Scotland 2-0 Albania: How the Scotland players rated

Marks out of ten for the Scotland players against Albania...

Allan McGregor: Largely a spectator in the opening 45, he was called into action early in the second half with the scoreline at 1-0, and a stunning save with his foot denied Balaj. 7

John Souttar: Harshly booked for a strong challenge which summed up his approach to the game. Baptism of fire against the Belgians but he looked assured here. Unlucky with early chance that he poked wide. 7

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Charlie Mulgrew: Much maligned in Friday night’s loss to Belgium but the Blackburn midfielder shook off that disappointment to put in a solid display at the back. Caused problems at set-pieces. 6

Scotland line up ahead of the UEFA Nations League opener against Albania. Picture: SNS GroupScotland line up ahead of the UEFA Nations League opener against Albania. Picture: SNS Group
Scotland line up ahead of the UEFA Nations League opener against Albania. Picture: SNS Group

Kieran Tierney: Looked far more comfortable than he did against Belgium and defended well. Was still afforded time and space to get forward which added another attacking dimension to Scotland’s game. 7

Stephen O’Donnell: Handed his full debut as he replaced Ryan Fraser, the Kilmarnock man got forward well and defended resolutely when called upon. Can be more than satisfied with his contribution. 7

Kevin McDonald: Fulham midfielder copped an early booking for a reckless - and needless - challenge on Sabien Lilaj and moments later skied an effort from the edge of the box. Replaced by Armstrong at the interval. 5

Andy Robertson: Got up and down well in the first half but his crosses either didn’t reach their target, or the player on the end of them fluffed his lines. Inch-perfect cross created Scotland’s opener. 6

John McGinn: Makes things tick in the midfield and won the ball back countless times as well as driving play forwards. Couple of moments allowed Albania sight of goal but they couldn’t capitalise. 7

Callum McGregor: Got forward well and his passing in the final third was excellent. Had a few efforts on goal himself but the Celtic midfielder always found a white shirt blocking his path. 7

Johnny Russell: Handed a surprise start at the expense of Armstrong, the Sporting Kansas City forward used his pace and movement well but miscued a glorious chance to fire Scotland into the lead in the first half. 6

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Steven Naismith: Was at the centre of everything Scotland did. Headed against the post from less than six yards; had a goal chalked off for offside; played Xhimshiti well to force the opening goal; and was in the right place at the right time to grab the crucial second. 8


Stuart Armstrong (for McDonald, 45): Used the ball well and got into space as Scotland stepped things up in the second half. 7

Leigh Griffiths (for Russell, 70): Surprisingly left on the bench, but got the last 20 minutes to pile pressure on a tiring opposition defence. Saw a couple of efforts blocked including free kick from the edge of the area. 5

Scott McTominay (for McGregor, 79): Won a foul on the edge of the box just seconds after coming on after neat play foxed the Albanian defence - and is now tied to Scotland after making his competitive debut. 5