Scotland player ratings: All but one defender score low, current and former Celtic duo shine, Jacob Brown verdict
We rate each Scotland player out of 10...
Zander Clark: There was much unfair sniping in the direction of the Hearts man over the two goals conceded by Scotland in Georgia last week. More will come his way over another three as he was retained in goal against the Norwegians, and the mishit, bobble-up effort that eluded him in the third minute didn’t look great. But he has been unlucky more than anything in these past two games. And, as he did late on, made some decent saves. 6
Nathan Patterson: The pick of Scotland’s back four did not betray the stand-offishness of his compatriots in this domain in attacking his tasks. Reflected in his crucial goal-saving block to prevent Aron Donnum’s fair-travelling effort finding the target just before the interval. An intervention offset by his slip as Mohamed Elyounoussi was able to head in Norway’s late equaliser. 6
Jack Hendry: A surprise absentee for last Thursday’s 2-2 draw in Georgia, it was difficult to determine whether Scotland’s backline appeared destabilised by his absence or the switch to a back four. Getting himself into a fankle in the moments leading up to Norway’s opener then appearing sluggish as he allowed Jorgen Larsen to steal in as he made it 2-1 for the visitors after 20 minutes, tipped the answer to that poser in the direction of the latter. 5
Scott McKenna: A fourth straight start for his country but three goals that Norway helped themselves to at Hampden as he never looked entirely comfortable on a night he was booked won’t help alter perceptions that the Nottingham Forest man is back-up for Steve Clarke when others are available. 5
Greg Taylor: So much came down Scotland’s left in the opening period, it could only be suspected that the Norwegians had identified the Celtic man as a weak link. Certainly, he has struggled not to make the Tartan Army rue the injuries to Andy Robertson and Kiernan Tierney this past week. 5
Scott McTominay: Another goal to cap his free scoring, freewheeling Euro 2024 campaign with an eighth to give him the Scottish record for a qualifying campaign proved elusive. And so did much else in an unusually unremarkable outing for Steve Clarke’s men. 5
Callum McGregor: The one home player who showed impressive composure in a scatty, see-saw first half, the Celtic captain proved once again he is a lynchpin of Steve Clarke’s set-up, however he configures his central area. 7
Stuart Armstrong: The precision finish he produced in the 59th minute - following fine combination played with John McGinn - justified his first selection in a Scotland XI since the opening evening of the Euro 2024 campaign. And gave him only a second strike at this level in four years. Made way for Ryan Christie in the 70th minute and Scotland lost a little of their rhythm then. 7
John McGinn: He should really have a little scar on the side of his cheek and bulging biceps (he probably does possess the latter) because he really is Scotland’s Action Man. The Aston Villa captain can be all legs, arms and rear end, but so often he is right on the scene when it happens for the national team. As illustrated by his cool penalty to make it 1-1 in the 11th minute - which moved him on to 18 goals for the country and up to sixth on the all-time scorers’ list alongside Kenny Miller - and his set-up play for Armstrong’s strike. 7
Kenny McLean: A first start for his country at Hampden in two-and-a-half years could be perceived as reward for his role in the Oslo miracle pivotal to Euro 2024 qualification. Alas, the game seemed to largely pass him by - save for his head grazing the corner that led to the luckless Leo Ostigard turning into his own net in the 32nd minute. 6
Jacob Brown: For all the mumping about his inclusion ahead of new Scotland darling Lawrence Shankland, the Luton striker could hardly be begrudged a first start for Steve Clarke’s men having dutifully turned up for many a squad without receiving much game-time for the past two years. That said, it must be acknowledged - unstinting industry apart - little came off for him across his 70 minute run-out to suggest his next start will be any time soon. 5
Subs: A triple change in the 70th minute meant appearances for Lydon Dykes, Ryan Christie and Lewis Ferguson. Wasn’t easy for any to make an impact, a fact even truer for Ryan Jack, a 78th minute replacement, and Lawrence Shankland, introduced in the 89th minute.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.