily have helped himself to a hat-trick. On the occasion of his 52nd cap, however, Miller would simply be relieved to score what was only his second goal in his last 16 internationals. Bizarrely replaced by central defender Danny Wilson in the final minute.

7/10

SUBSTITUTES

Barry Bannan

Man of the match on his debut against the Faroe Islands in November, the Aston Villa midfielder almost marked his second cap with a goal when his 80th minute free-kick was well saved by Tuffey.

Mark Wilson

The Celtic full-back's recent fine form was rewarded by his long-awaited Scotland debut. Got forward impressively but also collected a booking for a foul on Northern Ireland substitute David Healy.

Robert Snodgrass

Excelling for Leeds United in the English Championship this season, Snodgrass made his senior international debut just before the hour. A lively contribution saw him come close with a couple of long range efforts.

Craig Conway

Sixteen months after his debut in the 2-0 defeat to Japan, Conway earned his second cap last night as a late replacement for Kris Commons and was full of direct running.

Chris Maguire

The Aberdeen striker became the third Scotland debutant of the evening when he took over from James Morrison with 11 minutes remaining.

Danny Wilson

The Liverpool teenager fulfilled Scotland's complement of substitutes when he replaced Kenny Miller in the 90th minute to win his second cap.

 
 
 

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