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Republic of Ireland 1 Denmark 5: Sensational Christian Eriksen hat-trick ends Irish World Cup dream

The Republic of Ireland have put their heart and soul into this World Cup qualification campaign, but when it mattered most they were short of the one thing that really matters – quality. That was served up on a silver service for Denmark by Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen, who scored a magnificent hat-trick, stroking two shots into the net like he was knocking balls into an empty goal at the end of a training session, before smashing in a third.  Ireland were forced to bend the knee in the presence of his brilliance. Denmark had one world-class player, Ireland had none. It can make small margins look like a gulf in class. Ireland were crushed, but the suggestion they had been humiliated at the end of a campaign in which they were fourth seeds in their group and still finished second, drew an angry response from manager Martin O’Neill, who walked out of a post-match television interview. “We were well beaten, no question about that,” said O’Neill. “We were made to pay for some sloppy defending, two really poor goals to concede and when we tried to chase the game, we were punished. “But we were beaten in a play-off. We have fought tooth and nail to get here, so the sense of disappointment is huge. But we have played 24 competitive games and lost four. This is one of them. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal “We were beaten by a side that was better than us and has a world-class player in the team, who was absolutely magnificent. Eriksen is top class and he showed it.” Eriksen now belongs in an elite group of players in the modern era, alongside Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who have carried their national teams to new heights, defining the big games with the force of their ­individual talent. In the end, Ireland gambled and lost. O’Neill tried something different and it did not work. Having smothered Denmark in the first leg in Copenhagen, he tried to attack them. He might regret it now, but in truth, nothing was likely to stand in Eriksen’s way. He and Denmark fully deserve to be at the World Cup next year. By the time Ireland play in one, it will have been at least 20 years since their last appearance. An entire generation will have grown up without seeing their country play in the biggest tournament of all. Shane Duffy heads Ireland in front after only six minutes Credit: Getty images Then again, for all of the sense of entitlement in Irish football, the strange assumption they should be playing on the biggest stage, World Cups tend to take place without them. They have only made three, the last of which was in 2002, when they had a squad packed with ­Premier League players. They do not have that luxury anymore, but this was still a huge let down, the sort of anti-climax that turns a party into a wake. They have felt like this before. This was the fourth World Cup play-off they have lost, but this had been their chance to erase those bitter memories to the point of deletion. It had the perfect opening paragraph, Shane Duffy heading Ireland in front from Robbie Brady’s free-kick. Ireland had other chances, a flick from Daryl Murphy almost turned in Cyrus Christie’s cross before James McClean, after a lovely move down the left, was played in behind by Robbie Brady. But, from a tricky angle, he dragged his effort wide of the far post. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) Minutes later, Denmark were level. Harry Arter was beaten too easily from a short corner by Pione Sisto and, although Andreas Christensen sliced his shot against a post, it rebounded in off Christie. A setback turned into a disaster when Stephen Ward was robbed by Yussuf Poulsen. The ball was moved to Eriksen and Denmark’s star player found the net via the underside of the crossbar. Martin O'Neill was unable to change the direction of the game Credit: Reuters Needing two goals in the second half, O’Neill went for broke and ended up broken. Off went Arter and David Meyler – on came Aiden McGeady and Wes Hoolahan. Caution was no longer a viable policy, but he was sending on two attacking players from the Championship, not the Premier League. Eriksen (left) fires in his second goal Credit: getty images Eriksen made full use of the space, curling in a second goal and punishing some poor control from Ward to grab a third. Nicklas Bendtner added a fifth with a penalty. “Eriksen is one of the best players in Europe,” said Denmark coach Age Hareide. “We have seen that against Real Madrid in the Champions League and tonight. He is in the top 10 players in the world, he has this ability to score goals, to make assists and find space, he is a special player. As soon as Ireland gave him space, he hurt them.” 9:34PM Full time - Republic of Ireland 1-5 Denmark And that's it! Denmark go to Russia 2018, the Irish will be left at home. 9:32PM 90 mins Two minutes to be added on. 9:32PM GOOOOOAAL!! Bendtner makes it five from the spot Bendtner steps up, sends Randolph the wrong way, and makes it 5-1. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal 9:31PM Penalty to Ireland! Denmark break with Bendnter, and McClean is charging back after him, head down - he really doesn't want another Denmark goal going in. He does well to catch play up, but then, in the most predictable thing ever to happen EVER, he throws himself at the ball and cuts Bentdner down to concede a penalty. What an utterly stupid decision. 9:26PM 85 mins McClean comes in off the right flank and fires at goal from 30 yards and it flies - unsurprisingly - miles over the bar. Out: Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (James McClean, 85 min) 9:25PM 84 mins Nicklas Bendtner is on. Denmark's very own Zlatan Ibrahimovic replaces Jorgensen for the final 6 minutes. 9:21PM 80 mins Eriksen wants more - he's released down the right and charges after it but he can only win a corner. 9:19PM 78 mins A decent chance for Long after a straight ball forward from Hoolahan sets him free, but under pressure from Kjaer and Bjelland he can only scoop his shot over the bar. 9:18PM GOOOOOOAAALL! Eriksen hat-trick! It's 3-1 to Denmark It's a horror show for Ward, but it's yet more sheer class from Christian Eriksen, who has his treble. Cornelius lobs a hopeful ball into the Ireland box, Ward leans back and only succeeds in stopping the ball inside his own box - and Eriksen is quickest to react. Ward stops the ball The Spurs man comes steaming in and  slams into the top corner for his hat-trick. Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 73 min) 9:12PM 71 mins O'Neill responds: it's all or nothing now. Forward Shane Long comes on for centre-back Ciaran Clark. This could get ugly. 9:11PM 70 mins Another change for Denmark. Former Cardiff man Cornelius replaces Poulsen, who got that knock a short while ago. 9:08PM 66 mins Ward gets forward well and drinks a decent cross onto McClean's head but he fires his effort just over. More than half a chance, that. Ireland need a goal soon.  9:07PM Eriksen or Coutinho? I know who I'd choose If Christian Eriksen was Brazilian someone would be bidding £115m.— Chris Bascombe (@_ChrisBascombe) November 14, 2017 9:06PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALL!!!! Ireland 1-3 Denmark (Eriksen) That's it. Christian Eriksen is a class apart from every other player on the pitch, and he has shown it for a second time with another wonderful goal. He has been helped by Martin O'Neill's to play this second half without a defensive midfielder, picking up positions between the lines and he does so again he to extraordinary effect. Listo finds him on the edge of the box after a patient build-up from the Danes, and Eriksen shifts onto his left foot and just brushes a lovely left-footed effort into the corner with Randolph again helpless. Tie over? Republic of Ireland 1 - 3 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 63 min) 9:02PM 60 mins Christie dances past three challenges in an attacking position on the right, but his drilled ball across goal is cleared. Then a combination of McClean and Ward absolutely clatter Poulsen, who needs medical attention.  Shortly after the Denmark fans start greeting each pass with an 'Ole!'. Too early for that, lads. Too early. 9:00PM 57 mins A decent break from Ireland with McClean fouled but a good advantage played, and they have numbers piling forwards, but twice in succession - first Christie, then McGeady - poor crosses let them down. And the second launches a Denmark attack. Duffy flies into a challenge and misses completely, and suddenly Eriksen is away down the left. Pace isn't his greatest asset, and he is caught by Clark, but not before getting a decent shot off that Randolph palms away. Ireland got away with that. McGeady's feather-weak cross there somehow sets up a Danish attack. Have to say that was a baffling substitution.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) November 14, 2017 8:56PM 55 mins Hoolahan does well to win a corner, which Duffy heads at goal but it's a simple save for Schmeichel. 8:55PM 53 mins Denmark have started this half really well, and are completely dominating possession. The Irish changes have yet to make any difference so far. Sisto stings the fingers of Randolph with a well struck effort from the edge of the box. A change for Denmark: Peter Ankersen replaces Styger Larsen - a defensive move - could that be five at the back now? 8:53PM 51 mins A decent effort from Sisto, who darts in off the left and fires at goal but it is blazed just high and just wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Pione Sisto, 51 min) 8:51PM 50 mins Poulsen wins a high ball forward and flicks it on to Jorgensen. He finds Eriksen, who floats a cross into the centre but Ward does really well to toe-end it away for a corner - which comes to nothing. 8:48PM 47 mins Hoolahan slots in behind Murphy, McGeady goes out to the right. Hendrick and Brady in the middle of the park for the Irish. 8:47PM Double sub for Ireland! O'Neill going for it here! Arter and Meyler are replaced by McGeady and Hoolahan - a really attacking move. Huge 45 minutes coming up. And we're off. 8:35PM Half time Well, what a half that was, and I doubt many expected that kind of entertainment after the goalless first leg. After going in front, the Republic of Ireland weren't really sure how to approach the rest of the game. Denmark took advantage, swarming forward in numbers as they went after an equaliser, and Ireland crumbled in three minutes that may decide their World Cup fate. It's all to play for but Ireland have an awful lot to do in the second half. Here's the half in graphical form: Shots Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal Possession Possession: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark Average position Average touch positions (half time) 8:30PM 44 mins The ball breaks for Brady in a central position with space to move into. The crowd sense an opportunity. Ward goes charging outside Brady down the left and Brady slides a pass into his team-mates path, but Christensen does really well to get back first and get a toe in, meaning Ward clatters into him and he wins a free-kick. 8:28PM This could stick Irish Proverb: "That Goal Was Too Early"— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) November 14, 2017 8:27PM 41 mins McClean goes down far, far too easily in the box under the faintest of nudges from Christensen, and he's desperate for a penalty but the referee right waves play away. 8:25PM 40 mins People say his club, Tottenham, are a one-man team. His country might be even more reliant on one man... 12 – Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in 12 goals in the World Cup 2018 qualification process (nine goals, three assists), eight more than any other Denmark player. Leader.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 14, 2017 8:22PM 36 mins Ireland need to get a foothold back in this game. Denmark are looking confident and in full control, knowing Ireland now need two goals with away goals counting double. There will be no extra time, by the way. 8:20PM GOOOOOOAAAALLL!!! Ireland 1-2 Denmark (Erisken) Oh dear, Ireland - the game's been turned around in two minutes and Denmark are in front. Robbie Brady tries to take on Poulsen and has possession nicked from him. Poulsen finds Jorgensen, who returns the ball back out to the right where Poulsen has caught up. He reverses back to Jorgensen, who sweeps it out left to Christian Eriksen, and he thunders the ball off the underside of the bar past a helpless Randolph. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) 8:17PM GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Ireland 1-1 Denmark (Christie own goal) Sisto had a shot from distance deflected over, Eriksen takes the corner short to Sisto, who looks like he's let the chance go by opting not to return the ball to Eriksen. But Sisto stands Arter up, slips the ball through his legs and crosses low and hard. Christensen swings a leg at it and it bounces towards goal - Christie is on the back post but he can't sort his legs out quickly enough, and the ball cannons off the upright, onto the right-back and into the net. So unlucky for him - but Denmark are level. Republic of Ireland 1 - 1 Denmark (Cyrus Christie, 29 min) 8:13PM 28 mins Ireland seeing much less of the ball, and playing a much more direct game - but so far, it's working. Here are the passes from the two teams: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark 8:10PM 24 mins What a match this is - James McClean runs onto Brady's through ball after good work with his back to goal by Daryl Murphy. The West Brom winger is clean through but the angle is getting tighter and tighter. He eventually fires off and hits it well enough but just drags it wide. 8:08PM 22 mins So nearly 2-0 to Ireland! And half the ground thought it was in, too! Murphy gets across his man to flick Christie's whipped cross from the right towards goal with the outside of his left boot, but it whistles JUST past Schmeichel's left post. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Daryl Murphy, 22 min) 8:06PM 20 mins Ireland fire a warning on the break, McClean getting clear down the left and squaring for Murphy, but he tries to squirm away from the defender rather than set it back for his arriving team-mate and the move falls apart. 8:05PM 18 mins And another big save! This time Eriksen finds Sisto on the left and his volleyed effort is well hit but straight at the keeper. Ireland retain their lead but pressure is building. 8:04PM 17 mins What an unbelievable save from Randolph! Denmark get Eriksen on the ball for the first time tonight and they construct a move nicely for the first time, too. The ball is worked left and then right, eventually pulled back by Christensen to the edge of the box for Kvist to slam low and hard towards the bottom left corner - but Randolph palms it away. Attempt Saved: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (William Kvist, 17 min) 8:01PM 15 mins Ireland will be as surprised as anyone that they got an early goal, and their whole gameplan will have to change now - how do they approach the final 75 minutes? You can't invite too much pressure but equally there's no need to go too gung ho for another goal. Decisions, decisions. 7:57PM 11 mins What a ball that is and that is a decent chance for Denmark. Kjaer launches an angled ball from the right-back position towards Larsen who has caught Christie unawares on the opposite flank. The ball comes down out of the sky and it is a really difficult chance but he still should do better. He gets it all wrong and bundles the ball harmlessly wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Jens Stryger Larsen, 10 min) 7:54PM 7 mins Denmark go straight up the other end with a set-piece of their own, but Ireland hold firm and clear. 7:53PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALLL!!!!! Ireland 1-0 Denmark (Duffy) The Republic win a free-kick for a push just next to the centre circle and they take an age over it, sending their centre-backs up and loading the box. The set-piece is eventually launched forward by Brady, long and straight and direct. Jorgensen gets a toe to it but can only spoon it up in the air. It isn't anyhinh like properly cleared, and Duffy out-jumps Schmeichel to nod the ball home! Ireland are in front! Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Shane Duffy, 6 min) 7:49PM 3 mins Two heavy challenges, first from Brady on Eriksen and then from Meyler on Sisto, are penalised, much to the annoyance of the home fans. The ref isn't going to let those slide. 7:47PM 1 min Positive start from Larsen down the left but Christie stops him in his tracks, and concedes a throw-in. Kvist picks up where Denmark left off by launching the throw into the box. Ireland clear. 7:46PM 10 Irish players were in danger of missing this game if they were booked in the first leg All 10 escaped a yellow, and there is a clean slate tonight. This could be fiery. We're under way in Dublin. 7:42PM The Aviva is rocking for the national anthems Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: PA 7:35PM Ireland's competitive home record under O'Neill One loss in 11 Pretty impressive reading, right? Can Denmark trouble the Irish?  7:29PM Martin O'Neill talks "We are here to win this match. Of course, there are risks that come with being more expansive. "Are we preparing for 120 minutes? First and foremost in the players' minds is: we have to win the game "The players are ready." 6:54PM A closer look at those teams David Meyler is back after missing the first leg through suspension, and he captains the Republic tonight. Meanwhile, Bristol City's Callum O'Dowda drops to the bench, replaced on the right by James McClean who switches from the left flank. Robbie Brady will move out to the left after playing centrally in midweek. David Meyler is back  Credit: Getty images Denmark bring RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen in on the flank, with Andreas Cornelius dropping to the bench, while Chelsea's Andreas Christensen also comes back in.  6:44PM The teams are in Ireland: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Arter, Meyler, Hendrick, Brady, McClean; Murphy Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen; Eriksen, Kvist, Delaney; Poulsen, Jorgensen, Sisto 6:38PM Martin O'Neill sends out a word of warning Martin O'Neill has warned Denmark not to be taken in by the Republic of Ireland's paltry World Cup goals tally. The pair meet in a decisive play-off second leg encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening with Ireland having managed to find the back of the net on only four occasions in their Group D qualifiers in Dublin. Indeed, they managed only 12 goals in total during the entire campaign and could not add to it in Saturday evening's 0-0 draw in Copenhagen. O'Neill is acutely aware of the chasm 68-goal Robbie Keane left on his retirement from international football, but remains confident his team can find a way to beat the Danes. He said: "You have to treat the game on its own merits. You can't look at the past now and say: 'Well, we didn't do this and we didn't do that'. The dream team need a goal from their players tonight Credit: PA "Some of the games we might have scored more goals in, but we're not prolific. Really top quality Republic of Ireland sides have not been able to score goals. "You have Robbie Keane out on his own and the next person to him is someone who might have forced a corner or something like that. Seriously, that is the case. "There have been great players who have played for the Republic of Ireland in their history and they have never been prolific. "We have to find the net and we think we're capable of doing it. We find everything tough, it's the nature of us. We don't have all the skills that maybe other nations have. "We have to find it in different manners. I've said that umpteen times, we have to find it. So far, the lads have come up big in matches and tomorrow is a massive game and we're hoping to do it again."

Republic of Ireland 1 Denmark 5: Sensational Christian Eriksen hat-trick ends Irish World Cup dream

The Republic of Ireland have put their heart and soul into this World Cup qualification campaign, but when it mattered most they were short of the one thing that really matters – quality. That was served up on a silver service for Denmark by Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen, who scored a magnificent hat-trick, stroking two shots into the net like he was knocking balls into an empty goal at the end of a training session, before smashing in a third.  Ireland were forced to bend the knee in the presence of his brilliance. Denmark had one world-class player, Ireland had none. It can make small margins look like a gulf in class. Ireland were crushed, but the suggestion they had been humiliated at the end of a campaign in which they were fourth seeds in their group and still finished second, drew an angry response from manager Martin O’Neill, who walked out of a post-match television interview. “We were well beaten, no question about that,” said O’Neill. “We were made to pay for some sloppy defending, two really poor goals to concede and when we tried to chase the game, we were punished. “But we were beaten in a play-off. We have fought tooth and nail to get here, so the sense of disappointment is huge. But we have played 24 competitive games and lost four. This is one of them. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal “We were beaten by a side that was better than us and has a world-class player in the team, who was absolutely magnificent. Eriksen is top class and he showed it.” Eriksen now belongs in an elite group of players in the modern era, alongside Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who have carried their national teams to new heights, defining the big games with the force of their ­individual talent. In the end, Ireland gambled and lost. O’Neill tried something different and it did not work. Having smothered Denmark in the first leg in Copenhagen, he tried to attack them. He might regret it now, but in truth, nothing was likely to stand in Eriksen’s way. He and Denmark fully deserve to be at the World Cup next year. By the time Ireland play in one, it will have been at least 20 years since their last appearance. An entire generation will have grown up without seeing their country play in the biggest tournament of all. Shane Duffy heads Ireland in front after only six minutes Credit: Getty images Then again, for all of the sense of entitlement in Irish football, the strange assumption they should be playing on the biggest stage, World Cups tend to take place without them. They have only made three, the last of which was in 2002, when they had a squad packed with ­Premier League players. They do not have that luxury anymore, but this was still a huge let down, the sort of anti-climax that turns a party into a wake. They have felt like this before. This was the fourth World Cup play-off they have lost, but this had been their chance to erase those bitter memories to the point of deletion. It had the perfect opening paragraph, Shane Duffy heading Ireland in front from Robbie Brady’s free-kick. Ireland had other chances, a flick from Daryl Murphy almost turned in Cyrus Christie’s cross before James McClean, after a lovely move down the left, was played in behind by Robbie Brady. But, from a tricky angle, he dragged his effort wide of the far post. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) Minutes later, Denmark were level. Harry Arter was beaten too easily from a short corner by Pione Sisto and, although Andreas Christensen sliced his shot against a post, it rebounded in off Christie. A setback turned into a disaster when Stephen Ward was robbed by Yussuf Poulsen. The ball was moved to Eriksen and Denmark’s star player found the net via the underside of the crossbar. Martin O'Neill was unable to change the direction of the game Credit: Reuters Needing two goals in the second half, O’Neill went for broke and ended up broken. Off went Arter and David Meyler – on came Aiden McGeady and Wes Hoolahan. Caution was no longer a viable policy, but he was sending on two attacking players from the Championship, not the Premier League. Eriksen (left) fires in his second goal Credit: getty images Eriksen made full use of the space, curling in a second goal and punishing some poor control from Ward to grab a third. Nicklas Bendtner added a fifth with a penalty. “Eriksen is one of the best players in Europe,” said Denmark coach Age Hareide. “We have seen that against Real Madrid in the Champions League and tonight. He is in the top 10 players in the world, he has this ability to score goals, to make assists and find space, he is a special player. As soon as Ireland gave him space, he hurt them.” 9:34PM Full time - Republic of Ireland 1-5 Denmark And that's it! Denmark go to Russia 2018, the Irish will be left at home. 9:32PM 90 mins Two minutes to be added on. 9:32PM GOOOOOAAL!! Bendtner makes it five from the spot Bendtner steps up, sends Randolph the wrong way, and makes it 5-1. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal 9:31PM Penalty to Ireland! Denmark break with Bendnter, and McClean is charging back after him, head down - he really doesn't want another Denmark goal going in. He does well to catch play up, but then, in the most predictable thing ever to happen EVER, he throws himself at the ball and cuts Bentdner down to concede a penalty. What an utterly stupid decision. 9:26PM 85 mins McClean comes in off the right flank and fires at goal from 30 yards and it flies - unsurprisingly - miles over the bar. Out: Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (James McClean, 85 min) 9:25PM 84 mins Nicklas Bendtner is on. Denmark's very own Zlatan Ibrahimovic replaces Jorgensen for the final 6 minutes. 9:21PM 80 mins Eriksen wants more - he's released down the right and charges after it but he can only win a corner. 9:19PM 78 mins A decent chance for Long after a straight ball forward from Hoolahan sets him free, but under pressure from Kjaer and Bjelland he can only scoop his shot over the bar. 9:18PM GOOOOOOAAALL! Eriksen hat-trick! It's 3-1 to Denmark It's a horror show for Ward, but it's yet more sheer class from Christian Eriksen, who has his treble. Cornelius lobs a hopeful ball into the Ireland box, Ward leans back and only succeeds in stopping the ball inside his own box - and Eriksen is quickest to react. Ward stops the ball The Spurs man comes steaming in and  slams into the top corner for his hat-trick. Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 73 min) 9:12PM 71 mins O'Neill responds: it's all or nothing now. Forward Shane Long comes on for centre-back Ciaran Clark. This could get ugly. 9:11PM 70 mins Another change for Denmark. Former Cardiff man Cornelius replaces Poulsen, who got that knock a short while ago. 9:08PM 66 mins Ward gets forward well and drinks a decent cross onto McClean's head but he fires his effort just over. More than half a chance, that. Ireland need a goal soon.  9:07PM Eriksen or Coutinho? I know who I'd choose If Christian Eriksen was Brazilian someone would be bidding £115m.— Chris Bascombe (@_ChrisBascombe) November 14, 2017 9:06PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALL!!!! Ireland 1-3 Denmark (Eriksen) That's it. Christian Eriksen is a class apart from every other player on the pitch, and he has shown it for a second time with another wonderful goal. He has been helped by Martin O'Neill's to play this second half without a defensive midfielder, picking up positions between the lines and he does so again he to extraordinary effect. Listo finds him on the edge of the box after a patient build-up from the Danes, and Eriksen shifts onto his left foot and just brushes a lovely left-footed effort into the corner with Randolph again helpless. Tie over? Republic of Ireland 1 - 3 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 63 min) 9:02PM 60 mins Christie dances past three challenges in an attacking position on the right, but his drilled ball across goal is cleared. Then a combination of McClean and Ward absolutely clatter Poulsen, who needs medical attention.  Shortly after the Denmark fans start greeting each pass with an 'Ole!'. Too early for that, lads. Too early. 9:00PM 57 mins A decent break from Ireland with McClean fouled but a good advantage played, and they have numbers piling forwards, but twice in succession - first Christie, then McGeady - poor crosses let them down. And the second launches a Denmark attack. Duffy flies into a challenge and misses completely, and suddenly Eriksen is away down the left. Pace isn't his greatest asset, and he is caught by Clark, but not before getting a decent shot off that Randolph palms away. Ireland got away with that. McGeady's feather-weak cross there somehow sets up a Danish attack. Have to say that was a baffling substitution.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) November 14, 2017 8:56PM 55 mins Hoolahan does well to win a corner, which Duffy heads at goal but it's a simple save for Schmeichel. 8:55PM 53 mins Denmark have started this half really well, and are completely dominating possession. The Irish changes have yet to make any difference so far. Sisto stings the fingers of Randolph with a well struck effort from the edge of the box. A change for Denmark: Peter Ankersen replaces Styger Larsen - a defensive move - could that be five at the back now? 8:53PM 51 mins A decent effort from Sisto, who darts in off the left and fires at goal but it is blazed just high and just wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Pione Sisto, 51 min) 8:51PM 50 mins Poulsen wins a high ball forward and flicks it on to Jorgensen. He finds Eriksen, who floats a cross into the centre but Ward does really well to toe-end it away for a corner - which comes to nothing. 8:48PM 47 mins Hoolahan slots in behind Murphy, McGeady goes out to the right. Hendrick and Brady in the middle of the park for the Irish. 8:47PM Double sub for Ireland! O'Neill going for it here! Arter and Meyler are replaced by McGeady and Hoolahan - a really attacking move. Huge 45 minutes coming up. And we're off. 8:35PM Half time Well, what a half that was, and I doubt many expected that kind of entertainment after the goalless first leg. After going in front, the Republic of Ireland weren't really sure how to approach the rest of the game. Denmark took advantage, swarming forward in numbers as they went after an equaliser, and Ireland crumbled in three minutes that may decide their World Cup fate. It's all to play for but Ireland have an awful lot to do in the second half. Here's the half in graphical form: Shots Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal Possession Possession: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark Average position Average touch positions (half time) 8:30PM 44 mins The ball breaks for Brady in a central position with space to move into. The crowd sense an opportunity. Ward goes charging outside Brady down the left and Brady slides a pass into his team-mates path, but Christensen does really well to get back first and get a toe in, meaning Ward clatters into him and he wins a free-kick. 8:28PM This could stick Irish Proverb: "That Goal Was Too Early"— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) November 14, 2017 8:27PM 41 mins McClean goes down far, far too easily in the box under the faintest of nudges from Christensen, and he's desperate for a penalty but the referee right waves play away. 8:25PM 40 mins People say his club, Tottenham, are a one-man team. His country might be even more reliant on one man... 12 – Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in 12 goals in the World Cup 2018 qualification process (nine goals, three assists), eight more than any other Denmark player. Leader.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 14, 2017 8:22PM 36 mins Ireland need to get a foothold back in this game. Denmark are looking confident and in full control, knowing Ireland now need two goals with away goals counting double. There will be no extra time, by the way. 8:20PM GOOOOOOAAAALLL!!! Ireland 1-2 Denmark (Erisken) Oh dear, Ireland - the game's been turned around in two minutes and Denmark are in front. Robbie Brady tries to take on Poulsen and has possession nicked from him. Poulsen finds Jorgensen, who returns the ball back out to the right where Poulsen has caught up. He reverses back to Jorgensen, who sweeps it out left to Christian Eriksen, and he thunders the ball off the underside of the bar past a helpless Randolph. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) 8:17PM GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Ireland 1-1 Denmark (Christie own goal) Sisto had a shot from distance deflected over, Eriksen takes the corner short to Sisto, who looks like he's let the chance go by opting not to return the ball to Eriksen. But Sisto stands Arter up, slips the ball through his legs and crosses low and hard. Christensen swings a leg at it and it bounces towards goal - Christie is on the back post but he can't sort his legs out quickly enough, and the ball cannons off the upright, onto the right-back and into the net. So unlucky for him - but Denmark are level. Republic of Ireland 1 - 1 Denmark (Cyrus Christie, 29 min) 8:13PM 28 mins Ireland seeing much less of the ball, and playing a much more direct game - but so far, it's working. Here are the passes from the two teams: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark 8:10PM 24 mins What a match this is - James McClean runs onto Brady's through ball after good work with his back to goal by Daryl Murphy. The West Brom winger is clean through but the angle is getting tighter and tighter. He eventually fires off and hits it well enough but just drags it wide. 8:08PM 22 mins So nearly 2-0 to Ireland! And half the ground thought it was in, too! Murphy gets across his man to flick Christie's whipped cross from the right towards goal with the outside of his left boot, but it whistles JUST past Schmeichel's left post. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Daryl Murphy, 22 min) 8:06PM 20 mins Ireland fire a warning on the break, McClean getting clear down the left and squaring for Murphy, but he tries to squirm away from the defender rather than set it back for his arriving team-mate and the move falls apart. 8:05PM 18 mins And another big save! This time Eriksen finds Sisto on the left and his volleyed effort is well hit but straight at the keeper. Ireland retain their lead but pressure is building. 8:04PM 17 mins What an unbelievable save from Randolph! Denmark get Eriksen on the ball for the first time tonight and they construct a move nicely for the first time, too. The ball is worked left and then right, eventually pulled back by Christensen to the edge of the box for Kvist to slam low and hard towards the bottom left corner - but Randolph palms it away. Attempt Saved: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (William Kvist, 17 min) 8:01PM 15 mins Ireland will be as surprised as anyone that they got an early goal, and their whole gameplan will have to change now - how do they approach the final 75 minutes? You can't invite too much pressure but equally there's no need to go too gung ho for another goal. Decisions, decisions. 7:57PM 11 mins What a ball that is and that is a decent chance for Denmark. Kjaer launches an angled ball from the right-back position towards Larsen who has caught Christie unawares on the opposite flank. The ball comes down out of the sky and it is a really difficult chance but he still should do better. He gets it all wrong and bundles the ball harmlessly wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Jens Stryger Larsen, 10 min) 7:54PM 7 mins Denmark go straight up the other end with a set-piece of their own, but Ireland hold firm and clear. 7:53PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALLL!!!!! Ireland 1-0 Denmark (Duffy) The Republic win a free-kick for a push just next to the centre circle and they take an age over it, sending their centre-backs up and loading the box. The set-piece is eventually launched forward by Brady, long and straight and direct. Jorgensen gets a toe to it but can only spoon it up in the air. It isn't anyhinh like properly cleared, and Duffy out-jumps Schmeichel to nod the ball home! Ireland are in front! Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Shane Duffy, 6 min) 7:49PM 3 mins Two heavy challenges, first from Brady on Eriksen and then from Meyler on Sisto, are penalised, much to the annoyance of the home fans. The ref isn't going to let those slide. 7:47PM 1 min Positive start from Larsen down the left but Christie stops him in his tracks, and concedes a throw-in. Kvist picks up where Denmark left off by launching the throw into the box. Ireland clear. 7:46PM 10 Irish players were in danger of missing this game if they were booked in the first leg All 10 escaped a yellow, and there is a clean slate tonight. This could be fiery. We're under way in Dublin. 7:42PM The Aviva is rocking for the national anthems Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: PA 7:35PM Ireland's competitive home record under O'Neill One loss in 11 Pretty impressive reading, right? Can Denmark trouble the Irish?  7:29PM Martin O'Neill talks "We are here to win this match. Of course, there are risks that come with being more expansive. "Are we preparing for 120 minutes? First and foremost in the players' minds is: we have to win the game "The players are ready." 6:54PM A closer look at those teams David Meyler is back after missing the first leg through suspension, and he captains the Republic tonight. Meanwhile, Bristol City's Callum O'Dowda drops to the bench, replaced on the right by James McClean who switches from the left flank. Robbie Brady will move out to the left after playing centrally in midweek. David Meyler is back  Credit: Getty images Denmark bring RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen in on the flank, with Andreas Cornelius dropping to the bench, while Chelsea's Andreas Christensen also comes back in.  6:44PM The teams are in Ireland: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Arter, Meyler, Hendrick, Brady, McClean; Murphy Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen; Eriksen, Kvist, Delaney; Poulsen, Jorgensen, Sisto 6:38PM Martin O'Neill sends out a word of warning Martin O'Neill has warned Denmark not to be taken in by the Republic of Ireland's paltry World Cup goals tally. The pair meet in a decisive play-off second leg encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening with Ireland having managed to find the back of the net on only four occasions in their Group D qualifiers in Dublin. Indeed, they managed only 12 goals in total during the entire campaign and could not add to it in Saturday evening's 0-0 draw in Copenhagen. O'Neill is acutely aware of the chasm 68-goal Robbie Keane left on his retirement from international football, but remains confident his team can find a way to beat the Danes. He said: "You have to treat the game on its own merits. You can't look at the past now and say: 'Well, we didn't do this and we didn't do that'. The dream team need a goal from their players tonight Credit: PA "Some of the games we might have scored more goals in, but we're not prolific. Really top quality Republic of Ireland sides have not been able to score goals. "You have Robbie Keane out on his own and the next person to him is someone who might have forced a corner or something like that. Seriously, that is the case. "There have been great players who have played for the Republic of Ireland in their history and they have never been prolific. "We have to find the net and we think we're capable of doing it. We find everything tough, it's the nature of us. We don't have all the skills that maybe other nations have. "We have to find it in different manners. I've said that umpteen times, we have to find it. So far, the lads have come up big in matches and tomorrow is a massive game and we're hoping to do it again."

Republic of Ireland 1 Denmark 5: Sensational Christian Eriksen hat-trick ends Irish World Cup dream

The Republic of Ireland have put their heart and soul into this World Cup qualification campaign, but when it mattered most they were short of the one thing that really matters – quality. That was served up on a silver service for Denmark by Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen, who scored a magnificent hat-trick, stroking two shots into the net like he was knocking balls into an empty goal at the end of a training session, before smashing in a third.  Ireland were forced to bend the knee in the presence of his brilliance. Denmark had one world-class player, Ireland had none. It can make small margins look like a gulf in class. Ireland were crushed, but the suggestion they had been humiliated at the end of a campaign in which they were fourth seeds in their group and still finished second, drew an angry response from manager Martin O’Neill, who walked out of a post-match television interview. “We were well beaten, no question about that,” said O’Neill. “We were made to pay for some sloppy defending, two really poor goals to concede and when we tried to chase the game, we were punished. “But we were beaten in a play-off. We have fought tooth and nail to get here, so the sense of disappointment is huge. But we have played 24 competitive games and lost four. This is one of them. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal “We were beaten by a side that was better than us and has a world-class player in the team, who was absolutely magnificent. Eriksen is top class and he showed it.” Eriksen now belongs in an elite group of players in the modern era, alongside Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who have carried their national teams to new heights, defining the big games with the force of their ­individual talent. In the end, Ireland gambled and lost. O’Neill tried something different and it did not work. Having smothered Denmark in the first leg in Copenhagen, he tried to attack them. He might regret it now, but in truth, nothing was likely to stand in Eriksen’s way. He and Denmark fully deserve to be at the World Cup next year. By the time Ireland play in one, it will have been at least 20 years since their last appearance. An entire generation will have grown up without seeing their country play in the biggest tournament of all. Shane Duffy heads Ireland in front after only six minutes Credit: Getty images Then again, for all of the sense of entitlement in Irish football, the strange assumption they should be playing on the biggest stage, World Cups tend to take place without them. They have only made three, the last of which was in 2002, when they had a squad packed with ­Premier League players. They do not have that luxury anymore, but this was still a huge let down, the sort of anti-climax that turns a party into a wake. They have felt like this before. This was the fourth World Cup play-off they have lost, but this had been their chance to erase those bitter memories to the point of deletion. It had the perfect opening paragraph, Shane Duffy heading Ireland in front from Robbie Brady’s free-kick. Ireland had other chances, a flick from Daryl Murphy almost turned in Cyrus Christie’s cross before James McClean, after a lovely move down the left, was played in behind by Robbie Brady. But, from a tricky angle, he dragged his effort wide of the far post. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) Minutes later, Denmark were level. Harry Arter was beaten too easily from a short corner by Pione Sisto and, although Andreas Christensen sliced his shot against a post, it rebounded in off Christie. A setback turned into a disaster when Stephen Ward was robbed by Yussuf Poulsen. The ball was moved to Eriksen and Denmark’s star player found the net via the underside of the crossbar. Martin O'Neill was unable to change the direction of the game Credit: Reuters Needing two goals in the second half, O’Neill went for broke and ended up broken. Off went Arter and David Meyler – on came Aiden McGeady and Wes Hoolahan. Caution was no longer a viable policy, but he was sending on two attacking players from the Championship, not the Premier League. Eriksen (left) fires in his second goal Credit: getty images Eriksen made full use of the space, curling in a second goal and punishing some poor control from Ward to grab a third. Nicklas Bendtner added a fifth with a penalty. “Eriksen is one of the best players in Europe,” said Denmark coach Age Hareide. “We have seen that against Real Madrid in the Champions League and tonight. He is in the top 10 players in the world, he has this ability to score goals, to make assists and find space, he is a special player. As soon as Ireland gave him space, he hurt them.” 9:34PM Full time - Republic of Ireland 1-5 Denmark And that's it! Denmark go to Russia 2018, the Irish will be left at home. 9:32PM 90 mins Two minutes to be added on. 9:32PM GOOOOOAAL!! Bendtner makes it five from the spot Bendtner steps up, sends Randolph the wrong way, and makes it 5-1. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal 9:31PM Penalty to Ireland! Denmark break with Bendnter, and McClean is charging back after him, head down - he really doesn't want another Denmark goal going in. He does well to catch play up, but then, in the most predictable thing ever to happen EVER, he throws himself at the ball and cuts Bentdner down to concede a penalty. What an utterly stupid decision. 9:26PM 85 mins McClean comes in off the right flank and fires at goal from 30 yards and it flies - unsurprisingly - miles over the bar. Out: Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (James McClean, 85 min) 9:25PM 84 mins Nicklas Bendtner is on. Denmark's very own Zlatan Ibrahimovic replaces Jorgensen for the final 6 minutes. 9:21PM 80 mins Eriksen wants more - he's released down the right and charges after it but he can only win a corner. 9:19PM 78 mins A decent chance for Long after a straight ball forward from Hoolahan sets him free, but under pressure from Kjaer and Bjelland he can only scoop his shot over the bar. 9:18PM GOOOOOOAAALL! Eriksen hat-trick! It's 3-1 to Denmark It's a horror show for Ward, but it's yet more sheer class from Christian Eriksen, who has his treble. Cornelius lobs a hopeful ball into the Ireland box, Ward leans back and only succeeds in stopping the ball inside his own box - and Eriksen is quickest to react. Ward stops the ball The Spurs man comes steaming in and  slams into the top corner for his hat-trick. Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 73 min) 9:12PM 71 mins O'Neill responds: it's all or nothing now. Forward Shane Long comes on for centre-back Ciaran Clark. This could get ugly. 9:11PM 70 mins Another change for Denmark. Former Cardiff man Cornelius replaces Poulsen, who got that knock a short while ago. 9:08PM 66 mins Ward gets forward well and drinks a decent cross onto McClean's head but he fires his effort just over. More than half a chance, that. Ireland need a goal soon.  9:07PM Eriksen or Coutinho? I know who I'd choose If Christian Eriksen was Brazilian someone would be bidding £115m.— Chris Bascombe (@_ChrisBascombe) November 14, 2017 9:06PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALL!!!! Ireland 1-3 Denmark (Eriksen) That's it. Christian Eriksen is a class apart from every other player on the pitch, and he has shown it for a second time with another wonderful goal. He has been helped by Martin O'Neill's to play this second half without a defensive midfielder, picking up positions between the lines and he does so again he to extraordinary effect. Listo finds him on the edge of the box after a patient build-up from the Danes, and Eriksen shifts onto his left foot and just brushes a lovely left-footed effort into the corner with Randolph again helpless. Tie over? Republic of Ireland 1 - 3 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 63 min) 9:02PM 60 mins Christie dances past three challenges in an attacking position on the right, but his drilled ball across goal is cleared. Then a combination of McClean and Ward absolutely clatter Poulsen, who needs medical attention.  Shortly after the Denmark fans start greeting each pass with an 'Ole!'. Too early for that, lads. Too early. 9:00PM 57 mins A decent break from Ireland with McClean fouled but a good advantage played, and they have numbers piling forwards, but twice in succession - first Christie, then McGeady - poor crosses let them down. And the second launches a Denmark attack. Duffy flies into a challenge and misses completely, and suddenly Eriksen is away down the left. Pace isn't his greatest asset, and he is caught by Clark, but not before getting a decent shot off that Randolph palms away. Ireland got away with that. McGeady's feather-weak cross there somehow sets up a Danish attack. Have to say that was a baffling substitution.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) November 14, 2017 8:56PM 55 mins Hoolahan does well to win a corner, which Duffy heads at goal but it's a simple save for Schmeichel. 8:55PM 53 mins Denmark have started this half really well, and are completely dominating possession. The Irish changes have yet to make any difference so far. Sisto stings the fingers of Randolph with a well struck effort from the edge of the box. A change for Denmark: Peter Ankersen replaces Styger Larsen - a defensive move - could that be five at the back now? 8:53PM 51 mins A decent effort from Sisto, who darts in off the left and fires at goal but it is blazed just high and just wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Pione Sisto, 51 min) 8:51PM 50 mins Poulsen wins a high ball forward and flicks it on to Jorgensen. He finds Eriksen, who floats a cross into the centre but Ward does really well to toe-end it away for a corner - which comes to nothing. 8:48PM 47 mins Hoolahan slots in behind Murphy, McGeady goes out to the right. Hendrick and Brady in the middle of the park for the Irish. 8:47PM Double sub for Ireland! O'Neill going for it here! Arter and Meyler are replaced by McGeady and Hoolahan - a really attacking move. Huge 45 minutes coming up. And we're off. 8:35PM Half time Well, what a half that was, and I doubt many expected that kind of entertainment after the goalless first leg. After going in front, the Republic of Ireland weren't really sure how to approach the rest of the game. Denmark took advantage, swarming forward in numbers as they went after an equaliser, and Ireland crumbled in three minutes that may decide their World Cup fate. It's all to play for but Ireland have an awful lot to do in the second half. Here's the half in graphical form: Shots Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal Possession Possession: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark Average position Average touch positions (half time) 8:30PM 44 mins The ball breaks for Brady in a central position with space to move into. The crowd sense an opportunity. Ward goes charging outside Brady down the left and Brady slides a pass into his team-mates path, but Christensen does really well to get back first and get a toe in, meaning Ward clatters into him and he wins a free-kick. 8:28PM This could stick Irish Proverb: "That Goal Was Too Early"— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) November 14, 2017 8:27PM 41 mins McClean goes down far, far too easily in the box under the faintest of nudges from Christensen, and he's desperate for a penalty but the referee right waves play away. 8:25PM 40 mins People say his club, Tottenham, are a one-man team. His country might be even more reliant on one man... 12 – Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in 12 goals in the World Cup 2018 qualification process (nine goals, three assists), eight more than any other Denmark player. Leader.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 14, 2017 8:22PM 36 mins Ireland need to get a foothold back in this game. Denmark are looking confident and in full control, knowing Ireland now need two goals with away goals counting double. There will be no extra time, by the way. 8:20PM GOOOOOOAAAALLL!!! Ireland 1-2 Denmark (Erisken) Oh dear, Ireland - the game's been turned around in two minutes and Denmark are in front. Robbie Brady tries to take on Poulsen and has possession nicked from him. Poulsen finds Jorgensen, who returns the ball back out to the right where Poulsen has caught up. He reverses back to Jorgensen, who sweeps it out left to Christian Eriksen, and he thunders the ball off the underside of the bar past a helpless Randolph. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) 8:17PM GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Ireland 1-1 Denmark (Christie own goal) Sisto had a shot from distance deflected over, Eriksen takes the corner short to Sisto, who looks like he's let the chance go by opting not to return the ball to Eriksen. But Sisto stands Arter up, slips the ball through his legs and crosses low and hard. Christensen swings a leg at it and it bounces towards goal - Christie is on the back post but he can't sort his legs out quickly enough, and the ball cannons off the upright, onto the right-back and into the net. So unlucky for him - but Denmark are level. Republic of Ireland 1 - 1 Denmark (Cyrus Christie, 29 min) 8:13PM 28 mins Ireland seeing much less of the ball, and playing a much more direct game - but so far, it's working. Here are the passes from the two teams: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark 8:10PM 24 mins What a match this is - James McClean runs onto Brady's through ball after good work with his back to goal by Daryl Murphy. The West Brom winger is clean through but the angle is getting tighter and tighter. He eventually fires off and hits it well enough but just drags it wide. 8:08PM 22 mins So nearly 2-0 to Ireland! And half the ground thought it was in, too! Murphy gets across his man to flick Christie's whipped cross from the right towards goal with the outside of his left boot, but it whistles JUST past Schmeichel's left post. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Daryl Murphy, 22 min) 8:06PM 20 mins Ireland fire a warning on the break, McClean getting clear down the left and squaring for Murphy, but he tries to squirm away from the defender rather than set it back for his arriving team-mate and the move falls apart. 8:05PM 18 mins And another big save! This time Eriksen finds Sisto on the left and his volleyed effort is well hit but straight at the keeper. Ireland retain their lead but pressure is building. 8:04PM 17 mins What an unbelievable save from Randolph! Denmark get Eriksen on the ball for the first time tonight and they construct a move nicely for the first time, too. The ball is worked left and then right, eventually pulled back by Christensen to the edge of the box for Kvist to slam low and hard towards the bottom left corner - but Randolph palms it away. Attempt Saved: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (William Kvist, 17 min) 8:01PM 15 mins Ireland will be as surprised as anyone that they got an early goal, and their whole gameplan will have to change now - how do they approach the final 75 minutes? You can't invite too much pressure but equally there's no need to go too gung ho for another goal. Decisions, decisions. 7:57PM 11 mins What a ball that is and that is a decent chance for Denmark. Kjaer launches an angled ball from the right-back position towards Larsen who has caught Christie unawares on the opposite flank. The ball comes down out of the sky and it is a really difficult chance but he still should do better. He gets it all wrong and bundles the ball harmlessly wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Jens Stryger Larsen, 10 min) 7:54PM 7 mins Denmark go straight up the other end with a set-piece of their own, but Ireland hold firm and clear. 7:53PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALLL!!!!! Ireland 1-0 Denmark (Duffy) The Republic win a free-kick for a push just next to the centre circle and they take an age over it, sending their centre-backs up and loading the box. The set-piece is eventually launched forward by Brady, long and straight and direct. Jorgensen gets a toe to it but can only spoon it up in the air. It isn't anyhinh like properly cleared, and Duffy out-jumps Schmeichel to nod the ball home! Ireland are in front! Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Shane Duffy, 6 min) 7:49PM 3 mins Two heavy challenges, first from Brady on Eriksen and then from Meyler on Sisto, are penalised, much to the annoyance of the home fans. The ref isn't going to let those slide. 7:47PM 1 min Positive start from Larsen down the left but Christie stops him in his tracks, and concedes a throw-in. Kvist picks up where Denmark left off by launching the throw into the box. Ireland clear. 7:46PM 10 Irish players were in danger of missing this game if they were booked in the first leg All 10 escaped a yellow, and there is a clean slate tonight. This could be fiery. We're under way in Dublin. 7:42PM The Aviva is rocking for the national anthems Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: PA 7:35PM Ireland's competitive home record under O'Neill One loss in 11 Pretty impressive reading, right? Can Denmark trouble the Irish?  7:29PM Martin O'Neill talks "We are here to win this match. Of course, there are risks that come with being more expansive. "Are we preparing for 120 minutes? First and foremost in the players' minds is: we have to win the game "The players are ready." 6:54PM A closer look at those teams David Meyler is back after missing the first leg through suspension, and he captains the Republic tonight. Meanwhile, Bristol City's Callum O'Dowda drops to the bench, replaced on the right by James McClean who switches from the left flank. Robbie Brady will move out to the left after playing centrally in midweek. David Meyler is back  Credit: Getty images Denmark bring RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen in on the flank, with Andreas Cornelius dropping to the bench, while Chelsea's Andreas Christensen also comes back in.  6:44PM The teams are in Ireland: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Arter, Meyler, Hendrick, Brady, McClean; Murphy Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen; Eriksen, Kvist, Delaney; Poulsen, Jorgensen, Sisto 6:38PM Martin O'Neill sends out a word of warning Martin O'Neill has warned Denmark not to be taken in by the Republic of Ireland's paltry World Cup goals tally. The pair meet in a decisive play-off second leg encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening with Ireland having managed to find the back of the net on only four occasions in their Group D qualifiers in Dublin. Indeed, they managed only 12 goals in total during the entire campaign and could not add to it in Saturday evening's 0-0 draw in Copenhagen. O'Neill is acutely aware of the chasm 68-goal Robbie Keane left on his retirement from international football, but remains confident his team can find a way to beat the Danes. He said: "You have to treat the game on its own merits. You can't look at the past now and say: 'Well, we didn't do this and we didn't do that'. The dream team need a goal from their players tonight Credit: PA "Some of the games we might have scored more goals in, but we're not prolific. Really top quality Republic of Ireland sides have not been able to score goals. "You have Robbie Keane out on his own and the next person to him is someone who might have forced a corner or something like that. Seriously, that is the case. "There have been great players who have played for the Republic of Ireland in their history and they have never been prolific. "We have to find the net and we think we're capable of doing it. We find everything tough, it's the nature of us. We don't have all the skills that maybe other nations have. "We have to find it in different manners. I've said that umpteen times, we have to find it. So far, the lads have come up big in matches and tomorrow is a massive game and we're hoping to do it again."

Republic of Ireland 1 Denmark 5: Sensational Christian Eriksen hat-trick ends Irish World Cup dream

The Republic of Ireland have put their heart and soul into this World Cup qualification campaign, but when it mattered most they were short of the one thing that really matters – quality. That was served up on a silver service for Denmark by Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen, who scored a magnificent hat-trick, stroking two shots into the net like he was knocking balls into an empty goal at the end of a training session, before smashing in a third.  Ireland were forced to bend the knee in the presence of his brilliance. Denmark had one world-class player, Ireland had none. It can make small margins look like a gulf in class. Ireland were crushed, but the suggestion they had been humiliated at the end of a campaign in which they were fourth seeds in their group and still finished second, drew an angry response from manager Martin O’Neill, who walked out of a post-match television interview. “We were well beaten, no question about that,” said O’Neill. “We were made to pay for some sloppy defending, two really poor goals to concede and when we tried to chase the game, we were punished. “But we were beaten in a play-off. We have fought tooth and nail to get here, so the sense of disappointment is huge. But we have played 24 competitive games and lost four. This is one of them. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal “We were beaten by a side that was better than us and has a world-class player in the team, who was absolutely magnificent. Eriksen is top class and he showed it.” Eriksen now belongs in an elite group of players in the modern era, alongside Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who have carried their national teams to new heights, defining the big games with the force of their ­individual talent. In the end, Ireland gambled and lost. O’Neill tried something different and it did not work. Having smothered Denmark in the first leg in Copenhagen, he tried to attack them. He might regret it now, but in truth, nothing was likely to stand in Eriksen’s way. He and Denmark fully deserve to be at the World Cup next year. By the time Ireland play in one, it will have been at least 20 years since their last appearance. An entire generation will have grown up without seeing their country play in the biggest tournament of all. Shane Duffy heads Ireland in front after only six minutes Credit: Getty images Then again, for all of the sense of entitlement in Irish football, the strange assumption they should be playing on the biggest stage, World Cups tend to take place without them. They have only made three, the last of which was in 2002, when they had a squad packed with ­Premier League players. They do not have that luxury anymore, but this was still a huge let down, the sort of anti-climax that turns a party into a wake. They have felt like this before. This was the fourth World Cup play-off they have lost, but this had been their chance to erase those bitter memories to the point of deletion. It had the perfect opening paragraph, Shane Duffy heading Ireland in front from Robbie Brady’s free-kick. Ireland had other chances, a flick from Daryl Murphy almost turned in Cyrus Christie’s cross before James McClean, after a lovely move down the left, was played in behind by Robbie Brady. But, from a tricky angle, he dragged his effort wide of the far post. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) Minutes later, Denmark were level. Harry Arter was beaten too easily from a short corner by Pione Sisto and, although Andreas Christensen sliced his shot against a post, it rebounded in off Christie. A setback turned into a disaster when Stephen Ward was robbed by Yussuf Poulsen. The ball was moved to Eriksen and Denmark’s star player found the net via the underside of the crossbar. Martin O'Neill was unable to change the direction of the game Credit: Reuters Needing two goals in the second half, O’Neill went for broke and ended up broken. Off went Arter and David Meyler – on came Aiden McGeady and Wes Hoolahan. Caution was no longer a viable policy, but he was sending on two attacking players from the Championship, not the Premier League. Eriksen (left) fires in his second goal Credit: getty images Eriksen made full use of the space, curling in a second goal and punishing some poor control from Ward to grab a third. Nicklas Bendtner added a fifth with a penalty. “Eriksen is one of the best players in Europe,” said Denmark coach Age Hareide. “We have seen that against Real Madrid in the Champions League and tonight. He is in the top 10 players in the world, he has this ability to score goals, to make assists and find space, he is a special player. As soon as Ireland gave him space, he hurt them.” 9:34PM Full time - Republic of Ireland 1-5 Denmark And that's it! Denmark go to Russia 2018, the Irish will be left at home. 9:32PM 90 mins Two minutes to be added on. 9:32PM GOOOOOAAL!! Bendtner makes it five from the spot Bendtner steps up, sends Randolph the wrong way, and makes it 5-1. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal 9:31PM Penalty to Ireland! Denmark break with Bendnter, and McClean is charging back after him, head down - he really doesn't want another Denmark goal going in. He does well to catch play up, but then, in the most predictable thing ever to happen EVER, he throws himself at the ball and cuts Bentdner down to concede a penalty. What an utterly stupid decision. 9:26PM 85 mins McClean comes in off the right flank and fires at goal from 30 yards and it flies - unsurprisingly - miles over the bar. Out: Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (James McClean, 85 min) 9:25PM 84 mins Nicklas Bendtner is on. Denmark's very own Zlatan Ibrahimovic replaces Jorgensen for the final 6 minutes. 9:21PM 80 mins Eriksen wants more - he's released down the right and charges after it but he can only win a corner. 9:19PM 78 mins A decent chance for Long after a straight ball forward from Hoolahan sets him free, but under pressure from Kjaer and Bjelland he can only scoop his shot over the bar. 9:18PM GOOOOOOAAALL! Eriksen hat-trick! It's 3-1 to Denmark It's a horror show for Ward, but it's yet more sheer class from Christian Eriksen, who has his treble. Cornelius lobs a hopeful ball into the Ireland box, Ward leans back and only succeeds in stopping the ball inside his own box - and Eriksen is quickest to react. Ward stops the ball The Spurs man comes steaming in and  slams into the top corner for his hat-trick. Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 73 min) 9:12PM 71 mins O'Neill responds: it's all or nothing now. Forward Shane Long comes on for centre-back Ciaran Clark. This could get ugly. 9:11PM 70 mins Another change for Denmark. Former Cardiff man Cornelius replaces Poulsen, who got that knock a short while ago. 9:08PM 66 mins Ward gets forward well and drinks a decent cross onto McClean's head but he fires his effort just over. More than half a chance, that. Ireland need a goal soon.  9:07PM Eriksen or Coutinho? I know who I'd choose If Christian Eriksen was Brazilian someone would be bidding £115m.— Chris Bascombe (@_ChrisBascombe) November 14, 2017 9:06PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALL!!!! Ireland 1-3 Denmark (Eriksen) That's it. Christian Eriksen is a class apart from every other player on the pitch, and he has shown it for a second time with another wonderful goal. He has been helped by Martin O'Neill's to play this second half without a defensive midfielder, picking up positions between the lines and he does so again he to extraordinary effect. Listo finds him on the edge of the box after a patient build-up from the Danes, and Eriksen shifts onto his left foot and just brushes a lovely left-footed effort into the corner with Randolph again helpless. Tie over? Republic of Ireland 1 - 3 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 63 min) 9:02PM 60 mins Christie dances past three challenges in an attacking position on the right, but his drilled ball across goal is cleared. Then a combination of McClean and Ward absolutely clatter Poulsen, who needs medical attention.  Shortly after the Denmark fans start greeting each pass with an 'Ole!'. Too early for that, lads. Too early. 9:00PM 57 mins A decent break from Ireland with McClean fouled but a good advantage played, and they have numbers piling forwards, but twice in succession - first Christie, then McGeady - poor crosses let them down. And the second launches a Denmark attack. Duffy flies into a challenge and misses completely, and suddenly Eriksen is away down the left. Pace isn't his greatest asset, and he is caught by Clark, but not before getting a decent shot off that Randolph palms away. Ireland got away with that. McGeady's feather-weak cross there somehow sets up a Danish attack. Have to say that was a baffling substitution.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) November 14, 2017 8:56PM 55 mins Hoolahan does well to win a corner, which Duffy heads at goal but it's a simple save for Schmeichel. 8:55PM 53 mins Denmark have started this half really well, and are completely dominating possession. The Irish changes have yet to make any difference so far. Sisto stings the fingers of Randolph with a well struck effort from the edge of the box. A change for Denmark: Peter Ankersen replaces Styger Larsen - a defensive move - could that be five at the back now? 8:53PM 51 mins A decent effort from Sisto, who darts in off the left and fires at goal but it is blazed just high and just wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Pione Sisto, 51 min) 8:51PM 50 mins Poulsen wins a high ball forward and flicks it on to Jorgensen. He finds Eriksen, who floats a cross into the centre but Ward does really well to toe-end it away for a corner - which comes to nothing. 8:48PM 47 mins Hoolahan slots in behind Murphy, McGeady goes out to the right. Hendrick and Brady in the middle of the park for the Irish. 8:47PM Double sub for Ireland! O'Neill going for it here! Arter and Meyler are replaced by McGeady and Hoolahan - a really attacking move. Huge 45 minutes coming up. And we're off. 8:35PM Half time Well, what a half that was, and I doubt many expected that kind of entertainment after the goalless first leg. After going in front, the Republic of Ireland weren't really sure how to approach the rest of the game. Denmark took advantage, swarming forward in numbers as they went after an equaliser, and Ireland crumbled in three minutes that may decide their World Cup fate. It's all to play for but Ireland have an awful lot to do in the second half. Here's the half in graphical form: Shots Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal Possession Possession: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark Average position Average touch positions (half time) 8:30PM 44 mins The ball breaks for Brady in a central position with space to move into. The crowd sense an opportunity. Ward goes charging outside Brady down the left and Brady slides a pass into his team-mates path, but Christensen does really well to get back first and get a toe in, meaning Ward clatters into him and he wins a free-kick. 8:28PM This could stick Irish Proverb: "That Goal Was Too Early"— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) November 14, 2017 8:27PM 41 mins McClean goes down far, far too easily in the box under the faintest of nudges from Christensen, and he's desperate for a penalty but the referee right waves play away. 8:25PM 40 mins People say his club, Tottenham, are a one-man team. His country might be even more reliant on one man... 12 – Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in 12 goals in the World Cup 2018 qualification process (nine goals, three assists), eight more than any other Denmark player. Leader.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 14, 2017 8:22PM 36 mins Ireland need to get a foothold back in this game. Denmark are looking confident and in full control, knowing Ireland now need two goals with away goals counting double. There will be no extra time, by the way. 8:20PM GOOOOOOAAAALLL!!! Ireland 1-2 Denmark (Erisken) Oh dear, Ireland - the game's been turned around in two minutes and Denmark are in front. Robbie Brady tries to take on Poulsen and has possession nicked from him. Poulsen finds Jorgensen, who returns the ball back out to the right where Poulsen has caught up. He reverses back to Jorgensen, who sweeps it out left to Christian Eriksen, and he thunders the ball off the underside of the bar past a helpless Randolph. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) 8:17PM GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Ireland 1-1 Denmark (Christie own goal) Sisto had a shot from distance deflected over, Eriksen takes the corner short to Sisto, who looks like he's let the chance go by opting not to return the ball to Eriksen. But Sisto stands Arter up, slips the ball through his legs and crosses low and hard. Christensen swings a leg at it and it bounces towards goal - Christie is on the back post but he can't sort his legs out quickly enough, and the ball cannons off the upright, onto the right-back and into the net. So unlucky for him - but Denmark are level. Republic of Ireland 1 - 1 Denmark (Cyrus Christie, 29 min) 8:13PM 28 mins Ireland seeing much less of the ball, and playing a much more direct game - but so far, it's working. Here are the passes from the two teams: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark 8:10PM 24 mins What a match this is - James McClean runs onto Brady's through ball after good work with his back to goal by Daryl Murphy. The West Brom winger is clean through but the angle is getting tighter and tighter. He eventually fires off and hits it well enough but just drags it wide. 8:08PM 22 mins So nearly 2-0 to Ireland! And half the ground thought it was in, too! Murphy gets across his man to flick Christie's whipped cross from the right towards goal with the outside of his left boot, but it whistles JUST past Schmeichel's left post. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Daryl Murphy, 22 min) 8:06PM 20 mins Ireland fire a warning on the break, McClean getting clear down the left and squaring for Murphy, but he tries to squirm away from the defender rather than set it back for his arriving team-mate and the move falls apart. 8:05PM 18 mins And another big save! This time Eriksen finds Sisto on the left and his volleyed effort is well hit but straight at the keeper. Ireland retain their lead but pressure is building. 8:04PM 17 mins What an unbelievable save from Randolph! Denmark get Eriksen on the ball for the first time tonight and they construct a move nicely for the first time, too. The ball is worked left and then right, eventually pulled back by Christensen to the edge of the box for Kvist to slam low and hard towards the bottom left corner - but Randolph palms it away. Attempt Saved: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (William Kvist, 17 min) 8:01PM 15 mins Ireland will be as surprised as anyone that they got an early goal, and their whole gameplan will have to change now - how do they approach the final 75 minutes? You can't invite too much pressure but equally there's no need to go too gung ho for another goal. Decisions, decisions. 7:57PM 11 mins What a ball that is and that is a decent chance for Denmark. Kjaer launches an angled ball from the right-back position towards Larsen who has caught Christie unawares on the opposite flank. The ball comes down out of the sky and it is a really difficult chance but he still should do better. He gets it all wrong and bundles the ball harmlessly wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Jens Stryger Larsen, 10 min) 7:54PM 7 mins Denmark go straight up the other end with a set-piece of their own, but Ireland hold firm and clear. 7:53PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALLL!!!!! Ireland 1-0 Denmark (Duffy) The Republic win a free-kick for a push just next to the centre circle and they take an age over it, sending their centre-backs up and loading the box. The set-piece is eventually launched forward by Brady, long and straight and direct. Jorgensen gets a toe to it but can only spoon it up in the air. It isn't anyhinh like properly cleared, and Duffy out-jumps Schmeichel to nod the ball home! Ireland are in front! Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Shane Duffy, 6 min) 7:49PM 3 mins Two heavy challenges, first from Brady on Eriksen and then from Meyler on Sisto, are penalised, much to the annoyance of the home fans. The ref isn't going to let those slide. 7:47PM 1 min Positive start from Larsen down the left but Christie stops him in his tracks, and concedes a throw-in. Kvist picks up where Denmark left off by launching the throw into the box. Ireland clear. 7:46PM 10 Irish players were in danger of missing this game if they were booked in the first leg All 10 escaped a yellow, and there is a clean slate tonight. This could be fiery. We're under way in Dublin. 7:42PM The Aviva is rocking for the national anthems Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: PA 7:35PM Ireland's competitive home record under O'Neill One loss in 11 Pretty impressive reading, right? Can Denmark trouble the Irish?  7:29PM Martin O'Neill talks "We are here to win this match. Of course, there are risks that come with being more expansive. "Are we preparing for 120 minutes? First and foremost in the players' minds is: we have to win the game "The players are ready." 6:54PM A closer look at those teams David Meyler is back after missing the first leg through suspension, and he captains the Republic tonight. Meanwhile, Bristol City's Callum O'Dowda drops to the bench, replaced on the right by James McClean who switches from the left flank. Robbie Brady will move out to the left after playing centrally in midweek. David Meyler is back  Credit: Getty images Denmark bring RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen in on the flank, with Andreas Cornelius dropping to the bench, while Chelsea's Andreas Christensen also comes back in.  6:44PM The teams are in Ireland: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Arter, Meyler, Hendrick, Brady, McClean; Murphy Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen; Eriksen, Kvist, Delaney; Poulsen, Jorgensen, Sisto 6:38PM Martin O'Neill sends out a word of warning Martin O'Neill has warned Denmark not to be taken in by the Republic of Ireland's paltry World Cup goals tally. The pair meet in a decisive play-off second leg encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening with Ireland having managed to find the back of the net on only four occasions in their Group D qualifiers in Dublin. Indeed, they managed only 12 goals in total during the entire campaign and could not add to it in Saturday evening's 0-0 draw in Copenhagen. O'Neill is acutely aware of the chasm 68-goal Robbie Keane left on his retirement from international football, but remains confident his team can find a way to beat the Danes. He said: "You have to treat the game on its own merits. You can't look at the past now and say: 'Well, we didn't do this and we didn't do that'. The dream team need a goal from their players tonight Credit: PA "Some of the games we might have scored more goals in, but we're not prolific. Really top quality Republic of Ireland sides have not been able to score goals. "You have Robbie Keane out on his own and the next person to him is someone who might have forced a corner or something like that. Seriously, that is the case. "There have been great players who have played for the Republic of Ireland in their history and they have never been prolific. "We have to find the net and we think we're capable of doing it. We find everything tough, it's the nature of us. We don't have all the skills that maybe other nations have. "We have to find it in different manners. I've said that umpteen times, we have to find it. So far, the lads have come up big in matches and tomorrow is a massive game and we're hoping to do it again."

Republic of Ireland 1 Denmark 5: Sensational Christian Eriksen hat-trick ends Irish World Cup dream

The Republic of Ireland have put their heart and soul into this World Cup qualification campaign, but when it mattered most they were short of the one thing that really matters – quality. That was served up on a silver service for Denmark by Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen, who scored a magnificent hat-trick, stroking two shots into the net like he was knocking balls into an empty goal at the end of a training session, before smashing in a third.  Ireland were forced to bend the knee in the presence of his brilliance. Denmark had one world-class player, Ireland had none. It can make small margins look like a gulf in class. Ireland were crushed, but the suggestion they had been humiliated at the end of a campaign in which they were fourth seeds in their group and still finished second, drew an angry response from manager Martin O’Neill, who walked out of a post-match television interview. “We were well beaten, no question about that,” said O’Neill. “We were made to pay for some sloppy defending, two really poor goals to concede and when we tried to chase the game, we were punished. “But we were beaten in a play-off. We have fought tooth and nail to get here, so the sense of disappointment is huge. But we have played 24 competitive games and lost four. This is one of them. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal “We were beaten by a side that was better than us and has a world-class player in the team, who was absolutely magnificent. Eriksen is top class and he showed it.” Eriksen now belongs in an elite group of players in the modern era, alongside Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who have carried their national teams to new heights, defining the big games with the force of their ­individual talent. In the end, Ireland gambled and lost. O’Neill tried something different and it did not work. Having smothered Denmark in the first leg in Copenhagen, he tried to attack them. He might regret it now, but in truth, nothing was likely to stand in Eriksen’s way. He and Denmark fully deserve to be at the World Cup next year. By the time Ireland play in one, it will have been at least 20 years since their last appearance. An entire generation will have grown up without seeing their country play in the biggest tournament of all. Shane Duffy heads Ireland in front after only six minutes Credit: Getty images Then again, for all of the sense of entitlement in Irish football, the strange assumption they should be playing on the biggest stage, World Cups tend to take place without them. They have only made three, the last of which was in 2002, when they had a squad packed with ­Premier League players. They do not have that luxury anymore, but this was still a huge let down, the sort of anti-climax that turns a party into a wake. They have felt like this before. This was the fourth World Cup play-off they have lost, but this had been their chance to erase those bitter memories to the point of deletion. It had the perfect opening paragraph, Shane Duffy heading Ireland in front from Robbie Brady’s free-kick. Ireland had other chances, a flick from Daryl Murphy almost turned in Cyrus Christie’s cross before James McClean, after a lovely move down the left, was played in behind by Robbie Brady. But, from a tricky angle, he dragged his effort wide of the far post. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) Minutes later, Denmark were level. Harry Arter was beaten too easily from a short corner by Pione Sisto and, although Andreas Christensen sliced his shot against a post, it rebounded in off Christie. A setback turned into a disaster when Stephen Ward was robbed by Yussuf Poulsen. The ball was moved to Eriksen and Denmark’s star player found the net via the underside of the crossbar. Martin O'Neill was unable to change the direction of the game Credit: Reuters Needing two goals in the second half, O’Neill went for broke and ended up broken. Off went Arter and David Meyler – on came Aiden McGeady and Wes Hoolahan. Caution was no longer a viable policy, but he was sending on two attacking players from the Championship, not the Premier League. Eriksen (left) fires in his second goal Credit: getty images Eriksen made full use of the space, curling in a second goal and punishing some poor control from Ward to grab a third. Nicklas Bendtner added a fifth with a penalty. “Eriksen is one of the best players in Europe,” said Denmark coach Age Hareide. “We have seen that against Real Madrid in the Champions League and tonight. He is in the top 10 players in the world, he has this ability to score goals, to make assists and find space, he is a special player. As soon as Ireland gave him space, he hurt them.” 9:34PM Full time - Republic of Ireland 1-5 Denmark And that's it! Denmark go to Russia 2018, the Irish will be left at home. 9:32PM 90 mins Two minutes to be added on. 9:32PM GOOOOOAAL!! Bendtner makes it five from the spot Bendtner steps up, sends Randolph the wrong way, and makes it 5-1. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal 9:31PM Penalty to Ireland! Denmark break with Bendnter, and McClean is charging back after him, head down - he really doesn't want another Denmark goal going in. He does well to catch play up, but then, in the most predictable thing ever to happen EVER, he throws himself at the ball and cuts Bentdner down to concede a penalty. What an utterly stupid decision. 9:26PM 85 mins McClean comes in off the right flank and fires at goal from 30 yards and it flies - unsurprisingly - miles over the bar. Out: Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (James McClean, 85 min) 9:25PM 84 mins Nicklas Bendtner is on. Denmark's very own Zlatan Ibrahimovic replaces Jorgensen for the final 6 minutes. 9:21PM 80 mins Eriksen wants more - he's released down the right and charges after it but he can only win a corner. 9:19PM 78 mins A decent chance for Long after a straight ball forward from Hoolahan sets him free, but under pressure from Kjaer and Bjelland he can only scoop his shot over the bar. 9:18PM GOOOOOOAAALL! Eriksen hat-trick! It's 3-1 to Denmark It's a horror show for Ward, but it's yet more sheer class from Christian Eriksen, who has his treble. Cornelius lobs a hopeful ball into the Ireland box, Ward leans back and only succeeds in stopping the ball inside his own box - and Eriksen is quickest to react. Ward stops the ball The Spurs man comes steaming in and  slams into the top corner for his hat-trick. Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 73 min) 9:12PM 71 mins O'Neill responds: it's all or nothing now. Forward Shane Long comes on for centre-back Ciaran Clark. This could get ugly. 9:11PM 70 mins Another change for Denmark. Former Cardiff man Cornelius replaces Poulsen, who got that knock a short while ago. 9:08PM 66 mins Ward gets forward well and drinks a decent cross onto McClean's head but he fires his effort just over. More than half a chance, that. Ireland need a goal soon.  9:07PM Eriksen or Coutinho? I know who I'd choose If Christian Eriksen was Brazilian someone would be bidding £115m.— Chris Bascombe (@_ChrisBascombe) November 14, 2017 9:06PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALL!!!! Ireland 1-3 Denmark (Eriksen) That's it. Christian Eriksen is a class apart from every other player on the pitch, and he has shown it for a second time with another wonderful goal. He has been helped by Martin O'Neill's to play this second half without a defensive midfielder, picking up positions between the lines and he does so again he to extraordinary effect. Listo finds him on the edge of the box after a patient build-up from the Danes, and Eriksen shifts onto his left foot and just brushes a lovely left-footed effort into the corner with Randolph again helpless. Tie over? Republic of Ireland 1 - 3 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 63 min) 9:02PM 60 mins Christie dances past three challenges in an attacking position on the right, but his drilled ball across goal is cleared. Then a combination of McClean and Ward absolutely clatter Poulsen, who needs medical attention.  Shortly after the Denmark fans start greeting each pass with an 'Ole!'. Too early for that, lads. Too early. 9:00PM 57 mins A decent break from Ireland with McClean fouled but a good advantage played, and they have numbers piling forwards, but twice in succession - first Christie, then McGeady - poor crosses let them down. And the second launches a Denmark attack. Duffy flies into a challenge and misses completely, and suddenly Eriksen is away down the left. Pace isn't his greatest asset, and he is caught by Clark, but not before getting a decent shot off that Randolph palms away. Ireland got away with that. McGeady's feather-weak cross there somehow sets up a Danish attack. Have to say that was a baffling substitution.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) November 14, 2017 8:56PM 55 mins Hoolahan does well to win a corner, which Duffy heads at goal but it's a simple save for Schmeichel. 8:55PM 53 mins Denmark have started this half really well, and are completely dominating possession. The Irish changes have yet to make any difference so far. Sisto stings the fingers of Randolph with a well struck effort from the edge of the box. A change for Denmark: Peter Ankersen replaces Styger Larsen - a defensive move - could that be five at the back now? 8:53PM 51 mins A decent effort from Sisto, who darts in off the left and fires at goal but it is blazed just high and just wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Pione Sisto, 51 min) 8:51PM 50 mins Poulsen wins a high ball forward and flicks it on to Jorgensen. He finds Eriksen, who floats a cross into the centre but Ward does really well to toe-end it away for a corner - which comes to nothing. 8:48PM 47 mins Hoolahan slots in behind Murphy, McGeady goes out to the right. Hendrick and Brady in the middle of the park for the Irish. 8:47PM Double sub for Ireland! O'Neill going for it here! Arter and Meyler are replaced by McGeady and Hoolahan - a really attacking move. Huge 45 minutes coming up. And we're off. 8:35PM Half time Well, what a half that was, and I doubt many expected that kind of entertainment after the goalless first leg. After going in front, the Republic of Ireland weren't really sure how to approach the rest of the game. Denmark took advantage, swarming forward in numbers as they went after an equaliser, and Ireland crumbled in three minutes that may decide their World Cup fate. It's all to play for but Ireland have an awful lot to do in the second half. Here's the half in graphical form: Shots Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal Possession Possession: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark Average position Average touch positions (half time) 8:30PM 44 mins The ball breaks for Brady in a central position with space to move into. The crowd sense an opportunity. Ward goes charging outside Brady down the left and Brady slides a pass into his team-mates path, but Christensen does really well to get back first and get a toe in, meaning Ward clatters into him and he wins a free-kick. 8:28PM This could stick Irish Proverb: "That Goal Was Too Early"— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) November 14, 2017 8:27PM 41 mins McClean goes down far, far too easily in the box under the faintest of nudges from Christensen, and he's desperate for a penalty but the referee right waves play away. 8:25PM 40 mins People say his club, Tottenham, are a one-man team. His country might be even more reliant on one man... 12 – Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in 12 goals in the World Cup 2018 qualification process (nine goals, three assists), eight more than any other Denmark player. Leader.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 14, 2017 8:22PM 36 mins Ireland need to get a foothold back in this game. Denmark are looking confident and in full control, knowing Ireland now need two goals with away goals counting double. There will be no extra time, by the way. 8:20PM GOOOOOOAAAALLL!!! Ireland 1-2 Denmark (Erisken) Oh dear, Ireland - the game's been turned around in two minutes and Denmark are in front. Robbie Brady tries to take on Poulsen and has possession nicked from him. Poulsen finds Jorgensen, who returns the ball back out to the right where Poulsen has caught up. He reverses back to Jorgensen, who sweeps it out left to Christian Eriksen, and he thunders the ball off the underside of the bar past a helpless Randolph. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) 8:17PM GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Ireland 1-1 Denmark (Christie own goal) Sisto had a shot from distance deflected over, Eriksen takes the corner short to Sisto, who looks like he's let the chance go by opting not to return the ball to Eriksen. But Sisto stands Arter up, slips the ball through his legs and crosses low and hard. Christensen swings a leg at it and it bounces towards goal - Christie is on the back post but he can't sort his legs out quickly enough, and the ball cannons off the upright, onto the right-back and into the net. So unlucky for him - but Denmark are level. Republic of Ireland 1 - 1 Denmark (Cyrus Christie, 29 min) 8:13PM 28 mins Ireland seeing much less of the ball, and playing a much more direct game - but so far, it's working. Here are the passes from the two teams: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark 8:10PM 24 mins What a match this is - James McClean runs onto Brady's through ball after good work with his back to goal by Daryl Murphy. The West Brom winger is clean through but the angle is getting tighter and tighter. He eventually fires off and hits it well enough but just drags it wide. 8:08PM 22 mins So nearly 2-0 to Ireland! And half the ground thought it was in, too! Murphy gets across his man to flick Christie's whipped cross from the right towards goal with the outside of his left boot, but it whistles JUST past Schmeichel's left post. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Daryl Murphy, 22 min) 8:06PM 20 mins Ireland fire a warning on the break, McClean getting clear down the left and squaring for Murphy, but he tries to squirm away from the defender rather than set it back for his arriving team-mate and the move falls apart. 8:05PM 18 mins And another big save! This time Eriksen finds Sisto on the left and his volleyed effort is well hit but straight at the keeper. Ireland retain their lead but pressure is building. 8:04PM 17 mins What an unbelievable save from Randolph! Denmark get Eriksen on the ball for the first time tonight and they construct a move nicely for the first time, too. The ball is worked left and then right, eventually pulled back by Christensen to the edge of the box for Kvist to slam low and hard towards the bottom left corner - but Randolph palms it away. Attempt Saved: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (William Kvist, 17 min) 8:01PM 15 mins Ireland will be as surprised as anyone that they got an early goal, and their whole gameplan will have to change now - how do they approach the final 75 minutes? You can't invite too much pressure but equally there's no need to go too gung ho for another goal. Decisions, decisions. 7:57PM 11 mins What a ball that is and that is a decent chance for Denmark. Kjaer launches an angled ball from the right-back position towards Larsen who has caught Christie unawares on the opposite flank. The ball comes down out of the sky and it is a really difficult chance but he still should do better. He gets it all wrong and bundles the ball harmlessly wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Jens Stryger Larsen, 10 min) 7:54PM 7 mins Denmark go straight up the other end with a set-piece of their own, but Ireland hold firm and clear. 7:53PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALLL!!!!! Ireland 1-0 Denmark (Duffy) The Republic win a free-kick for a push just next to the centre circle and they take an age over it, sending their centre-backs up and loading the box. The set-piece is eventually launched forward by Brady, long and straight and direct. Jorgensen gets a toe to it but can only spoon it up in the air. It isn't anyhinh like properly cleared, and Duffy out-jumps Schmeichel to nod the ball home! Ireland are in front! Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Shane Duffy, 6 min) 7:49PM 3 mins Two heavy challenges, first from Brady on Eriksen and then from Meyler on Sisto, are penalised, much to the annoyance of the home fans. The ref isn't going to let those slide. 7:47PM 1 min Positive start from Larsen down the left but Christie stops him in his tracks, and concedes a throw-in. Kvist picks up where Denmark left off by launching the throw into the box. Ireland clear. 7:46PM 10 Irish players were in danger of missing this game if they were booked in the first leg All 10 escaped a yellow, and there is a clean slate tonight. This could be fiery. We're under way in Dublin. 7:42PM The Aviva is rocking for the national anthems Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: PA 7:35PM Ireland's competitive home record under O'Neill One loss in 11 Pretty impressive reading, right? Can Denmark trouble the Irish?  7:29PM Martin O'Neill talks "We are here to win this match. Of course, there are risks that come with being more expansive. "Are we preparing for 120 minutes? First and foremost in the players' minds is: we have to win the game "The players are ready." 6:54PM A closer look at those teams David Meyler is back after missing the first leg through suspension, and he captains the Republic tonight. Meanwhile, Bristol City's Callum O'Dowda drops to the bench, replaced on the right by James McClean who switches from the left flank. Robbie Brady will move out to the left after playing centrally in midweek. David Meyler is back  Credit: Getty images Denmark bring RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen in on the flank, with Andreas Cornelius dropping to the bench, while Chelsea's Andreas Christensen also comes back in.  6:44PM The teams are in Ireland: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Arter, Meyler, Hendrick, Brady, McClean; Murphy Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen; Eriksen, Kvist, Delaney; Poulsen, Jorgensen, Sisto 6:38PM Martin O'Neill sends out a word of warning Martin O'Neill has warned Denmark not to be taken in by the Republic of Ireland's paltry World Cup goals tally. The pair meet in a decisive play-off second leg encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening with Ireland having managed to find the back of the net on only four occasions in their Group D qualifiers in Dublin. Indeed, they managed only 12 goals in total during the entire campaign and could not add to it in Saturday evening's 0-0 draw in Copenhagen. O'Neill is acutely aware of the chasm 68-goal Robbie Keane left on his retirement from international football, but remains confident his team can find a way to beat the Danes. He said: "You have to treat the game on its own merits. You can't look at the past now and say: 'Well, we didn't do this and we didn't do that'. The dream team need a goal from their players tonight Credit: PA "Some of the games we might have scored more goals in, but we're not prolific. Really top quality Republic of Ireland sides have not been able to score goals. "You have Robbie Keane out on his own and the next person to him is someone who might have forced a corner or something like that. Seriously, that is the case. "There have been great players who have played for the Republic of Ireland in their history and they have never been prolific. "We have to find the net and we think we're capable of doing it. We find everything tough, it's the nature of us. We don't have all the skills that maybe other nations have. "We have to find it in different manners. I've said that umpteen times, we have to find it. So far, the lads have come up big in matches and tomorrow is a massive game and we're hoping to do it again."

Republic of Ireland 1 Denmark 5: Sensational Christian Eriksen hat-trick ends Irish World Cup dream

The Republic of Ireland have put their heart and soul into this World Cup qualification campaign, but when it mattered most they were short of the one thing that really matters – quality. That was served up on a silver service for Denmark by Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen, who scored a magnificent hat-trick, stroking two shots into the net like he was knocking balls into an empty goal at the end of a training session, before smashing in a third.  Ireland were forced to bend the knee in the presence of his brilliance. Denmark had one world-class player, Ireland had none. It can make small margins look like a gulf in class. Ireland were crushed, but the suggestion they had been humiliated at the end of a campaign in which they were fourth seeds in their group and still finished second, drew an angry response from manager Martin O’Neill, who walked out of a post-match television interview. “We were well beaten, no question about that,” said O’Neill. “We were made to pay for some sloppy defending, two really poor goals to concede and when we tried to chase the game, we were punished. “But we were beaten in a play-off. We have fought tooth and nail to get here, so the sense of disappointment is huge. But we have played 24 competitive games and lost four. This is one of them. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal “We were beaten by a side that was better than us and has a world-class player in the team, who was absolutely magnificent. Eriksen is top class and he showed it.” Eriksen now belongs in an elite group of players in the modern era, alongside Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who have carried their national teams to new heights, defining the big games with the force of their ­individual talent. In the end, Ireland gambled and lost. O’Neill tried something different and it did not work. Having smothered Denmark in the first leg in Copenhagen, he tried to attack them. He might regret it now, but in truth, nothing was likely to stand in Eriksen’s way. He and Denmark fully deserve to be at the World Cup next year. By the time Ireland play in one, it will have been at least 20 years since their last appearance. An entire generation will have grown up without seeing their country play in the biggest tournament of all. Shane Duffy heads Ireland in front after only six minutes Credit: Getty images Then again, for all of the sense of entitlement in Irish football, the strange assumption they should be playing on the biggest stage, World Cups tend to take place without them. They have only made three, the last of which was in 2002, when they had a squad packed with ­Premier League players. They do not have that luxury anymore, but this was still a huge let down, the sort of anti-climax that turns a party into a wake. They have felt like this before. This was the fourth World Cup play-off they have lost, but this had been their chance to erase those bitter memories to the point of deletion. It had the perfect opening paragraph, Shane Duffy heading Ireland in front from Robbie Brady’s free-kick. Ireland had other chances, a flick from Daryl Murphy almost turned in Cyrus Christie’s cross before James McClean, after a lovely move down the left, was played in behind by Robbie Brady. But, from a tricky angle, he dragged his effort wide of the far post. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) Minutes later, Denmark were level. Harry Arter was beaten too easily from a short corner by Pione Sisto and, although Andreas Christensen sliced his shot against a post, it rebounded in off Christie. A setback turned into a disaster when Stephen Ward was robbed by Yussuf Poulsen. The ball was moved to Eriksen and Denmark’s star player found the net via the underside of the crossbar. Martin O'Neill was unable to change the direction of the game Credit: Reuters Needing two goals in the second half, O’Neill went for broke and ended up broken. Off went Arter and David Meyler – on came Aiden McGeady and Wes Hoolahan. Caution was no longer a viable policy, but he was sending on two attacking players from the Championship, not the Premier League. Eriksen (left) fires in his second goal Credit: getty images Eriksen made full use of the space, curling in a second goal and punishing some poor control from Ward to grab a third. Nicklas Bendtner added a fifth with a penalty. “Eriksen is one of the best players in Europe,” said Denmark coach Age Hareide. “We have seen that against Real Madrid in the Champions League and tonight. He is in the top 10 players in the world, he has this ability to score goals, to make assists and find space, he is a special player. As soon as Ireland gave him space, he hurt them.” 9:34PM Full time - Republic of Ireland 1-5 Denmark And that's it! Denmark go to Russia 2018, the Irish will be left at home. 9:32PM 90 mins Two minutes to be added on. 9:32PM GOOOOOAAL!! Bendtner makes it five from the spot Bendtner steps up, sends Randolph the wrong way, and makes it 5-1. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal 9:31PM Penalty to Ireland! Denmark break with Bendnter, and McClean is charging back after him, head down - he really doesn't want another Denmark goal going in. He does well to catch play up, but then, in the most predictable thing ever to happen EVER, he throws himself at the ball and cuts Bentdner down to concede a penalty. What an utterly stupid decision. 9:26PM 85 mins McClean comes in off the right flank and fires at goal from 30 yards and it flies - unsurprisingly - miles over the bar. Out: Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (James McClean, 85 min) 9:25PM 84 mins Nicklas Bendtner is on. Denmark's very own Zlatan Ibrahimovic replaces Jorgensen for the final 6 minutes. 9:21PM 80 mins Eriksen wants more - he's released down the right and charges after it but he can only win a corner. 9:19PM 78 mins A decent chance for Long after a straight ball forward from Hoolahan sets him free, but under pressure from Kjaer and Bjelland he can only scoop his shot over the bar. 9:18PM GOOOOOOAAALL! Eriksen hat-trick! It's 3-1 to Denmark It's a horror show for Ward, but it's yet more sheer class from Christian Eriksen, who has his treble. Cornelius lobs a hopeful ball into the Ireland box, Ward leans back and only succeeds in stopping the ball inside his own box - and Eriksen is quickest to react. Ward stops the ball The Spurs man comes steaming in and  slams into the top corner for his hat-trick. Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 73 min) 9:12PM 71 mins O'Neill responds: it's all or nothing now. Forward Shane Long comes on for centre-back Ciaran Clark. This could get ugly. 9:11PM 70 mins Another change for Denmark. Former Cardiff man Cornelius replaces Poulsen, who got that knock a short while ago. 9:08PM 66 mins Ward gets forward well and drinks a decent cross onto McClean's head but he fires his effort just over. More than half a chance, that. Ireland need a goal soon.  9:07PM Eriksen or Coutinho? I know who I'd choose If Christian Eriksen was Brazilian someone would be bidding £115m.— Chris Bascombe (@_ChrisBascombe) November 14, 2017 9:06PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALL!!!! Ireland 1-3 Denmark (Eriksen) That's it. Christian Eriksen is a class apart from every other player on the pitch, and he has shown it for a second time with another wonderful goal. He has been helped by Martin O'Neill's to play this second half without a defensive midfielder, picking up positions between the lines and he does so again he to extraordinary effect. Listo finds him on the edge of the box after a patient build-up from the Danes, and Eriksen shifts onto his left foot and just brushes a lovely left-footed effort into the corner with Randolph again helpless. Tie over? Republic of Ireland 1 - 3 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 63 min) 9:02PM 60 mins Christie dances past three challenges in an attacking position on the right, but his drilled ball across goal is cleared. Then a combination of McClean and Ward absolutely clatter Poulsen, who needs medical attention.  Shortly after the Denmark fans start greeting each pass with an 'Ole!'. Too early for that, lads. Too early. 9:00PM 57 mins A decent break from Ireland with McClean fouled but a good advantage played, and they have numbers piling forwards, but twice in succession - first Christie, then McGeady - poor crosses let them down. And the second launches a Denmark attack. Duffy flies into a challenge and misses completely, and suddenly Eriksen is away down the left. Pace isn't his greatest asset, and he is caught by Clark, but not before getting a decent shot off that Randolph palms away. Ireland got away with that. McGeady's feather-weak cross there somehow sets up a Danish attack. Have to say that was a baffling substitution.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) November 14, 2017 8:56PM 55 mins Hoolahan does well to win a corner, which Duffy heads at goal but it's a simple save for Schmeichel. 8:55PM 53 mins Denmark have started this half really well, and are completely dominating possession. The Irish changes have yet to make any difference so far. Sisto stings the fingers of Randolph with a well struck effort from the edge of the box. A change for Denmark: Peter Ankersen replaces Styger Larsen - a defensive move - could that be five at the back now? 8:53PM 51 mins A decent effort from Sisto, who darts in off the left and fires at goal but it is blazed just high and just wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Pione Sisto, 51 min) 8:51PM 50 mins Poulsen wins a high ball forward and flicks it on to Jorgensen. He finds Eriksen, who floats a cross into the centre but Ward does really well to toe-end it away for a corner - which comes to nothing. 8:48PM 47 mins Hoolahan slots in behind Murphy, McGeady goes out to the right. Hendrick and Brady in the middle of the park for the Irish. 8:47PM Double sub for Ireland! O'Neill going for it here! Arter and Meyler are replaced by McGeady and Hoolahan - a really attacking move. Huge 45 minutes coming up. And we're off. 8:35PM Half time Well, what a half that was, and I doubt many expected that kind of entertainment after the goalless first leg. After going in front, the Republic of Ireland weren't really sure how to approach the rest of the game. Denmark took advantage, swarming forward in numbers as they went after an equaliser, and Ireland crumbled in three minutes that may decide their World Cup fate. It's all to play for but Ireland have an awful lot to do in the second half. Here's the half in graphical form: Shots Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal Possession Possession: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark Average position Average touch positions (half time) 8:30PM 44 mins The ball breaks for Brady in a central position with space to move into. The crowd sense an opportunity. Ward goes charging outside Brady down the left and Brady slides a pass into his team-mates path, but Christensen does really well to get back first and get a toe in, meaning Ward clatters into him and he wins a free-kick. 8:28PM This could stick Irish Proverb: "That Goal Was Too Early"— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) November 14, 2017 8:27PM 41 mins McClean goes down far, far too easily in the box under the faintest of nudges from Christensen, and he's desperate for a penalty but the referee right waves play away. 8:25PM 40 mins People say his club, Tottenham, are a one-man team. His country might be even more reliant on one man... 12 – Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in 12 goals in the World Cup 2018 qualification process (nine goals, three assists), eight more than any other Denmark player. Leader.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 14, 2017 8:22PM 36 mins Ireland need to get a foothold back in this game. Denmark are looking confident and in full control, knowing Ireland now need two goals with away goals counting double. There will be no extra time, by the way. 8:20PM GOOOOOOAAAALLL!!! Ireland 1-2 Denmark (Erisken) Oh dear, Ireland - the game's been turned around in two minutes and Denmark are in front. Robbie Brady tries to take on Poulsen and has possession nicked from him. Poulsen finds Jorgensen, who returns the ball back out to the right where Poulsen has caught up. He reverses back to Jorgensen, who sweeps it out left to Christian Eriksen, and he thunders the ball off the underside of the bar past a helpless Randolph. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) 8:17PM GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Ireland 1-1 Denmark (Christie own goal) Sisto had a shot from distance deflected over, Eriksen takes the corner short to Sisto, who looks like he's let the chance go by opting not to return the ball to Eriksen. But Sisto stands Arter up, slips the ball through his legs and crosses low and hard. Christensen swings a leg at it and it bounces towards goal - Christie is on the back post but he can't sort his legs out quickly enough, and the ball cannons off the upright, onto the right-back and into the net. So unlucky for him - but Denmark are level. Republic of Ireland 1 - 1 Denmark (Cyrus Christie, 29 min) 8:13PM 28 mins Ireland seeing much less of the ball, and playing a much more direct game - but so far, it's working. Here are the passes from the two teams: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark 8:10PM 24 mins What a match this is - James McClean runs onto Brady's through ball after good work with his back to goal by Daryl Murphy. The West Brom winger is clean through but the angle is getting tighter and tighter. He eventually fires off and hits it well enough but just drags it wide. 8:08PM 22 mins So nearly 2-0 to Ireland! And half the ground thought it was in, too! Murphy gets across his man to flick Christie's whipped cross from the right towards goal with the outside of his left boot, but it whistles JUST past Schmeichel's left post. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Daryl Murphy, 22 min) 8:06PM 20 mins Ireland fire a warning on the break, McClean getting clear down the left and squaring for Murphy, but he tries to squirm away from the defender rather than set it back for his arriving team-mate and the move falls apart. 8:05PM 18 mins And another big save! This time Eriksen finds Sisto on the left and his volleyed effort is well hit but straight at the keeper. Ireland retain their lead but pressure is building. 8:04PM 17 mins What an unbelievable save from Randolph! Denmark get Eriksen on the ball for the first time tonight and they construct a move nicely for the first time, too. The ball is worked left and then right, eventually pulled back by Christensen to the edge of the box for Kvist to slam low and hard towards the bottom left corner - but Randolph palms it away. Attempt Saved: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (William Kvist, 17 min) 8:01PM 15 mins Ireland will be as surprised as anyone that they got an early goal, and their whole gameplan will have to change now - how do they approach the final 75 minutes? You can't invite too much pressure but equally there's no need to go too gung ho for another goal. Decisions, decisions. 7:57PM 11 mins What a ball that is and that is a decent chance for Denmark. Kjaer launches an angled ball from the right-back position towards Larsen who has caught Christie unawares on the opposite flank. The ball comes down out of the sky and it is a really difficult chance but he still should do better. He gets it all wrong and bundles the ball harmlessly wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Jens Stryger Larsen, 10 min) 7:54PM 7 mins Denmark go straight up the other end with a set-piece of their own, but Ireland hold firm and clear. 7:53PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALLL!!!!! Ireland 1-0 Denmark (Duffy) The Republic win a free-kick for a push just next to the centre circle and they take an age over it, sending their centre-backs up and loading the box. The set-piece is eventually launched forward by Brady, long and straight and direct. Jorgensen gets a toe to it but can only spoon it up in the air. It isn't anyhinh like properly cleared, and Duffy out-jumps Schmeichel to nod the ball home! Ireland are in front! Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Shane Duffy, 6 min) 7:49PM 3 mins Two heavy challenges, first from Brady on Eriksen and then from Meyler on Sisto, are penalised, much to the annoyance of the home fans. The ref isn't going to let those slide. 7:47PM 1 min Positive start from Larsen down the left but Christie stops him in his tracks, and concedes a throw-in. Kvist picks up where Denmark left off by launching the throw into the box. Ireland clear. 7:46PM 10 Irish players were in danger of missing this game if they were booked in the first leg All 10 escaped a yellow, and there is a clean slate tonight. This could be fiery. We're under way in Dublin. 7:42PM The Aviva is rocking for the national anthems Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: PA 7:35PM Ireland's competitive home record under O'Neill One loss in 11 Pretty impressive reading, right? Can Denmark trouble the Irish?  7:29PM Martin O'Neill talks "We are here to win this match. Of course, there are risks that come with being more expansive. "Are we preparing for 120 minutes? First and foremost in the players' minds is: we have to win the game "The players are ready." 6:54PM A closer look at those teams David Meyler is back after missing the first leg through suspension, and he captains the Republic tonight. Meanwhile, Bristol City's Callum O'Dowda drops to the bench, replaced on the right by James McClean who switches from the left flank. Robbie Brady will move out to the left after playing centrally in midweek. David Meyler is back  Credit: Getty images Denmark bring RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen in on the flank, with Andreas Cornelius dropping to the bench, while Chelsea's Andreas Christensen also comes back in.  6:44PM The teams are in Ireland: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Arter, Meyler, Hendrick, Brady, McClean; Murphy Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen; Eriksen, Kvist, Delaney; Poulsen, Jorgensen, Sisto 6:38PM Martin O'Neill sends out a word of warning Martin O'Neill has warned Denmark not to be taken in by the Republic of Ireland's paltry World Cup goals tally. The pair meet in a decisive play-off second leg encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening with Ireland having managed to find the back of the net on only four occasions in their Group D qualifiers in Dublin. Indeed, they managed only 12 goals in total during the entire campaign and could not add to it in Saturday evening's 0-0 draw in Copenhagen. O'Neill is acutely aware of the chasm 68-goal Robbie Keane left on his retirement from international football, but remains confident his team can find a way to beat the Danes. He said: "You have to treat the game on its own merits. You can't look at the past now and say: 'Well, we didn't do this and we didn't do that'. The dream team need a goal from their players tonight Credit: PA "Some of the games we might have scored more goals in, but we're not prolific. Really top quality Republic of Ireland sides have not been able to score goals. "You have Robbie Keane out on his own and the next person to him is someone who might have forced a corner or something like that. Seriously, that is the case. "There have been great players who have played for the Republic of Ireland in their history and they have never been prolific. "We have to find the net and we think we're capable of doing it. We find everything tough, it's the nature of us. We don't have all the skills that maybe other nations have. "We have to find it in different manners. I've said that umpteen times, we have to find it. So far, the lads have come up big in matches and tomorrow is a massive game and we're hoping to do it again."

Republic of Ireland 1 Denmark 5: Sensational Christian Eriksen hat-trick ends Irish World Cup dream

The Republic of Ireland have put their heart and soul into this World Cup qualification campaign, but when it mattered most they were short of the one thing that really matters – quality. That was served up on a silver service for Denmark by Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen, who scored a magnificent hat-trick, stroking two shots into the net like he was knocking balls into an empty goal at the end of a training session, before smashing in a third.  Ireland were forced to bend the knee in the presence of his brilliance. Denmark had one world-class player, Ireland had none. It can make small margins look like a gulf in class. Ireland were crushed, but the suggestion they had been humiliated at the end of a campaign in which they were fourth seeds in their group and still finished second, drew an angry response from manager Martin O’Neill, who walked out of a post-match television interview. “We were well beaten, no question about that,” said O’Neill. “We were made to pay for some sloppy defending, two really poor goals to concede and when we tried to chase the game, we were punished. “But we were beaten in a play-off. We have fought tooth and nail to get here, so the sense of disappointment is huge. But we have played 24 competitive games and lost four. This is one of them. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal “We were beaten by a side that was better than us and has a world-class player in the team, who was absolutely magnificent. Eriksen is top class and he showed it.” Eriksen now belongs in an elite group of players in the modern era, alongside Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who have carried their national teams to new heights, defining the big games with the force of their ­individual talent. In the end, Ireland gambled and lost. O’Neill tried something different and it did not work. Having smothered Denmark in the first leg in Copenhagen, he tried to attack them. He might regret it now, but in truth, nothing was likely to stand in Eriksen’s way. He and Denmark fully deserve to be at the World Cup next year. By the time Ireland play in one, it will have been at least 20 years since their last appearance. An entire generation will have grown up without seeing their country play in the biggest tournament of all. Shane Duffy heads Ireland in front after only six minutes Credit: Getty images Then again, for all of the sense of entitlement in Irish football, the strange assumption they should be playing on the biggest stage, World Cups tend to take place without them. They have only made three, the last of which was in 2002, when they had a squad packed with ­Premier League players. They do not have that luxury anymore, but this was still a huge let down, the sort of anti-climax that turns a party into a wake. They have felt like this before. This was the fourth World Cup play-off they have lost, but this had been their chance to erase those bitter memories to the point of deletion. It had the perfect opening paragraph, Shane Duffy heading Ireland in front from Robbie Brady’s free-kick. Ireland had other chances, a flick from Daryl Murphy almost turned in Cyrus Christie’s cross before James McClean, after a lovely move down the left, was played in behind by Robbie Brady. But, from a tricky angle, he dragged his effort wide of the far post. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) Minutes later, Denmark were level. Harry Arter was beaten too easily from a short corner by Pione Sisto and, although Andreas Christensen sliced his shot against a post, it rebounded in off Christie. A setback turned into a disaster when Stephen Ward was robbed by Yussuf Poulsen. The ball was moved to Eriksen and Denmark’s star player found the net via the underside of the crossbar. Martin O'Neill was unable to change the direction of the game Credit: Reuters Needing two goals in the second half, O’Neill went for broke and ended up broken. Off went Arter and David Meyler – on came Aiden McGeady and Wes Hoolahan. Caution was no longer a viable policy, but he was sending on two attacking players from the Championship, not the Premier League. Eriksen (left) fires in his second goal Credit: getty images Eriksen made full use of the space, curling in a second goal and punishing some poor control from Ward to grab a third. Nicklas Bendtner added a fifth with a penalty. “Eriksen is one of the best players in Europe,” said Denmark coach Age Hareide. “We have seen that against Real Madrid in the Champions League and tonight. He is in the top 10 players in the world, he has this ability to score goals, to make assists and find space, he is a special player. As soon as Ireland gave him space, he hurt them.” 9:34PM Full time - Republic of Ireland 1-5 Denmark And that's it! Denmark go to Russia 2018, the Irish will be left at home. 9:32PM 90 mins Two minutes to be added on. 9:32PM GOOOOOAAL!! Bendtner makes it five from the spot Bendtner steps up, sends Randolph the wrong way, and makes it 5-1. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal 9:31PM Penalty to Ireland! Denmark break with Bendnter, and McClean is charging back after him, head down - he really doesn't want another Denmark goal going in. He does well to catch play up, but then, in the most predictable thing ever to happen EVER, he throws himself at the ball and cuts Bentdner down to concede a penalty. What an utterly stupid decision. 9:26PM 85 mins McClean comes in off the right flank and fires at goal from 30 yards and it flies - unsurprisingly - miles over the bar. Out: Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (James McClean, 85 min) 9:25PM 84 mins Nicklas Bendtner is on. Denmark's very own Zlatan Ibrahimovic replaces Jorgensen for the final 6 minutes. 9:21PM 80 mins Eriksen wants more - he's released down the right and charges after it but he can only win a corner. 9:19PM 78 mins A decent chance for Long after a straight ball forward from Hoolahan sets him free, but under pressure from Kjaer and Bjelland he can only scoop his shot over the bar. 9:18PM GOOOOOOAAALL! Eriksen hat-trick! It's 3-1 to Denmark It's a horror show for Ward, but it's yet more sheer class from Christian Eriksen, who has his treble. Cornelius lobs a hopeful ball into the Ireland box, Ward leans back and only succeeds in stopping the ball inside his own box - and Eriksen is quickest to react. Ward stops the ball The Spurs man comes steaming in and  slams into the top corner for his hat-trick. Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 73 min) 9:12PM 71 mins O'Neill responds: it's all or nothing now. Forward Shane Long comes on for centre-back Ciaran Clark. This could get ugly. 9:11PM 70 mins Another change for Denmark. Former Cardiff man Cornelius replaces Poulsen, who got that knock a short while ago. 9:08PM 66 mins Ward gets forward well and drinks a decent cross onto McClean's head but he fires his effort just over. More than half a chance, that. Ireland need a goal soon.  9:07PM Eriksen or Coutinho? I know who I'd choose If Christian Eriksen was Brazilian someone would be bidding £115m.— Chris Bascombe (@_ChrisBascombe) November 14, 2017 9:06PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALL!!!! Ireland 1-3 Denmark (Eriksen) That's it. Christian Eriksen is a class apart from every other player on the pitch, and he has shown it for a second time with another wonderful goal. He has been helped by Martin O'Neill's to play this second half without a defensive midfielder, picking up positions between the lines and he does so again he to extraordinary effect. Listo finds him on the edge of the box after a patient build-up from the Danes, and Eriksen shifts onto his left foot and just brushes a lovely left-footed effort into the corner with Randolph again helpless. Tie over? Republic of Ireland 1 - 3 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 63 min) 9:02PM 60 mins Christie dances past three challenges in an attacking position on the right, but his drilled ball across goal is cleared. Then a combination of McClean and Ward absolutely clatter Poulsen, who needs medical attention.  Shortly after the Denmark fans start greeting each pass with an 'Ole!'. Too early for that, lads. Too early. 9:00PM 57 mins A decent break from Ireland with McClean fouled but a good advantage played, and they have numbers piling forwards, but twice in succession - first Christie, then McGeady - poor crosses let them down. And the second launches a Denmark attack. Duffy flies into a challenge and misses completely, and suddenly Eriksen is away down the left. Pace isn't his greatest asset, and he is caught by Clark, but not before getting a decent shot off that Randolph palms away. Ireland got away with that. McGeady's feather-weak cross there somehow sets up a Danish attack. Have to say that was a baffling substitution.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) November 14, 2017 8:56PM 55 mins Hoolahan does well to win a corner, which Duffy heads at goal but it's a simple save for Schmeichel. 8:55PM 53 mins Denmark have started this half really well, and are completely dominating possession. The Irish changes have yet to make any difference so far. Sisto stings the fingers of Randolph with a well struck effort from the edge of the box. A change for Denmark: Peter Ankersen replaces Styger Larsen - a defensive move - could that be five at the back now? 8:53PM 51 mins A decent effort from Sisto, who darts in off the left and fires at goal but it is blazed just high and just wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Pione Sisto, 51 min) 8:51PM 50 mins Poulsen wins a high ball forward and flicks it on to Jorgensen. He finds Eriksen, who floats a cross into the centre but Ward does really well to toe-end it away for a corner - which comes to nothing. 8:48PM 47 mins Hoolahan slots in behind Murphy, McGeady goes out to the right. Hendrick and Brady in the middle of the park for the Irish. 8:47PM Double sub for Ireland! O'Neill going for it here! Arter and Meyler are replaced by McGeady and Hoolahan - a really attacking move. Huge 45 minutes coming up. And we're off. 8:35PM Half time Well, what a half that was, and I doubt many expected that kind of entertainment after the goalless first leg. After going in front, the Republic of Ireland weren't really sure how to approach the rest of the game. Denmark took advantage, swarming forward in numbers as they went after an equaliser, and Ireland crumbled in three minutes that may decide their World Cup fate. It's all to play for but Ireland have an awful lot to do in the second half. Here's the half in graphical form: Shots Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal Possession Possession: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark Average position Average touch positions (half time) 8:30PM 44 mins The ball breaks for Brady in a central position with space to move into. The crowd sense an opportunity. Ward goes charging outside Brady down the left and Brady slides a pass into his team-mates path, but Christensen does really well to get back first and get a toe in, meaning Ward clatters into him and he wins a free-kick. 8:28PM This could stick Irish Proverb: "That Goal Was Too Early"— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) November 14, 2017 8:27PM 41 mins McClean goes down far, far too easily in the box under the faintest of nudges from Christensen, and he's desperate for a penalty but the referee right waves play away. 8:25PM 40 mins People say his club, Tottenham, are a one-man team. His country might be even more reliant on one man... 12 – Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in 12 goals in the World Cup 2018 qualification process (nine goals, three assists), eight more than any other Denmark player. Leader.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 14, 2017 8:22PM 36 mins Ireland need to get a foothold back in this game. Denmark are looking confident and in full control, knowing Ireland now need two goals with away goals counting double. There will be no extra time, by the way. 8:20PM GOOOOOOAAAALLL!!! Ireland 1-2 Denmark (Erisken) Oh dear, Ireland - the game's been turned around in two minutes and Denmark are in front. Robbie Brady tries to take on Poulsen and has possession nicked from him. Poulsen finds Jorgensen, who returns the ball back out to the right where Poulsen has caught up. He reverses back to Jorgensen, who sweeps it out left to Christian Eriksen, and he thunders the ball off the underside of the bar past a helpless Randolph. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) 8:17PM GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Ireland 1-1 Denmark (Christie own goal) Sisto had a shot from distance deflected over, Eriksen takes the corner short to Sisto, who looks like he's let the chance go by opting not to return the ball to Eriksen. But Sisto stands Arter up, slips the ball through his legs and crosses low and hard. Christensen swings a leg at it and it bounces towards goal - Christie is on the back post but he can't sort his legs out quickly enough, and the ball cannons off the upright, onto the right-back and into the net. So unlucky for him - but Denmark are level. Republic of Ireland 1 - 1 Denmark (Cyrus Christie, 29 min) 8:13PM 28 mins Ireland seeing much less of the ball, and playing a much more direct game - but so far, it's working. Here are the passes from the two teams: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark 8:10PM 24 mins What a match this is - James McClean runs onto Brady's through ball after good work with his back to goal by Daryl Murphy. The West Brom winger is clean through but the angle is getting tighter and tighter. He eventually fires off and hits it well enough but just drags it wide. 8:08PM 22 mins So nearly 2-0 to Ireland! And half the ground thought it was in, too! Murphy gets across his man to flick Christie's whipped cross from the right towards goal with the outside of his left boot, but it whistles JUST past Schmeichel's left post. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Daryl Murphy, 22 min) 8:06PM 20 mins Ireland fire a warning on the break, McClean getting clear down the left and squaring for Murphy, but he tries to squirm away from the defender rather than set it back for his arriving team-mate and the move falls apart. 8:05PM 18 mins And another big save! This time Eriksen finds Sisto on the left and his volleyed effort is well hit but straight at the keeper. Ireland retain their lead but pressure is building. 8:04PM 17 mins What an unbelievable save from Randolph! Denmark get Eriksen on the ball for the first time tonight and they construct a move nicely for the first time, too. The ball is worked left and then right, eventually pulled back by Christensen to the edge of the box for Kvist to slam low and hard towards the bottom left corner - but Randolph palms it away. Attempt Saved: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (William Kvist, 17 min) 8:01PM 15 mins Ireland will be as surprised as anyone that they got an early goal, and their whole gameplan will have to change now - how do they approach the final 75 minutes? You can't invite too much pressure but equally there's no need to go too gung ho for another goal. Decisions, decisions. 7:57PM 11 mins What a ball that is and that is a decent chance for Denmark. Kjaer launches an angled ball from the right-back position towards Larsen who has caught Christie unawares on the opposite flank. The ball comes down out of the sky and it is a really difficult chance but he still should do better. He gets it all wrong and bundles the ball harmlessly wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Jens Stryger Larsen, 10 min) 7:54PM 7 mins Denmark go straight up the other end with a set-piece of their own, but Ireland hold firm and clear. 7:53PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALLL!!!!! Ireland 1-0 Denmark (Duffy) The Republic win a free-kick for a push just next to the centre circle and they take an age over it, sending their centre-backs up and loading the box. The set-piece is eventually launched forward by Brady, long and straight and direct. Jorgensen gets a toe to it but can only spoon it up in the air. It isn't anyhinh like properly cleared, and Duffy out-jumps Schmeichel to nod the ball home! Ireland are in front! Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Shane Duffy, 6 min) 7:49PM 3 mins Two heavy challenges, first from Brady on Eriksen and then from Meyler on Sisto, are penalised, much to the annoyance of the home fans. The ref isn't going to let those slide. 7:47PM 1 min Positive start from Larsen down the left but Christie stops him in his tracks, and concedes a throw-in. Kvist picks up where Denmark left off by launching the throw into the box. Ireland clear. 7:46PM 10 Irish players were in danger of missing this game if they were booked in the first leg All 10 escaped a yellow, and there is a clean slate tonight. This could be fiery. We're under way in Dublin. 7:42PM The Aviva is rocking for the national anthems Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: PA 7:35PM Ireland's competitive home record under O'Neill One loss in 11 Pretty impressive reading, right? Can Denmark trouble the Irish?  7:29PM Martin O'Neill talks "We are here to win this match. Of course, there are risks that come with being more expansive. "Are we preparing for 120 minutes? First and foremost in the players' minds is: we have to win the game "The players are ready." 6:54PM A closer look at those teams David Meyler is back after missing the first leg through suspension, and he captains the Republic tonight. Meanwhile, Bristol City's Callum O'Dowda drops to the bench, replaced on the right by James McClean who switches from the left flank. Robbie Brady will move out to the left after playing centrally in midweek. David Meyler is back  Credit: Getty images Denmark bring RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen in on the flank, with Andreas Cornelius dropping to the bench, while Chelsea's Andreas Christensen also comes back in.  6:44PM The teams are in Ireland: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Arter, Meyler, Hendrick, Brady, McClean; Murphy Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen; Eriksen, Kvist, Delaney; Poulsen, Jorgensen, Sisto 6:38PM Martin O'Neill sends out a word of warning Martin O'Neill has warned Denmark not to be taken in by the Republic of Ireland's paltry World Cup goals tally. The pair meet in a decisive play-off second leg encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening with Ireland having managed to find the back of the net on only four occasions in their Group D qualifiers in Dublin. Indeed, they managed only 12 goals in total during the entire campaign and could not add to it in Saturday evening's 0-0 draw in Copenhagen. O'Neill is acutely aware of the chasm 68-goal Robbie Keane left on his retirement from international football, but remains confident his team can find a way to beat the Danes. He said: "You have to treat the game on its own merits. You can't look at the past now and say: 'Well, we didn't do this and we didn't do that'. The dream team need a goal from their players tonight Credit: PA "Some of the games we might have scored more goals in, but we're not prolific. Really top quality Republic of Ireland sides have not been able to score goals. "You have Robbie Keane out on his own and the next person to him is someone who might have forced a corner or something like that. Seriously, that is the case. "There have been great players who have played for the Republic of Ireland in their history and they have never been prolific. "We have to find the net and we think we're capable of doing it. We find everything tough, it's the nature of us. We don't have all the skills that maybe other nations have. "We have to find it in different manners. I've said that umpteen times, we have to find it. So far, the lads have come up big in matches and tomorrow is a massive game and we're hoping to do it again."

Republic of Ireland 1 Denmark 5: Sensational Christian Eriksen hat-trick ends Irish World Cup dream

The Republic of Ireland have put their heart and soul into this World Cup qualification campaign, but when it mattered most they were short of the one thing that really matters – quality. That was served up on a silver service for Denmark by Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen, who scored a magnificent hat-trick, stroking two shots into the net like he was knocking balls into an empty goal at the end of a training session, before smashing in a third.  Ireland were forced to bend the knee in the presence of his brilliance. Denmark had one world-class player, Ireland had none. It can make small margins look like a gulf in class. Ireland were crushed, but the suggestion they had been humiliated at the end of a campaign in which they were fourth seeds in their group and still finished second, drew an angry response from manager Martin O’Neill, who walked out of a post-match television interview. “We were well beaten, no question about that,” said O’Neill. “We were made to pay for some sloppy defending, two really poor goals to concede and when we tried to chase the game, we were punished. “But we were beaten in a play-off. We have fought tooth and nail to get here, so the sense of disappointment is huge. But we have played 24 competitive games and lost four. This is one of them. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal “We were beaten by a side that was better than us and has a world-class player in the team, who was absolutely magnificent. Eriksen is top class and he showed it.” Eriksen now belongs in an elite group of players in the modern era, alongside Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who have carried their national teams to new heights, defining the big games with the force of their ­individual talent. In the end, Ireland gambled and lost. O’Neill tried something different and it did not work. Having smothered Denmark in the first leg in Copenhagen, he tried to attack them. He might regret it now, but in truth, nothing was likely to stand in Eriksen’s way. He and Denmark fully deserve to be at the World Cup next year. By the time Ireland play in one, it will have been at least 20 years since their last appearance. An entire generation will have grown up without seeing their country play in the biggest tournament of all. Shane Duffy heads Ireland in front after only six minutes Credit: Getty images Then again, for all of the sense of entitlement in Irish football, the strange assumption they should be playing on the biggest stage, World Cups tend to take place without them. They have only made three, the last of which was in 2002, when they had a squad packed with ­Premier League players. They do not have that luxury anymore, but this was still a huge let down, the sort of anti-climax that turns a party into a wake. They have felt like this before. This was the fourth World Cup play-off they have lost, but this had been their chance to erase those bitter memories to the point of deletion. It had the perfect opening paragraph, Shane Duffy heading Ireland in front from Robbie Brady’s free-kick. Ireland had other chances, a flick from Daryl Murphy almost turned in Cyrus Christie’s cross before James McClean, after a lovely move down the left, was played in behind by Robbie Brady. But, from a tricky angle, he dragged his effort wide of the far post. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) Minutes later, Denmark were level. Harry Arter was beaten too easily from a short corner by Pione Sisto and, although Andreas Christensen sliced his shot against a post, it rebounded in off Christie. A setback turned into a disaster when Stephen Ward was robbed by Yussuf Poulsen. The ball was moved to Eriksen and Denmark’s star player found the net via the underside of the crossbar. Martin O'Neill was unable to change the direction of the game Credit: Reuters Needing two goals in the second half, O’Neill went for broke and ended up broken. Off went Arter and David Meyler – on came Aiden McGeady and Wes Hoolahan. Caution was no longer a viable policy, but he was sending on two attacking players from the Championship, not the Premier League. Eriksen (left) fires in his second goal Credit: getty images Eriksen made full use of the space, curling in a second goal and punishing some poor control from Ward to grab a third. Nicklas Bendtner added a fifth with a penalty. “Eriksen is one of the best players in Europe,” said Denmark coach Age Hareide. “We have seen that against Real Madrid in the Champions League and tonight. He is in the top 10 players in the world, he has this ability to score goals, to make assists and find space, he is a special player. As soon as Ireland gave him space, he hurt them.” 9:34PM Full time - Republic of Ireland 1-5 Denmark And that's it! Denmark go to Russia 2018, the Irish will be left at home. 9:32PM 90 mins Two minutes to be added on. 9:32PM GOOOOOAAL!! Bendtner makes it five from the spot Bendtner steps up, sends Randolph the wrong way, and makes it 5-1. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal 9:31PM Penalty to Ireland! Denmark break with Bendnter, and McClean is charging back after him, head down - he really doesn't want another Denmark goal going in. He does well to catch play up, but then, in the most predictable thing ever to happen EVER, he throws himself at the ball and cuts Bentdner down to concede a penalty. What an utterly stupid decision. 9:26PM 85 mins McClean comes in off the right flank and fires at goal from 30 yards and it flies - unsurprisingly - miles over the bar. Out: Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (James McClean, 85 min) 9:25PM 84 mins Nicklas Bendtner is on. Denmark's very own Zlatan Ibrahimovic replaces Jorgensen for the final 6 minutes. 9:21PM 80 mins Eriksen wants more - he's released down the right and charges after it but he can only win a corner. 9:19PM 78 mins A decent chance for Long after a straight ball forward from Hoolahan sets him free, but under pressure from Kjaer and Bjelland he can only scoop his shot over the bar. 9:18PM GOOOOOOAAALL! Eriksen hat-trick! It's 3-1 to Denmark It's a horror show for Ward, but it's yet more sheer class from Christian Eriksen, who has his treble. Cornelius lobs a hopeful ball into the Ireland box, Ward leans back and only succeeds in stopping the ball inside his own box - and Eriksen is quickest to react. Ward stops the ball The Spurs man comes steaming in and  slams into the top corner for his hat-trick. Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 73 min) 9:12PM 71 mins O'Neill responds: it's all or nothing now. Forward Shane Long comes on for centre-back Ciaran Clark. This could get ugly. 9:11PM 70 mins Another change for Denmark. Former Cardiff man Cornelius replaces Poulsen, who got that knock a short while ago. 9:08PM 66 mins Ward gets forward well and drinks a decent cross onto McClean's head but he fires his effort just over. More than half a chance, that. Ireland need a goal soon.  9:07PM Eriksen or Coutinho? I know who I'd choose If Christian Eriksen was Brazilian someone would be bidding £115m.— Chris Bascombe (@_ChrisBascombe) November 14, 2017 9:06PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALL!!!! Ireland 1-3 Denmark (Eriksen) That's it. Christian Eriksen is a class apart from every other player on the pitch, and he has shown it for a second time with another wonderful goal. He has been helped by Martin O'Neill's to play this second half without a defensive midfielder, picking up positions between the lines and he does so again he to extraordinary effect. Listo finds him on the edge of the box after a patient build-up from the Danes, and Eriksen shifts onto his left foot and just brushes a lovely left-footed effort into the corner with Randolph again helpless. Tie over? Republic of Ireland 1 - 3 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 63 min) 9:02PM 60 mins Christie dances past three challenges in an attacking position on the right, but his drilled ball across goal is cleared. Then a combination of McClean and Ward absolutely clatter Poulsen, who needs medical attention.  Shortly after the Denmark fans start greeting each pass with an 'Ole!'. Too early for that, lads. Too early. 9:00PM 57 mins A decent break from Ireland with McClean fouled but a good advantage played, and they have numbers piling forwards, but twice in succession - first Christie, then McGeady - poor crosses let them down. And the second launches a Denmark attack. Duffy flies into a challenge and misses completely, and suddenly Eriksen is away down the left. Pace isn't his greatest asset, and he is caught by Clark, but not before getting a decent shot off that Randolph palms away. Ireland got away with that. McGeady's feather-weak cross there somehow sets up a Danish attack. Have to say that was a baffling substitution.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) November 14, 2017 8:56PM 55 mins Hoolahan does well to win a corner, which Duffy heads at goal but it's a simple save for Schmeichel. 8:55PM 53 mins Denmark have started this half really well, and are completely dominating possession. The Irish changes have yet to make any difference so far. Sisto stings the fingers of Randolph with a well struck effort from the edge of the box. A change for Denmark: Peter Ankersen replaces Styger Larsen - a defensive move - could that be five at the back now? 8:53PM 51 mins A decent effort from Sisto, who darts in off the left and fires at goal but it is blazed just high and just wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Pione Sisto, 51 min) 8:51PM 50 mins Poulsen wins a high ball forward and flicks it on to Jorgensen. He finds Eriksen, who floats a cross into the centre but Ward does really well to toe-end it away for a corner - which comes to nothing. 8:48PM 47 mins Hoolahan slots in behind Murphy, McGeady goes out to the right. Hendrick and Brady in the middle of the park for the Irish. 8:47PM Double sub for Ireland! O'Neill going for it here! Arter and Meyler are replaced by McGeady and Hoolahan - a really attacking move. Huge 45 minutes coming up. And we're off. 8:35PM Half time Well, what a half that was, and I doubt many expected that kind of entertainment after the goalless first leg. After going in front, the Republic of Ireland weren't really sure how to approach the rest of the game. Denmark took advantage, swarming forward in numbers as they went after an equaliser, and Ireland crumbled in three minutes that may decide their World Cup fate. It's all to play for but Ireland have an awful lot to do in the second half. Here's the half in graphical form: Shots Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal Possession Possession: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark Average position Average touch positions (half time) 8:30PM 44 mins The ball breaks for Brady in a central position with space to move into. The crowd sense an opportunity. Ward goes charging outside Brady down the left and Brady slides a pass into his team-mates path, but Christensen does really well to get back first and get a toe in, meaning Ward clatters into him and he wins a free-kick. 8:28PM This could stick Irish Proverb: "That Goal Was Too Early"— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) November 14, 2017 8:27PM 41 mins McClean goes down far, far too easily in the box under the faintest of nudges from Christensen, and he's desperate for a penalty but the referee right waves play away. 8:25PM 40 mins People say his club, Tottenham, are a one-man team. His country might be even more reliant on one man... 12 – Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in 12 goals in the World Cup 2018 qualification process (nine goals, three assists), eight more than any other Denmark player. Leader.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 14, 2017 8:22PM 36 mins Ireland need to get a foothold back in this game. Denmark are looking confident and in full control, knowing Ireland now need two goals with away goals counting double. There will be no extra time, by the way. 8:20PM GOOOOOOAAAALLL!!! Ireland 1-2 Denmark (Erisken) Oh dear, Ireland - the game's been turned around in two minutes and Denmark are in front. Robbie Brady tries to take on Poulsen and has possession nicked from him. Poulsen finds Jorgensen, who returns the ball back out to the right where Poulsen has caught up. He reverses back to Jorgensen, who sweeps it out left to Christian Eriksen, and he thunders the ball off the underside of the bar past a helpless Randolph. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) 8:17PM GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Ireland 1-1 Denmark (Christie own goal) Sisto had a shot from distance deflected over, Eriksen takes the corner short to Sisto, who looks like he's let the chance go by opting not to return the ball to Eriksen. But Sisto stands Arter up, slips the ball through his legs and crosses low and hard. Christensen swings a leg at it and it bounces towards goal - Christie is on the back post but he can't sort his legs out quickly enough, and the ball cannons off the upright, onto the right-back and into the net. So unlucky for him - but Denmark are level. Republic of Ireland 1 - 1 Denmark (Cyrus Christie, 29 min) 8:13PM 28 mins Ireland seeing much less of the ball, and playing a much more direct game - but so far, it's working. Here are the passes from the two teams: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark 8:10PM 24 mins What a match this is - James McClean runs onto Brady's through ball after good work with his back to goal by Daryl Murphy. The West Brom winger is clean through but the angle is getting tighter and tighter. He eventually fires off and hits it well enough but just drags it wide. 8:08PM 22 mins So nearly 2-0 to Ireland! And half the ground thought it was in, too! Murphy gets across his man to flick Christie's whipped cross from the right towards goal with the outside of his left boot, but it whistles JUST past Schmeichel's left post. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Daryl Murphy, 22 min) 8:06PM 20 mins Ireland fire a warning on the break, McClean getting clear down the left and squaring for Murphy, but he tries to squirm away from the defender rather than set it back for his arriving team-mate and the move falls apart. 8:05PM 18 mins And another big save! This time Eriksen finds Sisto on the left and his volleyed effort is well hit but straight at the keeper. Ireland retain their lead but pressure is building. 8:04PM 17 mins What an unbelievable save from Randolph! Denmark get Eriksen on the ball for the first time tonight and they construct a move nicely for the first time, too. The ball is worked left and then right, eventually pulled back by Christensen to the edge of the box for Kvist to slam low and hard towards the bottom left corner - but Randolph palms it away. Attempt Saved: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (William Kvist, 17 min) 8:01PM 15 mins Ireland will be as surprised as anyone that they got an early goal, and their whole gameplan will have to change now - how do they approach the final 75 minutes? You can't invite too much pressure but equally there's no need to go too gung ho for another goal. Decisions, decisions. 7:57PM 11 mins What a ball that is and that is a decent chance for Denmark. Kjaer launches an angled ball from the right-back position towards Larsen who has caught Christie unawares on the opposite flank. The ball comes down out of the sky and it is a really difficult chance but he still should do better. He gets it all wrong and bundles the ball harmlessly wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Jens Stryger Larsen, 10 min) 7:54PM 7 mins Denmark go straight up the other end with a set-piece of their own, but Ireland hold firm and clear. 7:53PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALLL!!!!! Ireland 1-0 Denmark (Duffy) The Republic win a free-kick for a push just next to the centre circle and they take an age over it, sending their centre-backs up and loading the box. The set-piece is eventually launched forward by Brady, long and straight and direct. Jorgensen gets a toe to it but can only spoon it up in the air. It isn't anyhinh like properly cleared, and Duffy out-jumps Schmeichel to nod the ball home! Ireland are in front! Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Shane Duffy, 6 min) 7:49PM 3 mins Two heavy challenges, first from Brady on Eriksen and then from Meyler on Sisto, are penalised, much to the annoyance of the home fans. The ref isn't going to let those slide. 7:47PM 1 min Positive start from Larsen down the left but Christie stops him in his tracks, and concedes a throw-in. Kvist picks up where Denmark left off by launching the throw into the box. Ireland clear. 7:46PM 10 Irish players were in danger of missing this game if they were booked in the first leg All 10 escaped a yellow, and there is a clean slate tonight. This could be fiery. We're under way in Dublin. 7:42PM The Aviva is rocking for the national anthems Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: PA 7:35PM Ireland's competitive home record under O'Neill One loss in 11 Pretty impressive reading, right? Can Denmark trouble the Irish?  7:29PM Martin O'Neill talks "We are here to win this match. Of course, there are risks that come with being more expansive. "Are we preparing for 120 minutes? First and foremost in the players' minds is: we have to win the game "The players are ready." 6:54PM A closer look at those teams David Meyler is back after missing the first leg through suspension, and he captains the Republic tonight. Meanwhile, Bristol City's Callum O'Dowda drops to the bench, replaced on the right by James McClean who switches from the left flank. Robbie Brady will move out to the left after playing centrally in midweek. David Meyler is back  Credit: Getty images Denmark bring RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen in on the flank, with Andreas Cornelius dropping to the bench, while Chelsea's Andreas Christensen also comes back in.  6:44PM The teams are in Ireland: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Arter, Meyler, Hendrick, Brady, McClean; Murphy Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen; Eriksen, Kvist, Delaney; Poulsen, Jorgensen, Sisto 6:38PM Martin O'Neill sends out a word of warning Martin O'Neill has warned Denmark not to be taken in by the Republic of Ireland's paltry World Cup goals tally. The pair meet in a decisive play-off second leg encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening with Ireland having managed to find the back of the net on only four occasions in their Group D qualifiers in Dublin. Indeed, they managed only 12 goals in total during the entire campaign and could not add to it in Saturday evening's 0-0 draw in Copenhagen. O'Neill is acutely aware of the chasm 68-goal Robbie Keane left on his retirement from international football, but remains confident his team can find a way to beat the Danes. He said: "You have to treat the game on its own merits. You can't look at the past now and say: 'Well, we didn't do this and we didn't do that'. The dream team need a goal from their players tonight Credit: PA "Some of the games we might have scored more goals in, but we're not prolific. Really top quality Republic of Ireland sides have not been able to score goals. "You have Robbie Keane out on his own and the next person to him is someone who might have forced a corner or something like that. Seriously, that is the case. "There have been great players who have played for the Republic of Ireland in their history and they have never been prolific. "We have to find the net and we think we're capable of doing it. We find everything tough, it's the nature of us. We don't have all the skills that maybe other nations have. "We have to find it in different manners. I've said that umpteen times, we have to find it. So far, the lads have come up big in matches and tomorrow is a massive game and we're hoping to do it again."

Republic of Ireland vs Denmark, World Cup play-off: live score updates

9:34PM Full time - Republic of Ireland 1-5 Denmark And that's it! Denmark go to Russia 2018, the Irish will be left at home. 9:32PM 90 mins Two minutes to be added on. 9:32PM GOOOOOAAL!! Bendtner makes it five from the spot Bendtner steps up, sends Randolph the wrong way, and makes it 5-1. Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal 9:31PM Penalty to Ireland! Denmark break with Bendnter, and McClean is charging back after him, head down - he really doesn't want another Denmark goal going in. He does well to catch play up, but then, in the most predictable thing ever to happen EVER, he throws himself at the ball and cuts Bentdner down to concede a penalty. What an utterly stupid decision. 9:26PM 85 mins McClean comes in off the right flank and fires at goal from 30 yards and it flies - unsurprisingly - miles over the bar. Out: Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (James McClean, 85 min) 9:25PM 84 mins Nicklas Bendtner is on. Denmark's very own Zlatan Ibrahimovic replaces Jorgensen for the final 6 minutes. 9:21PM 80 mins Eriksen wants more - he's released down the right and charges after it but he can only win a corner. 9:19PM 78 mins A decent chance for Long after a straight ball forward from Hoolahan sets him free, but under pressure from Kjaer and Bjelland he can only scoop his shot over the bar. 9:18PM GOOOOOOAAALL! Eriksen hat-trick! It's 3-1 to Denmark It's a horror show for Ward, but it's yet more sheer class from Christian Eriksen, who has his treble. Cornelius lobs a hopeful ball into the Ireland box, Ward leans back and only succeeds in stopping the ball inside his own box - and Eriksen is quickest to react. Ward stops the ball The Spurs man comes steaming in and  slams into the top corner for his hat-trick. Republic of Ireland 1 - 4 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 73 min) 9:12PM 71 mins O'Neill responds: it's all or nothing now. Forward Shane Long comes on for centre-back Ciaran Clark. This could get ugly. 9:11PM 70 mins Another change for Denmark. Former Cardiff man Cornelius replaces Poulsen, who got that knock a short while ago. 9:08PM 66 mins Ward gets forward well and drinks a decent cross onto McClean's head but he fires his effort just over. More than half a chance, that. Ireland need a goal soon.  9:07PM Eriksen or Coutinho? I know who I'd choose If Christian Eriksen was Brazilian someone would be bidding £115m.— Chris Bascombe (@_ChrisBascombe) November 14, 2017 9:06PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALL!!!! Ireland 1-3 Denmark (Eriksen) That's it. Christian Eriksen is a class apart from every other player on the pitch, and he has shown it for a second time with another wonderful goal. He has been helped by Martin O'Neill's to play this second half without a defensive midfielder, picking up positions between the lines and he does so again he to extraordinary effect. Listo finds him on the edge of the box after a patient build-up from the Danes, and Eriksen shifts onto his left foot and just brushes a lovely left-footed effort into the corner with Randolph again helpless. Tie over? Republic of Ireland 1 - 3 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 63 min) 9:02PM 60 mins Christie dances past three challenges in an attacking position on the right, but his drilled ball across goal is cleared. Then a combination of McClean and Ward absolutely clatter Poulsen, who needs medical attention.  Shortly after the Denmark fans start greeting each pass with an 'Ole!'. Too early for that, lads. Too early. 9:00PM 57 mins A decent break from Ireland with McClean fouled but a good advantage played, and they have numbers piling forwards, but twice in succession - first Christie, then McGeady - poor crosses let them down. And the second launches a Denmark attack. Duffy flies into a challenge and misses completely, and suddenly Eriksen is away down the left. Pace isn't his greatest asset, and he is caught by Clark, but not before getting a decent shot off that Randolph palms away. Ireland got away with that. McGeady's feather-weak cross there somehow sets up a Danish attack. Have to say that was a baffling substitution.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) November 14, 2017 8:56PM 55 mins Hoolahan does well to win a corner, which Duffy heads at goal but it's a simple save for Schmeichel. 8:55PM 53 mins Denmark have started this half really well, and are completely dominating possession. The Irish changes have yet to make any difference so far. Sisto stings the fingers of Randolph with a well struck effort from the edge of the box. A change for Denmark: Peter Ankersen replaces Styger Larsen - a defensive move - could that be five at the back now? 8:53PM 51 mins A decent effort from Sisto, who darts in off the left and fires at goal but it is blazed just high and just wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Pione Sisto, 51 min) 8:51PM 50 mins Poulsen wins a high ball forward and flicks it on to Jorgensen. He finds Eriksen, who floats a cross into the centre but Ward does really well to toe-end it away for a corner - which comes to nothing. 8:48PM 47 mins Hoolahan slots in behind Murphy, McGeady goes out to the right. Hendrick and Brady in the middle of the park for the Irish. 8:47PM Double sub for Ireland! O'Neill going for it here! Arter and Meyler are replaced by McGeady and Hoolahan - a really attacking move. Huge 45 minutes coming up. And we're off. 8:35PM Half time Well, what a half that was, and I doubt many expected that kind of entertainment after the goalless first leg. After going in front, the Republic of Ireland weren't really sure how to approach the rest of the game. Denmark took advantage, swarming forward in numbers as they went after an equaliser, and Ireland crumbled in three minutes that may decide their World Cup fate. It's all to play for but Ireland have an awful lot to do in the second half. Here's the half in graphical form: Shots Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal Possession Possession: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark Average position Average touch positions (half time) 8:30PM 44 mins The ball breaks for Brady in a central position with space to move into. The crowd sense an opportunity. Ward goes charging outside Brady down the left and Brady slides a pass into his team-mates path, but Christensen does really well to get back first and get a toe in, meaning Ward clatters into him and he wins a free-kick. 8:28PM This could stick Irish Proverb: "That Goal Was Too Early"— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) November 14, 2017 8:27PM 41 mins McClean goes down far, far too easily in the box under the faintest of nudges from Christensen, and he's desperate for a penalty but the referee right waves play away. 8:25PM 40 mins People say his club, Tottenham, are a one-man team. His country might be even more reliant on one man... 12 – Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in 12 goals in the World Cup 2018 qualification process (nine goals, three assists), eight more than any other Denmark player. Leader.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 14, 2017 8:22PM 36 mins Ireland need to get a foothold back in this game. Denmark are looking confident and in full control, knowing Ireland now need two goals with away goals counting double. There will be no extra time, by the way. 8:20PM GOOOOOOAAAALLL!!! Ireland 1-2 Denmark (Erisken) Oh dear, Ireland - the game's been turned around in two minutes and Denmark are in front. Robbie Brady tries to take on Poulsen and has possession nicked from him. Poulsen finds Jorgensen, who returns the ball back out to the right where Poulsen has caught up. He reverses back to Jorgensen, who sweeps it out left to Christian Eriksen, and he thunders the ball off the underside of the bar past a helpless Randolph. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) 8:17PM GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Ireland 1-1 Denmark (Christie own goal) Sisto had a shot from distance deflected over, Eriksen takes the corner short to Sisto, who looks like he's let the chance go by opting not to return the ball to Eriksen. But Sisto stands Arter up, slips the ball through his legs and crosses low and hard. Christensen swings a leg at it and it bounces towards goal - Christie is on the back post but he can't sort his legs out quickly enough, and the ball cannons off the upright, onto the right-back and into the net. So unlucky for him - but Denmark are level. Republic of Ireland 1 - 1 Denmark (Cyrus Christie, 29 min) 8:13PM 28 mins Ireland seeing much less of the ball, and playing a much more direct game - but so far, it's working. Here are the passes from the two teams: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark 8:10PM 24 mins What a match this is - James McClean runs onto Brady's through ball after good work with his back to goal by Daryl Murphy. The West Brom winger is clean through but the angle is getting tighter and tighter. He eventually fires off and hits it well enough but just drags it wide. 8:08PM 22 mins So nearly 2-0 to Ireland! And half the ground thought it was in, too! Murphy gets across his man to flick Christie's whipped cross from the right towards goal with the outside of his left boot, but it whistles JUST past Schmeichel's left post. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Daryl Murphy, 22 min) 8:06PM 20 mins Ireland fire a warning on the break, McClean getting clear down the left and squaring for Murphy, but he tries to squirm away from the defender rather than set it back for his arriving team-mate and the move falls apart. 8:05PM 18 mins And another big save! This time Eriksen finds Sisto on the left and his volleyed effort is well hit but straight at the keeper. Ireland retain their lead but pressure is building. 8:04PM 17 mins What an unbelievable save from Randolph! Denmark get Eriksen on the ball for the first time tonight and they construct a move nicely for the first time, too. The ball is worked left and then right, eventually pulled back by Christensen to the edge of the box for Kvist to slam low and hard towards the bottom left corner - but Randolph palms it away. Attempt Saved: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (William Kvist, 17 min) 8:01PM 15 mins Ireland will be as surprised as anyone that they got an early goal, and their whole gameplan will have to change now - how do they approach the final 75 minutes? You can't invite too much pressure but equally there's no need to go too gung ho for another goal. Decisions, decisions. 7:57PM 11 mins What a ball that is and that is a decent chance for Denmark. Kjaer launches an angled ball from the right-back position towards Larsen who has caught Christie unawares on the opposite flank. The ball comes down out of the sky and it is a really difficult chance but he still should do better. He gets it all wrong and bundles the ball harmlessly wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Jens Stryger Larsen, 10 min) 7:54PM 7 mins Denmark go straight up the other end with a set-piece of their own, but Ireland hold firm and clear. 7:53PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALLL!!!!! Ireland 1-0 Denmark (Duffy) The Republic win a free-kick for a push just next to the centre circle and they take an age over it, sending their centre-backs up and loading the box. The set-piece is eventually launched forward by Brady, long and straight and direct. Jorgensen gets a toe to it but can only spoon it up in the air. It isn't anyhinh like properly cleared, and Duffy out-jumps Schmeichel to nod the ball home! Ireland are in front! Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Shane Duffy, 6 min) 7:49PM 3 mins Two heavy challenges, first from Brady on Eriksen and then from Meyler on Sisto, are penalised, much to the annoyance of the home fans. The ref isn't going to let those slide. 7:47PM 1 min Positive start from Larsen down the left but Christie stops him in his tracks, and concedes a throw-in. Kvist picks up where Denmark left off by launching the throw into the box. Ireland clear. 7:46PM 10 Irish players were in danger of missing this game if they were booked in the first leg All 10 escaped a yellow, and there is a clean slate tonight. This could be fiery. We're under way in Dublin. 7:42PM The Aviva is rocking for the national anthems Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: PA 7:35PM Ireland's competitive home record under O'Neill One loss in 11 Pretty impressive reading, right? Can Denmark trouble the Irish?  7:29PM Martin O'Neill talks "We are here to win this match. Of course, there are risks that come with being more expansive. "Are we preparing for 120 minutes? First and foremost in the players' minds is: we have to win the game "The players are ready." 6:54PM A closer look at those teams David Meyler is back after missing the first leg through suspension, and he captains the Republic tonight. Meanwhile, Bristol City's Callum O'Dowda drops to the bench, replaced on the right by James McClean who switches from the left flank. Robbie Brady will move out to the left after playing centrally in midweek. David Meyler is back  Credit: Getty images Denmark bring RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen in on the flank, with Andreas Cornelius dropping to the bench, while Chelsea's Andreas Christensen also comes back in.  6:44PM The teams are in Ireland: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Arter, Meyler, Hendrick, Brady, McClean; Murphy Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen; Eriksen, Kvist, Delaney; Poulsen, Jorgensen, Sisto 6:38PM Martin O'Neill sends out a word of warning Martin O'Neill has warned Denmark not to be taken in by the Republic of Ireland's paltry World Cup goals tally. The pair meet in a decisive play-off second leg encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening with Ireland having managed to find the back of the net on only four occasions in their Group D qualifiers in Dublin. Indeed, they managed only 12 goals in total during the entire campaign and could not add to it in Saturday evening's 0-0 draw in Copenhagen. O'Neill is acutely aware of the chasm 68-goal Robbie Keane left on his retirement from international football, but remains confident his team can find a way to beat the Danes. He said: "You have to treat the game on its own merits. You can't look at the past now and say: 'Well, we didn't do this and we didn't do that'. The dream team need a goal from their players tonight Credit: PA "Some of the games we might have scored more goals in, but we're not prolific. Really top quality Republic of Ireland sides have not been able to score goals. "You have Robbie Keane out on his own and the next person to him is someone who might have forced a corner or something like that. Seriously, that is the case. "There have been great players who have played for the Republic of Ireland in their history and they have never been prolific. "We have to find the net and we think we're capable of doing it. We find everything tough, it's the nature of us. We don't have all the skills that maybe other nations have. "We have to find it in different manners. I've said that umpteen times, we have to find it. So far, the lads have come up big in matches and tomorrow is a massive game and we're hoping to do it again."

Republic of Ireland vs Denmark, World Cup play-off: live score updates

0-0 first leg 9:12PM 71 mins O'Neill responds: it's all or nothing now. Forward Shane Long comes on for centre-back Ciaran Clark. This could get ugly. 9:11PM 70 mins Another change for Denmark. Former Cardiff man Cornelius replaces Poulsen, who got that knock a short while ago. 9:08PM 66 mins Ward gets forward well and drinks a decent cross onto McClean's head but he fires his effort just over. More than half a chance, that. Ireland need a goal soon.  9:07PM Eriksen or Coutinho? I know who I'd choose If Christian Eriksen was Brazilian someone would be bidding £115m.— Chris Bascombe (@_ChrisBascombe) November 14, 2017 9:06PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALL!!!! Ireland 1-3 Denmark (Eriksen) That's it. Christian Eriksen is a class apart from every other player on the pitch, and he has shown it for a second time with another wonderful goal. He has been helped by Martin O'Neill's to play this second half without a defensive midfielder, picking up positions between the lines and he does so again he to extraordinary effect. Listo finds him on the edge of the box after a patient build-up from the Danes, and Eriksen shifts onto his left foot and just brushes a lovely left-footed effort into the corner with Randolph again helpless. Tie over? Republic of Ireland 1 - 3 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 63 min) 9:02PM 60 mins Christie dances past three challenges in an attacking position on the right, but his drilled ball across goal is cleared. Then a combination of McClean and Ward absolutely clatter Poulsen, who needs medical attention.  Shortly after the Denmark fans start greeting each pass with an 'Ole!'. Too early for that, lads. Too early. 9:00PM 57 mins A decent break from Ireland with McClean fouled but a good advantage played, and they have numbers piling forwards, but twice in succession - first Christie, then McGeady - poor crosses let them down. And the second launches a Denmark attack. Duffy flies into a challenge and misses completely, and suddenly Eriksen is away down the left. Pace isn't his greatest asset, and he is caught by Clark, but not before getting a decent shot off that Randolph palms away. Ireland got away with that. McGeady's feather-weak cross there somehow sets up a Danish attack. Have to say that was a baffling substitution.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) November 14, 2017 8:56PM 55 mins Hoolahan does well to win a corner, which Duffy heads at goal but it's a simple save for Schmeichel. 8:55PM 53 mins Denmark have started this half really well, and are completely dominating possession. The Irish changes have yet to make any difference so far. Sisto stings the fingers of Randolph with a well struck effort from the edge of the box. A change for Denmark: Peter Ankersen replaces Styger Larsen - a defensive move - could that be five at the back now? 8:53PM 51 mins A decent effort from Sisto, who darts in off the left and fires at goal but it is blazed just high and just wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Pione Sisto, 51 min) 8:51PM 50 mins Poulsen wins a high ball forward and flicks it on to Jorgensen. He finds Eriksen, who floats a cross into the centre but Ward does really well to toe-end it away for a corner - which comes to nothing. 8:48PM 47 mins Hoolahan slots in behind Murphy, McGeady goes out to the right. Hendrick and Brady in the middle of the park for the Irish. 8:47PM Double sub for Ireland! O'Neill going for it here! Arter and Meyler are replaced by McGeady and Hoolahan - a really attacking move. Huge 45 minutes coming up. And we're off. 8:35PM Half time Well, what a half that was, and I doubt many expected that kind of entertainment after the goalless first leg. After going in front, the Republic of Ireland weren't really sure how to approach the rest of the game. Denmark took advantage, swarming forward in numbers as they went after an equaliser, and Ireland crumbled in three minutes that may decide their World Cup fate. It's all to play for but Ireland have an awful lot to do in the second half. Here's the half in graphical form: Shots Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal Possession Possession: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark Average position Average touch positions (half time) 8:30PM 44 mins The ball breaks for Brady in a central position with space to move into. The crowd sense an opportunity. Ward goes charging outside Brady down the left and Brady slides a pass into his team-mates path, but Christensen does really well to get back first and get a toe in, meaning Ward clatters into him and he wins a free-kick. 8:28PM This could stick Irish Proverb: "That Goal Was Too Early"— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) November 14, 2017 8:27PM 41 mins McClean goes down far, far too easily in the box under the faintest of nudges from Christensen, and he's desperate for a penalty but the referee right waves play away. 8:25PM 40 mins People say his club, Tottenham, are a one-man team. His country might be even more reliant on one man... 12 – Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in 12 goals in the World Cup 2018 qualification process (nine goals, three assists), eight more than any other Denmark player. Leader.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 14, 2017 8:22PM 36 mins Ireland need to get a foothold back in this game. Denmark are looking confident and in full control, knowing Ireland now need two goals with away goals counting double. There will be no extra time, by the way. 8:20PM GOOOOOOAAAALLL!!! Ireland 1-2 Denmark (Erisken) Oh dear, Ireland - the game's been turned around in two minutes and Denmark are in front. Robbie Brady tries to take on Poulsen and has possession nicked from him. Poulsen finds Jorgensen, who returns the ball back out to the right where Poulsen has caught up. He reverses back to Jorgensen, who sweeps it out left to Christian Eriksen, and he thunders the ball off the underside of the bar past a helpless Randolph. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) 8:17PM GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Ireland 1-1 Denmark (Christie own goal) Sisto had a shot from distance deflected over, Eriksen takes the corner short to Sisto, who looks like he's let the chance go by opting not to return the ball to Eriksen. But Sisto stands Arter up, slips the ball through his legs and crosses low and hard. Christensen swings a leg at it and it bounces towards goal - Christie is on the back post but he can't sort his legs out quickly enough, and the ball cannons off the upright, onto the right-back and into the net. So unlucky for him - but Denmark are level. Republic of Ireland 1 - 1 Denmark (Cyrus Christie, 29 min) 8:13PM 28 mins Ireland seeing much less of the ball, and playing a much more direct game - but so far, it's working. Here are the passes from the two teams: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark 8:10PM 24 mins What a match this is - James McClean runs onto Brady's through ball after good work with his back to goal by Daryl Murphy. The West Brom winger is clean through but the angle is getting tighter and tighter. He eventually fires off and hits it well enough but just drags it wide. 8:08PM 22 mins So nearly 2-0 to Ireland! And half the ground thought it was in, too! Murphy gets across his man to flick Christie's whipped cross from the right towards goal with the outside of his left boot, but it whistles JUST past Schmeichel's left post. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Daryl Murphy, 22 min) 8:06PM 20 mins Ireland fire a warning on the break, McClean getting clear down the left and squaring for Murphy, but he tries to squirm away from the defender rather than set it back for his arriving team-mate and the move falls apart. 8:05PM 18 mins And another big save! This time Eriksen finds Sisto on the left and his volleyed effort is well hit but straight at the keeper. Ireland retain their lead but pressure is building. 8:04PM 17 mins What an unbelievable save from Randolph! Denmark get Eriksen on the ball for the first time tonight and they construct a move nicely for the first time, too. The ball is worked left and then right, eventually pulled back by Christensen to the edge of the box for Kvist to slam low and hard towards the bottom left corner - but Randolph palms it away. Attempt Saved: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (William Kvist, 17 min) 8:01PM 15 mins Ireland will be as surprised as anyone that they got an early goal, and their whole gameplan will have to change now - how do they approach the final 75 minutes? You can't invite too much pressure but equally there's no need to go too gung ho for another goal. Decisions, decisions. 7:57PM 11 mins What a ball that is and that is a decent chance for Denmark. Kjaer launches an angled ball from the right-back position towards Larsen who has caught Christie unawares on the opposite flank. The ball comes down out of the sky and it is a really difficult chance but he still should do better. He gets it all wrong and bundles the ball harmlessly wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Jens Stryger Larsen, 10 min) 7:54PM 7 mins Denmark go straight up the other end with a set-piece of their own, but Ireland hold firm and clear. 7:53PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALLL!!!!! Ireland 1-0 Denmark (Duffy) The Republic win a free-kick for a push just next to the centre circle and they take an age over it, sending their centre-backs up and loading the box. The set-piece is eventually launched forward by Brady, long and straight and direct. Jorgensen gets a toe to it but can only spoon it up in the air. It isn't anyhinh like properly cleared, and Duffy out-jumps Schmeichel to nod the ball home! Ireland are in front! Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Shane Duffy, 6 min) 7:49PM 3 mins Two heavy challenges, first from Brady on Eriksen and then from Meyler on Sisto, are penalised, much to the annoyance of the home fans. The ref isn't going to let those slide. 7:47PM 1 min Positive start from Larsen down the left but Christie stops him in his tracks, and concedes a throw-in. Kvist picks up where Denmark left off by launching the throw into the box. Ireland clear. 7:46PM 10 Irish players were in danger of missing this game if they were booked in the first leg All 10 escaped a yellow, and there is a clean slate tonight. This could be fiery. We're under way in Dublin. 7:42PM The Aviva is rocking for the national anthems Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: PA 7:35PM Ireland's competitive home record under O'Neill One loss in 11 Pretty impressive reading, right? Can Denmark trouble the Irish?  7:29PM Martin O'Neill talks "We are here to win this match. Of course, there are risks that come with being more expansive. "Are we preparing for 120 minutes? First and foremost in the players' minds is: we have to win the game "The players are ready." 6:54PM A closer look at those teams David Meyler is back after missing the first leg through suspension, and he captains the Republic tonight. Meanwhile, Bristol City's Callum O'Dowda drops to the bench, replaced on the right by James McClean who switches from the left flank. Robbie Brady will move out to the left after playing centrally in midweek. David Meyler is back  Credit: Getty images Denmark bring RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen in on the flank, with Andreas Cornelius dropping to the bench, while Chelsea's Andreas Christensen also comes back in.  6:44PM The teams are in Ireland: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Arter, Meyler, Hendrick, Brady, McClean; Murphy Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen; Eriksen, Kvist, Delaney; Poulsen, Jorgensen, Sisto 6:38PM Martin O'Neill sends out a word of warning Martin O'Neill has warned Denmark not to be taken in by the Republic of Ireland's paltry World Cup goals tally. The pair meet in a decisive play-off second leg encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening with Ireland having managed to find the back of the net on only four occasions in their Group D qualifiers in Dublin. Indeed, they managed only 12 goals in total during the entire campaign and could not add to it in Saturday evening's 0-0 draw in Copenhagen. O'Neill is acutely aware of the chasm 68-goal Robbie Keane left on his retirement from international football, but remains confident his team can find a way to beat the Danes. He said: "You have to treat the game on its own merits. You can't look at the past now and say: 'Well, we didn't do this and we didn't do that'. The dream team need a goal from their players tonight Credit: PA "Some of the games we might have scored more goals in, but we're not prolific. Really top quality Republic of Ireland sides have not been able to score goals. "You have Robbie Keane out on his own and the next person to him is someone who might have forced a corner or something like that. Seriously, that is the case. "There have been great players who have played for the Republic of Ireland in their history and they have never been prolific. "We have to find the net and we think we're capable of doing it. We find everything tough, it's the nature of us. We don't have all the skills that maybe other nations have. "We have to find it in different manners. I've said that umpteen times, we have to find it. So far, the lads have come up big in matches and tomorrow is a massive game and we're hoping to do it again."

Republic of Ireland vs Denmark, World Cup play-off: live score updates

0-0 first leg 9:06PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALL!!!! Ireland 1-3 Denmark (Eriksen) That's it. Christian Eriksen is a class apart from every other player on the pitch, and he has shown it for a second time with another wonderful goal. He has been helped by Martin O'Neill's to play this second half without a defensive midfielder, picking up positions between the lines and he does so again he to extraordinary effect. Listo finds him on the edge of the box after a patient build-up from the Danes, and Eriksen shifts onto his left foot and just brushes a lovely left-footed effort into the corner with Randolph again helpless. Tie over? 9:02PM 60 mins Christie dances past three challenges in an attacking position on the right, but his drilled ball across goal is cleared. Then a combination of McClean and Ward absolutely clatter Poulsen, who needs medical attention.  Shortly after the Denmark fans start greeting each pass with an 'Ole!'. Too early for that, lads. Too early. 9:00PM 57 mins A decent break from Ireland with McClean fouled but a good advantage played, and they have numbers piling forwards, but twice in succession - first Christie, then McGeady - poor crosses let them down. And the second launches a Denmark attack. Duffy flies into a challenge and misses completely, and suddenly Eriksen is away down the left. Pace isn't his greatest asset, and he is caught by Clark, but not before getting a decent shot off that Randolph palms away. Ireland got away with that. McGeady's feather-weak cross there somehow sets up a Danish attack. Have to say that was a baffling substitution.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) November 14, 2017 8:56PM 55 mins Hoolahan does well to win a corner, which Duffy heads at goal but it's a simple save for Schmeichel. 8:55PM 53 mins Denmark have started this half really well, and are completely dominating possession. The Irish changes have yet to make any difference so far. Sisto stings the fingers of Randolph with a well struck effort from the edge of the box. A change for Denmark: Peter Ankersen replaces Styger Larsen - a defensive move - could that be five at the back now? 8:53PM 51 mins A decent effort from Sisto, who darts in off the left and fires at goal but it is blazed just high and just wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Pione Sisto, 51 min) 8:51PM 50 mins Poulsen wins a high ball forward and flicks it on to Jorgensen. He finds Eriksen, who floats a cross into the centre but Ward does really well to toe-end it away for a corner - which comes to nothing. 8:48PM 47 mins Hoolahan slots in behind Murphy, McGeady goes out to the right. Hendrick and Brady in the middle of the park for the Irish. 8:47PM Double sub for Ireland! O'Neill going for it here! Arter and Meyler are replaced by McGeady and Hoolahan - a really attacking move. Huge 45 minutes coming up. And we're off. 8:35PM Half time Well, what a half that was, and I doubt many expected that kind of entertainment after the goalless first leg. After going in front, the Republic of Ireland weren't really sure how to approach the rest of the game. Denmark took advantage, swarming forward in numbers as they went after an equaliser, and Ireland crumbled in three minutes that may decide their World Cup fate. It's all to play for but Ireland have an awful lot to do in the second half. Here's the half in graphical form: Shots Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal Possession Possession: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark Average position Average touch positions (half time) 8:30PM 44 mins The ball breaks for Brady in a central position with space to move into. The crowd sense an opportunity. Ward goes charging outside Brady down the left and Brady slides a pass into his team-mates path, but Christensen does really well to get back first and get a toe in, meaning Ward clatters into him and he wins a free-kick. 8:28PM This could stick Irish Proverb: "That Goal Was Too Early"— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) November 14, 2017 8:27PM 41 mins McClean goes down far, far too easily in the box under the faintest of nudges from Christensen, and he's desperate for a penalty but the referee right waves play away. 8:25PM 40 mins People say his club, Tottenham, are a one-man team. His country might be even more reliant on one man... 12 – Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in 12 goals in the World Cup 2018 qualification process (nine goals, three assists), eight more than any other Denmark player. Leader.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 14, 2017 8:22PM 36 mins Ireland need to get a foothold back in this game. Denmark are looking confident and in full control, knowing Ireland now need two goals with away goals counting double. There will be no extra time, by the way. 8:20PM GOOOOOOAAAALLL!!! Ireland 1-2 Denmark (Erisken) Oh dear, Ireland - the game's been turned around in two minutes and Denmark are in front. Robbie Brady tries to take on Poulsen and has possession nicked from him. Poulsen finds Jorgensen, who returns the ball back out to the right where Poulsen has caught up. He reverses back to Jorgensen, who sweeps it out left to Christian Eriksen, and he thunders the ball off the underside of the bar past a helpless Randolph. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) 8:17PM GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Ireland 1-1 Denmark (Christie own goal) Sisto had a shot from distance deflected over, Eriksen takes the corner short to Sisto, who looks like he's let the chance go by opting not to return the ball to Eriksen. But Sisto stands Arter up, slips the ball through his legs and crosses low and hard. Christensen swings a leg at it and it bounces towards goal - Christie is on the back post but he can't sort his legs out quickly enough, and the ball cannons off the upright, onto the right-back and into the net. So unlucky for him - but Denmark are level. Republic of Ireland 1 - 1 Denmark (Cyrus Christie, 29 min) 8:13PM 28 mins Ireland seeing much less of the ball, and playing a much more direct game - but so far, it's working. Here are the passes from the two teams: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark 8:10PM 24 mins What a match this is - James McClean runs onto Brady's through ball after good work with his back to goal by Daryl Murphy. The West Brom winger is clean through but the angle is getting tighter and tighter. He eventually fires off and hits it well enough but just drags it wide. 8:08PM 22 mins So nearly 2-0 to Ireland! And half the ground thought it was in, too! Murphy gets across his man to flick Christie's whipped cross from the right towards goal with the outside of his left boot, but it whistles JUST past Schmeichel's left post. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Daryl Murphy, 22 min) 8:06PM 20 mins Ireland fire a warning on the break, McClean getting clear down the left and squaring for Murphy, but he tries to squirm away from the defender rather than set it back for his arriving team-mate and the move falls apart. 8:05PM 18 mins And another big save! This time Eriksen finds Sisto on the left and his volleyed effort is well hit but straight at the keeper. Ireland retain their lead but pressure is building. 8:04PM 17 mins What an unbelievable save from Randolph! Denmark get Eriksen on the ball for the first time tonight and they construct a move nicely for the first time, too. The ball is worked left and then right, eventually pulled back by Christensen to the edge of the box for Kvist to slam low and hard towards the bottom left corner - but Randolph palms it away. Attempt Saved: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (William Kvist, 17 min) 8:01PM 15 mins Ireland will be as surprised as anyone that they got an early goal, and their whole gameplan will have to change now - how do they approach the final 75 minutes? You can't invite too much pressure but equally there's no need to go too gung ho for another goal. Decisions, decisions. 7:57PM 11 mins What a ball that is and that is a decent chance for Denmark. Kjaer launches an angled ball from the right-back position towards Larsen who has caught Christie unawares on the opposite flank. The ball comes down out of the sky and it is a really difficult chance but he still should do better. He gets it all wrong and bundles the ball harmlessly wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Jens Stryger Larsen, 10 min) 7:54PM 7 mins Denmark go straight up the other end with a set-piece of their own, but Ireland hold firm and clear. 7:53PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALLL!!!!! Ireland 1-0 Denmark (Duffy) The Republic win a free-kick for a push just next to the centre circle and they take an age over it, sending their centre-backs up and loading the box. The set-piece is eventually launched forward by Brady, long and straight and direct. Jorgensen gets a toe to it but can only spoon it up in the air. It isn't anyhinh like properly cleared, and Duffy out-jumps Schmeichel to nod the ball home! Ireland are in front! Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Shane Duffy, 6 min) 7:49PM 3 mins Two heavy challenges, first from Brady on Eriksen and then from Meyler on Sisto, are penalised, much to the annoyance of the home fans. The ref isn't going to let those slide. 7:47PM 1 min Positive start from Larsen down the left but Christie stops him in his tracks, and concedes a throw-in. Kvist picks up where Denmark left off by launching the throw into the box. Ireland clear. 7:46PM 10 Irish players were in danger of missing this game if they were booked in the first leg All 10 escaped a yellow, and there is a clean slate tonight. This could be fiery. We're under way in Dublin. 7:42PM The Aviva is rocking for the national anthems Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: PA 7:35PM Ireland's competitive home record under O'Neill One loss in 11 Pretty impressive reading, right? Can Denmark trouble the Irish?  7:29PM Martin O'Neill talks "We are here to win this match. Of course, there are risks that come with being more expansive. "Are we preparing for 120 minutes? First and foremost in the players' minds is: we have to win the game "The players are ready." 6:54PM A closer look at those teams David Meyler is back after missing the first leg through suspension, and he captains the Republic tonight. Meanwhile, Bristol City's Callum O'Dowda drops to the bench, replaced on the right by James McClean who switches from the left flank. Robbie Brady will move out to the left after playing centrally in midweek. David Meyler is back  Credit: Getty images Denmark bring RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen in on the flank, with Andreas Cornelius dropping to the bench, while Chelsea's Andreas Christensen also comes back in.  6:44PM The teams are in Ireland: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Arter, Meyler, Hendrick, Brady, McClean; Murphy Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen; Eriksen, Kvist, Delaney; Poulsen, Jorgensen, Sisto 6:38PM Martin O'Neill sends out a word of warning Martin O'Neill has warned Denmark not to be taken in by the Republic of Ireland's paltry World Cup goals tally. The pair meet in a decisive play-off second leg encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening with Ireland having managed to find the back of the net on only four occasions in their Group D qualifiers in Dublin. Indeed, they managed only 12 goals in total during the entire campaign and could not add to it in Saturday evening's 0-0 draw in Copenhagen. O'Neill is acutely aware of the chasm 68-goal Robbie Keane left on his retirement from international football, but remains confident his team can find a way to beat the Danes. He said: "You have to treat the game on its own merits. You can't look at the past now and say: 'Well, we didn't do this and we didn't do that'. The dream team need a goal from their players tonight Credit: PA "Some of the games we might have scored more goals in, but we're not prolific. Really top quality Republic of Ireland sides have not been able to score goals. "You have Robbie Keane out on his own and the next person to him is someone who might have forced a corner or something like that. Seriously, that is the case. "There have been great players who have played for the Republic of Ireland in their history and they have never been prolific. "We have to find the net and we think we're capable of doing it. We find everything tough, it's the nature of us. We don't have all the skills that maybe other nations have. "We have to find it in different manners. I've said that umpteen times, we have to find it. So far, the lads have come up big in matches and tomorrow is a massive game and we're hoping to do it again."

Republic of Ireland vs Denmark, World Cup play-off: live score updates

0-0 first leg 8:35PM Half time Well, what a half that was, and I doubt many expected that kind of entertainment after the goalless first leg. After going in front, the Republic of Ireland weren't really sure how to approach the rest of the game. Denmark took advantage, swarming forward in numbers as they went after an equaliser, and Ireland crumbled in three minutes that may decide their World Cup fate. It's all to play for but Ireland have an awful lot to do in the second half. Here's the half in graphical form: Shots Republic of Ireland vs Denmark shots on goal Possession Possession: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark Average position Average touch positions (half time) 8:30PM 44 mins The ball breaks for Brady in a central position with space to move into. The crowd sense an opportunity. Ward goes charging outside Brady down the left and Brady slides a pass into his team-mates path, but Christensen does really well to get back first and get a toe in, meaning Ward clatters into him and he wins a free-kick. 8:28PM This could stick Irish Proverb: "That Goal Was Too Early"— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) November 14, 2017 8:27PM 41 mins McClean goes down far, far too easily in the box under the faintest of nudges from Christensen, and he's desperate for a penalty but the referee right waves play away. 8:25PM 40 mins People say his club, Tottenham, are a one-man team. His country might be even more reliant on one man... 12 – Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in 12 goals in the World Cup 2018 qualification process (nine goals, three assists), eight more than any other Denmark player. Leader.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 14, 2017 8:22PM 36 mins Ireland need to get a foothold back in this game. Denmark are looking confident and in full control, knowing Ireland now need two goals with away goals counting double. There will be no extra time, by the way. 8:20PM GOOOOOOAAAALLL!!! Ireland 1-2 Denmark (Erisken) Oh dear, Ireland - the game's been turned around in two minutes and Denmark are in front. Robbie Brady tries to take on Poulsen and has possession nicked from him. Poulsen finds Jorgensen, who returns the ball back out to the right where Poulsen has caught up. He reverses back to Jorgensen, who sweeps it out left to Christian Eriksen, and he thunders the ball off the underside of the bar past a helpless Randolph. Republic of Ireland 1 - 2 Denmark (Christian Eriksen, 32 min) 8:17PM GOOOOOOOOAAAALLLL!!! Ireland 1-1 Denmark (Christie own goal) Sisto had a shot from distance deflected over, Eriksen takes the corner short to Sisto, who looks like he's let the chance go by opting not to return the ball to Eriksen. But Sisto stands Arter up, slips the ball through his legs and crosses low and hard. Christensen swings a leg at it and it bounces towards goal - Christie is on the back post but he can't sort his legs out quickly enough, and the ball cannons off the upright, onto the right-back and into the net. So unlucky for him - but Denmark are level. Republic of Ireland 1 - 1 Denmark (Cyrus Christie, 29 min) 8:13PM 28 mins Ireland seeing much less of the ball, and playing a much more direct game - but so far, it's working. Here are the passes from the two teams: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark 8:10PM 24 mins What a match this is - James McClean runs onto Brady's through ball after good work with his back to goal by Daryl Murphy. The West Brom winger is clean through but the angle is getting tighter and tighter. He eventually fires off and hits it well enough but just drags it wide. 8:08PM 22 mins So nearly 2-0 to Ireland! And half the ground thought it was in, too! Murphy gets across his man to flick Christie's whipped cross from the right towards goal with the outside of his left boot, but it whistles JUST past Schmeichel's left post. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Daryl Murphy, 22 min) 8:06PM 20 mins Ireland fire a warning on the break, McClean getting clear down the left and squaring for Murphy, but he tries to squirm away from the defender rather than set it back for his arriving team-mate and the move falls apart. 8:05PM 18 mins And another big save! This time Eriksen finds Sisto on the left and his volleyed effort is well hit but straight at the keeper. Ireland retain their lead but pressure is building. 8:04PM 17 mins What an unbelievable save from Randolph! Denmark get Eriksen on the ball for the first time tonight and they construct a move nicely for the first time, too. The ball is worked left and then right, eventually pulled back by Christensen to the edge of the box for Kvist to slam low and hard towards the bottom left corner - but Randolph palms it away. Attempt Saved: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (William Kvist, 17 min) 8:01PM 15 mins Ireland will be as surprised as anyone that they got an early goal, and their whole gameplan will have to change now - how do they approach the final 75 minutes? You can't invite too much pressure but equally there's no need to go too gung ho for another goal. Decisions, decisions. 7:57PM 11 mins What a ball that is and that is a decent chance for Denmark. Kjaer launches an angled ball from the right-back position towards Larsen who has caught Christie unawares on the opposite flank. The ball comes down out of the sky and it is a really difficult chance but he still should do better. He gets it all wrong and bundles the ball harmlessly wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Jens Stryger Larsen, 10 min) 7:54PM 7 mins Denmark go straight up the other end with a set-piece of their own, but Ireland hold firm and clear. 7:53PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALLL!!!!! Ireland 1-0 Denmark (Duffy) The Republic win a free-kick for a push just next to the centre circle and they take an age over it, sending their centre-backs up and loading the box. The set-piece is eventually launched forward by Brady, long and straight and direct. Jorgensen gets a toe to it but can only spoon it up in the air. It isn't anyhinh like properly cleared, and Duffy out-jumps Schmeichel to nod the ball home! Ireland are in front! Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Shane Duffy, 6 min) 7:49PM 3 mins Two heavy challenges, first from Brady on Eriksen and then from Meyler on Sisto, are penalised, much to the annoyance of the home fans. The ref isn't going to let those slide. 7:47PM 1 min Positive start from Larsen down the left but Christie stops him in his tracks, and concedes a throw-in. Kvist picks up where Denmark left off by launching the throw into the box. Ireland clear. 7:46PM 10 Irish players were in danger of missing this game if they were booked in the first leg All 10 escaped a yellow, and there is a clean slate tonight. This could be fiery. We're under way in Dublin. 7:42PM The Aviva is rocking for the national anthems Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: PA 7:35PM Ireland's competitive home record under O'Neill One loss in 11 Pretty impressive reading, right? Can Denmark trouble the Irish?  7:29PM Martin O'Neill talks "We are here to win this match. Of course, there are risks that come with being more expansive. "Are we preparing for 120 minutes? First and foremost in the players' minds is: we have to win the game "The players are ready." 6:54PM A closer look at those teams David Meyler is back after missing the first leg through suspension, and he captains the Republic tonight. Meanwhile, Bristol City's Callum O'Dowda drops to the bench, replaced on the right by James McClean who switches from the left flank. Robbie Brady will move out to the left after playing centrally in midweek. David Meyler is back  Credit: Getty images Denmark bring RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen in on the flank, with Andreas Cornelius dropping to the bench, while Chelsea's Andreas Christensen also comes back in.  6:44PM The teams are in Ireland: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Arter, Meyler, Hendrick, Brady, McClean; Murphy Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen; Eriksen, Kvist, Delaney; Poulsen, Jorgensen, Sisto 6:38PM Martin O'Neill sends out a word of warning Martin O'Neill has warned Denmark not to be taken in by the Republic of Ireland's paltry World Cup goals tally. The pair meet in a decisive play-off second leg encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening with Ireland having managed to find the back of the net on only four occasions in their Group D qualifiers in Dublin. Indeed, they managed only 12 goals in total during the entire campaign and could not add to it in Saturday evening's 0-0 draw in Copenhagen. O'Neill is acutely aware of the chasm 68-goal Robbie Keane left on his retirement from international football, but remains confident his team can find a way to beat the Danes. He said: "You have to treat the game on its own merits. You can't look at the past now and say: 'Well, we didn't do this and we didn't do that'. The dream team need a goal from their players tonight Credit: PA "Some of the games we might have scored more goals in, but we're not prolific. Really top quality Republic of Ireland sides have not been able to score goals. "You have Robbie Keane out on his own and the next person to him is someone who might have forced a corner or something like that. Seriously, that is the case. "There have been great players who have played for the Republic of Ireland in their history and they have never been prolific. "We have to find the net and we think we're capable of doing it. We find everything tough, it's the nature of us. We don't have all the skills that maybe other nations have. "We have to find it in different manners. I've said that umpteen times, we have to find it. So far, the lads have come up big in matches and tomorrow is a massive game and we're hoping to do it again."

Republic of Ireland vs Denmark, World Cup play-off: live score updates

0-0 first leg 8:13PM 28 mins Ireland seeing much less of the ball, and playing a much more direct game - but so far, it's working. Here are the passes from the two teams: Republic of Ireland vs Denmark 8:10PM 24 mins What a match this is - James McClean runs onto Brady's through ball after good work with his back to goal by Daryl Murphy. The West Brom winger is clean through but the angle is getting tighter and tighter. He eventually fires off and hits it well enough but just drags it wide. 8:08PM 22 mins So nearly 2-0 to Ireland! And half the ground thought it was in, too! Murphy gets across his man to flick Christie's whipped cross from the right towards goal with the outside of his left boot, but it whistles JUST past Schmeichel's left post. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Daryl Murphy, 22 min) 8:06PM 20 mins Ireland fire a warning on the break, McClean getting clear down the left and squaring for Murphy, but he tries to squirm away from the defender rather than set it back for his arriving team-mate and the move falls apart. 8:05PM 18 mins And another big save! This time Eriksen finds Sisto on the left and his volleyed effort is well hit but straight at the keeper. Ireland retain their lead but pressure is building. 8:04PM 17 mins What an unbelievable save from Randolph! Denmark get Eriksen on the ball for the first time tonight and they construct a move nicely for the first time, too. The ball is worked left and then right, eventually pulled back by Christensen to the edge of the box for Kvist to slam low and hard towards the bottom left corner - but Randolph palms it away. Attempt Saved: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (William Kvist, 17 min) 8:01PM 15 mins Ireland will be as surprised as anyone that they got an early goal, and their whole gameplan will have to change now - how do they approach the final 75 minutes? You can't invite too much pressure but equally there's no need to go too gung ho for another goal. Decisions, decisions. 7:57PM 11 mins What a ball that is and that is a decent chance for Denmark. Kjaer launches an angled ball from the right-back position towards Larsen who has caught Christie unawares on the opposite flank. The ball comes down out of the sky and it is a really difficult chance but he still should do better. He gets it all wrong and bundles the ball harmlessly wide. Miss: Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Jens Stryger Larsen, 10 min) 7:54PM 7 mins Denmark go straight up the other end with a set-piece of their own, but Ireland hold firm and clear. 7:53PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALLL!!!!! Ireland 1-0 Denmark (Duffy) The Republic win a free-kick for a push just next to the centre circle and they take an age over it, sending their centre-backs up and loading the box. The set-piece is eventually launched forward by Brady, long and straight and direct. Jorgensen gets a toe to it but can only spoon it up in the air. It isn't anyhinh like properly cleared, and Duffy out-jumps Schmeichel to nod the ball home! Ireland are in front! Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Shane Duffy, 6 min) 7:49PM 3 mins Two heavy challenges, first from Brady on Eriksen and then from Meyler on Sisto, are penalised, much to the annoyance of the home fans. The ref isn't going to let those slide. 7:47PM 1 min Positive start from Larsen down the left but Christie stops him in his tracks, and concedes a throw-in. Kvist picks up where Denmark left off by launching the throw into the box. Ireland clear. 7:46PM 10 Irish players were in danger of missing this game if they were booked in the first leg All 10 escaped a yellow, and there is a clean slate tonight. This could be fiery. We're under way in Dublin. 7:42PM The Aviva is rocking for the national anthems Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: PA 7:35PM Ireland's competitive home record under O'Neill One loss in 11 Pretty impressive reading, right? Can Denmark trouble the Irish?  7:29PM Martin O'Neill talks "We are here to win this match. Of course, there are risks that come with being more expansive. "Are we preparing for 120 minutes? First and foremost in the players' minds is: we have to win the game "The players are ready." 6:54PM A closer look at those teams David Meyler is back after missing the first leg through suspension, and he captains the Republic tonight. Meanwhile, Bristol City's Callum O'Dowda drops to the bench, replaced on the right by James McClean who switches from the left flank. Robbie Brady will move out to the left after playing centrally in midweek. David Meyler is back  Credit: Getty images Denmark bring RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen in on the flank, with Andreas Cornelius dropping to the bench, while Chelsea's Andreas Christensen also comes back in.  6:44PM The teams are in Ireland: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Arter, Meyler, Hendrick, Brady, McClean; Murphy Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen; Eriksen, Kvist, Delaney; Poulsen, Jorgensen, Sisto 6:38PM Martin O'Neill sends out a word of warning Martin O'Neill has warned Denmark not to be taken in by the Republic of Ireland's paltry World Cup goals tally. The pair meet in a decisive play-off second leg encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening with Ireland having managed to find the back of the net on only four occasions in their Group D qualifiers in Dublin. Indeed, they managed only 12 goals in total during the entire campaign and could not add to it in Saturday evening's 0-0 draw in Copenhagen. O'Neill is acutely aware of the chasm 68-goal Robbie Keane left on his retirement from international football, but remains confident his team can find a way to beat the Danes. He said: "You have to treat the game on its own merits. You can't look at the past now and say: 'Well, we didn't do this and we didn't do that'. The dream team need a goal from their players tonight Credit: PA "Some of the games we might have scored more goals in, but we're not prolific. Really top quality Republic of Ireland sides have not been able to score goals. "You have Robbie Keane out on his own and the next person to him is someone who might have forced a corner or something like that. Seriously, that is the case. "There have been great players who have played for the Republic of Ireland in their history and they have never been prolific. "We have to find the net and we think we're capable of doing it. We find everything tough, it's the nature of us. We don't have all the skills that maybe other nations have. "We have to find it in different manners. I've said that umpteen times, we have to find it. So far, the lads have come up big in matches and tomorrow is a massive game and we're hoping to do it again."

Republic of Ireland vs Denmark, World Cup play-off: live score updates

0-0 first leg 7:54PM 7 mins Denmark go straight up the other end with a set-piece of their own, but Ireland hold firm and clear. 7:53PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALLL!!!!! Ireland 1-0 Denmark (Duffy) The Republic win a free-kick for a push just next to the centre circle and they take an age over it, sending their centre-backs up and loading the box. The set-piece is eventually launched forward by Brady, it isn't properly cleared, and Duffy out-jumps Schmeichel to nod the ball home! Ireland are in front! Republic of Ireland 1 - 0 Denmark (Shane Duffy, 6 min) 7:49PM 3 mins Two heavy challenges, first from Brady on Eriksen and then from Meyler on Sisto, are penalised, much to the annoyance of the home fans. The ref isn't going to let those slide. 7:47PM 1 min Positive start from Larsen down the left but Christie stops him in his tracks, and concedes a throw-in. Kvist picks up where Denmark left off by launching the throw into the box. Ireland clear. 7:46PM 10 Irish players were in danger of missing this game if they were booked in the first leg All 10 escaped a yellow, and there is a clean slate tonight. This could be fiery. We're under way in Dublin. 7:42PM The Aviva is rocking for the national anthems Both sets of fans are in fine voice Credit: PA 7:35PM Ireland's competitive home record under O'Neill One loss in 11 Pretty impressive reading, right? Can Denmark trouble the Irish?  7:29PM Martin O'Neill talks "We are here to win this match. Of course, there are risks that come with being more expansive. "Are we preparing for 120 minutes? First and foremost in the players' minds is: we have to win the game "The players are ready." 6:54PM A closer look at those teams David Meyler is back after missing the first leg through suspension, and he captains the Republic tonight. Meanwhile, Bristol City's Callum O'Dowda drops to the bench, replaced on the right by James McClean who switches from the left flank. Robbie Brady will move out to the left after playing centrally in midweek. David Meyler is back  Credit: Getty images Denmark bring RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen in on the flank, with Andreas Cornelius dropping to the bench, while Chelsea's Andreas Christensen also comes back in.  6:44PM The teams are in Ireland: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Arter, Meyler, Hendrick, Brady, McClean; Murphy Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen; Eriksen, Kvist, Delaney; Poulsen, Jorgensen, Sisto 6:38PM Martin O'Neill sends out a word of warning Martin O'Neill has warned Denmark not to be taken in by the Republic of Ireland's paltry World Cup goals tally. The pair meet in a decisive play-off second leg encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening with Ireland having managed to find the back of the net on only four occasions in their Group D qualifiers in Dublin. Indeed, they managed only 12 goals in total during the entire campaign and could not add to it in Saturday evening's 0-0 draw in Copenhagen. O'Neill is acutely aware of the chasm 68-goal Robbie Keane left on his retirement from international football, but remains confident his team can find a way to beat the Danes. He said: "You have to treat the game on its own merits. You can't look at the past now and say: 'Well, we didn't do this and we didn't do that'. The dream team need a goal from their players tonight Credit: PA "Some of the games we might have scored more goals in, but we're not prolific. Really top quality Republic of Ireland sides have not been able to score goals. "You have Robbie Keane out on his own and the next person to him is someone who might have forced a corner or something like that. Seriously, that is the case. "There have been great players who have played for the Republic of Ireland in their history and they have never been prolific. "We have to find the net and we think we're capable of doing it. We find everything tough, it's the nature of us. We don't have all the skills that maybe other nations have. "We have to find it in different manners. I've said that umpteen times, we have to find it. So far, the lads have come up big in matches and tomorrow is a massive game and we're hoping to do it again."

Republic of Ireland vs Denmark, World Cup play-off: live score updates and team news

0-0 first leg 7:35PM Ireland's competitive home record under O'Neill One loss in 11 7:29PM Martin O'Neill talks "We are here to win this match. Of course, there are risks that come with being more expansive. "Are we preparing for 120 minutes? First and foremost in the players' minds is: we have to win the game "The players are ready." 6:54PM A closer look at those teams David Meyler is back after missing the first leg through suspension, and he captains the Republic tonight. Meanwhile, Bristol City's Callum O'Dowda drops to the bench, replaced on the right by James McClean who switches from the left flank. Robbie Brady will move out to the left after playing centrally in midweek. David Meyler is back  Credit: Getty images Denmark bring RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen in on the flank, with Andreas Cornelius dropping to the bench, while Chelsea's Andreas Christensen also comes back in.  6:44PM The teams are in Ireland: Randolph; Christie, Clark, Duffy, Ward; Arter, Meyler, Hendrick, Brady, McClean; Murphy Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen; Eriksen, Kvist, Delaney; Poulsen, Jorgensen, Sisto 6:38PM Martin O'Neill sends out a word of warning Martin O'Neill has warned Denmark not to be taken in by the Republic of Ireland's paltry World Cup goals tally. The pair meet in a decisive play-off second leg encounter at the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday evening with Ireland having managed to find the back of the net on only four occasions in their Group D qualifiers in Dublin. Indeed, they managed only 12 goals in total during the entire campaign and could not add to it in Saturday evening's 0-0 draw in Copenhagen. O'Neill is acutely aware of the chasm 68-goal Robbie Keane left on his retirement from international football, but remains confident his team can find a way to beat the Danes. He said: "You have to treat the game on its own merits. You can't look at the past now and say: 'Well, we didn't do this and we didn't do that'. The dream team need a goal from their players tonight Credit: PA "Some of the games we might have scored more goals in, but we're not prolific. Really top quality Republic of Ireland sides have not been able to score goals. "You have Robbie Keane out on his own and the next person to him is someone who might have forced a corner or something like that. Seriously, that is the case. "There have been great players who have played for the Republic of Ireland in their history and they have never been prolific. "We have to find the net and we think we're capable of doing it. We find everything tough, it's the nature of us. We don't have all the skills that maybe other nations have. "We have to find it in different manners. I've said that umpteen times, we have to find it. So far, the lads have come up big in matches and tomorrow is a massive game and we're hoping to do it again."

Manchester City go top of WSL after Chelsea drop points at Reading

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Denmark 0 Republic of Ireland 0: Stalemate sets up must-win game in Dublin

They left the pitch to a standing ovation, the cheers and applause from their delighted supporters drifting down the tunnel after them, but if this was a victory of sorts for the Republic of Ireland, it was an ugly one. Seen through the eyes of their hosts, they may as well have been slipping away from a crime scene. For Denmark, this felt like death by strangulation. Denmark will seek justice in Dublin, but Ireland have the upper hand after grinding out a goalless draw in the first leg of this play-off. They squeezed the life out of the Danes and, by the end, there was little fight left in them. It remains to be seen whether they can recover. As bad as Martin O’Neill’s team were in terms of keeping hold of the ball and using it decisively, their ability to play without meaningful possession in the opposition half means any sort of win on Tuesday night will be enough to send them to the World Cup. “The game is evenly poised for the second leg,” said O’Neill. “There is no doubt they have the ability to score a goal in the Aviva Stadium, so we might have to score two. We will have to use the ball a lot better than we did. We obviously want to be better with the ball, but the players put in a really big effort. “The pitch was really awkward. It might not have been the best [performance] but, overall, we adjusted and we coped for the most part.” Thomas Delaney, Christian Eriksen and Niklas Bendtner struggled to break down the Irish defense.  Credit: Pa It is just as well Ireland are so well drilled at playing without the ball because there are times when they appear to have very little ability with it. Not for the first time, this was a difficult to watch for long periods; tough to take any sort of pleasure from other than the result. That, though, is all that ultimately matters. If O’Neill can lead Ireland to their first World Cup for 16 years, nobody will care how he did it. He is a pragmatist not an entertainer. He knows the limitations of the Ireland team, so makes sure he disguises them. Ireland can be a hard to like if you still believe the idea football is the beautiful game, but there is no denying they are effective. Ireland’s lines move as one, dropping back or forward in unison. When the defence drop deeper, the space they leave is filled seamlessly by a five-man midfield that spreads the width of the pitch. When they push up, the formation does not change, the gaps between them do not alter. Ireland are so organised they resemble a Roman Phalanx, their defensive shield almost impenetrable as long as they work together and remember their training drills. O’Neill would like his team to be more than that. Sometimes they can be, but this was not one of those times. There were spells in this game, particularly in the second half as he and Roy Keane screamed their frustration on the touchline, that Ireland’s passing was atrocious rather than just wayward. The Irish fans turned out for their team in Copenhagen Credit: PA In the end, it did not matter. Denmark were frustrated and grew desperate. They had three good chances over the course of the 90 minutes, Ireland had two. For all of the difference between the two teams in terms of ambition and attacking intent, it could have been an even worse night for the home team. As it is, they still have a chance of progressing and will hope Ireland can also be frustrated in front of their own supporters. Denmark had two excellent chances, the first from a long, diagonal ball over the top of right-back Cyrus Christie which found the run of Jens Stryger Larsen. He took it down and got a shot away which was kept out by Darren Randolph. The loose ball fell perfectly to Andreas Cornelius, but he hit it straight at the goalkeeper. The second came from a swerving shot from Christian Erkisen that Randolph once again pushed out, but not away from danger. This time, from a tighter angle, Pione Sisto fired wide. Ireland had not got going, but they almost scored just before the break. Christie somehow wriggled into the area from the right flank and was in on goal, only for Kasper Schmeichel to sprint off his line, narrow the angle and get a hand up to block his shot as the Ireland full-back tried to lift the ball over him. The game had ground itself into a stalemate in the second half, with neither side threatening, until a late flurry of goalmouth action, as Shane Duffy saw a glancing header saved and Randolph tipped one over from Poulson at the other end. 9:40PM Same again on Tuesday? I really hope not. It wasn't the greatest game but I guess the possibility of going to Russia next year may add huge pressure to the occasion. Someone has to win in Dublin, let's hope it's the fans. 9:35PM 90 + 3 mins Larsen with another shot but it comes off which comes off Christie. Denmark can't use the corner as Randolph collect easily in the box.  Some slow-motion walking from Hendrick as he is replaced by Conor Hourihane. The Villa man does get a touch before the game is over. And that's the final whistle.  9:32PM 90 mins O'Dowda wins a free-kick after Kvist brings him down about 40 yards from goal.  Brady sends it into the box for you-know-who, Duffy. But the defender heads it straight at  Schmeichel. It's straight up the other end and Poulson's header is saved by Randolph after he connects with Larsen's cross.  Three minutes of extra-time to play. 9:29PM 87 mins Denmark have the ball in the middle of the park but there's no bite in their attack.  Harry Arter is down - although it doesn't look serious - and it looks like he will be coming off.  Glenn Whelan comes on for Harry Arter. 9:27PM 85 mins We started the evening with 15 players on a yellow card after the silly decision to continue them from the group stages, and it feels like the ref does not want to book anyone unless he has to.  Shane Long takes a shot but it comes off Delaney, which the officials manage to miss. Only for the Danes to give the ball back with a foul  on Harry Arter. 9:23PM 81 mins Another free-kick aimed at Duffy and you can guess what happened to it.  Denmark attack again and there are about nine minutes for someone to get a goal and the advantage before Tuesday's second-leg. 9:19PM 77 mins A comfortable save from Randolph from Jorgensen 's cross.  Bendtner catches Harry Arter and the Bournemouth man is down. It didn't appear malicious as he grazed the player's calf while trying to jump over him. The ref has given the visitors a free-kick, much to the annoyance of the crowd.  And guess what, they send the ball straight to Duffy.  9:15PM First Irish sub Shane Long on for Murphy. 9:13PM 71 mins Poulsen has a good shot but it bounces and goes just wide of Randolph's left hand post, after hge was teed up by Jporgensen.  It looks like Lord Bendtner will be gracing us with his presence soon. Larsen sends a ball into the box after more good work by Poulsen, but Christie clears it as the hosts get ready to make their second substitution.  Bendtner is on for Kvist.  9:10PM 68 mins Ireland have a free kick just inside the Danish half and it reaches Clark but the defender isn't ready for it and the hosts clear it.  Another throw-in for the visitors and another opportunity for Duffy to give away a foul.  9:06PM SUB Cornelius is replaced by Yussuf Polsen. An interesting decision as the Copenhagen player was very lively in the first-half. 9:05PM Fun fact The last Irish player to score a goal for the country against Denmark was Shane Long. That was ten years ago after he came on as a second-half substitute in an away game.  Who knows? 9:03PM 61 mins Eriksen tries to get a penalty after the ball hits Harry Arter's back but thankfully the ref is having none of it.  The game is more open but Ireland definitely have the quality to go and win it if they were a bit more confident. Denmark are happy to keep the  ball in and around the box but O'Neil's men are staying staying strong to every attack 9:00PM 58 mins Another long throw into the box onto Duffy's head but there's just too much physical stuff going on in the box for anyone to concentrate on the ball properly.  It's back into the Irish half but Christie keeps Kvist under control and Randolph collects the ball easily. Ireland race back up the other end and it's actually Eriksen who breaks up the attack, but he has no support and it ends up in a corner to the hosts after the ball comes off Harry Arter. 8:57PM 55 mins Neither team is getting a grip on the ball at the moment with a lot of sloppy passing. The Danes keeps trying to play down the middle about 30 yards from goal but Ireland are so organised.  Am I the only one who images Roy Keane shouting drills at them in their sleep? 8:52PM 51 mins Will the Lord make an appearance? Bendtner appears to be warming up.  A good run from McClean down the left but the Dane's block bounces off him and goes out for a throw-in. The Danes are playing the ball down the channel more, which worked better for them in the first-half.  8:49PM 48 mins Denmark appear to have regained their confidence during those 15 minutes as  Bjelland tries to send a diagonal ball to the outside of the box but Christie is there to get it away.  Once again, Ireland are playing in their own half. 8:46PM Second-half Denmark gets us back underway. 8:38PM How can you not love football? United in their love for their teams. Irish & Danish fans singing together in Copenhagen- this is why sport rocks!! #COYBIG#DENIRL#GAWA@RTEsport@dfatirlpic.twitter.com/rkYBXDL3SN— Andrew O'Callaghan (@AndyOCallagha) November 11, 2017 8:32PM Half-time You can now hear the Irish fans in the stadium and you have to wonder if that little flourish has dented the Danes confidence.  The referee blows the whistle straight away and we'll be back shortly for what should be an interesting second-half.  8:28PM 42 mins Ireland looking more dangerous in the last few minutes. Neither side is getting their foot on the ball at the moment.  Christie sails past Larsen down the right wing and he tries to chip the keeper, but like his Dad, Kasper stays big. Hendricks tries to swing at the rebound but it's out for a corner. 8:25PM 39 mins Christie tries a short throw instead of a long one and Ireland keep possession. McClean sends the ball to the edge of the box for O'Dowda but the youngster couldn't bring the ball down quick enough and Delaney clears.  The hosts have had 69% possession to the visitors 31%. 8:22PM 36 mins Denmark have had six attempts to Ireland's zero.  Cornelius is starting to cause more and more problems down that right hand side. Angerson tries a cross shot after Eriksen comes out to the right.  Remember, this is the first-leg with the second on Tuesday evening. 8:18PM 31 mins Another great save from Randolph as Clark chests the ball straight to Eriksen but the keeper gets down well to push it away, only for Sisto to send the rebound wide of goal. 8:15PM 28 mins Jorgensen is the next Dane to have a go but his shot is wide. The visitors are defending well but they have to take advantage of these attacking opportunities when they arise.  8:12PM 25 mins A Danish corner after Ireland clear Eriksen's free-kick. The ref has reminded Brady and Delaney that this is not WWE.  Ireland get the ball but can't seem to keep possession. Or maybe they can. McLean is fouled right on the sidelines about and it's perfect for a deadball situation. Brady sends it into the box and it's cleared, all the way back to Randolph who lobs it straight back. 8:09PM 22 mins Denmark having all of the ball but not doing much with it. Eriksen takes a shot from the edge of the box but it's straight down the middle and into Randolph's arms.  8:07PM Some hope for the visiting fans 4 - Republic of Ireland are unbeaten in their last four internationals against Denmark (W2 D2), with those wins coming in their last two contests. Confident.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 11, 2017 8:04PM 18 mins Ward gets the ball and he looked like he was going to go on the run but instead Harry Arter decides he's a crab and plays it sideways and then back to Randolph.  Sisto is the next Dane to take advantage as he looks to loft a ball in for Cornelius, but it's headed clear.  8:01PM 15 mins That first shot from Larsen came after O'Dowda lost him on the left wing, allowing the Dane to bring the ball down.  Another Christie throw is aimed at Duffy and Clark but Denmark clear.  7:59PM 13 mins The Danes are just knocking the ball about with Murphy the furthest player forward, about five yards into hosts half. Randolph does his job and his double save could be crucial come 90 minutes. First he pushes out low to his right from Laresen's shot, before he parries Cornelius' attempt.  7:55PM 9 mins The visitors get a throw and Christie sends it long but the ref sees a foul the free-kick to the hosts. Denmark looking a lot more confident and you get the sense that O'Neil's men will play it long or try and use pace to create something on the break 7:53PM 7 mins Eriksen gets the ball and I actually feel a little nervous for the visitors but Christie does well to get possession from the Spurs man. 7:51PM 5 mins Cornelius thinks he should have a corner and replays suggest he is right as Clark heads the ball away at the near corner flag. Randolph kicks it long and you suspect this could be the start of things to come.  The hosts look confident on the ball with every Irish player back in their own half. 7:48PM Kick-off And we are off. Both teams look like they are starting with four at the back as the visitors get the first deadball. Duffy was there waiting, but Cornelius heads it clear.  7:45PM Your teams Team to play Rep Ireland: Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:44PM Ooh, acapella So the Danish anthem is an acapella number; but not the kind you see on X-Factor.  Very passionate and backed up with fireworks. Let's hope the game is as dramatic.  7:41PM Moments away The players are on the pitch, Roy Keane is looking moody. that means it's time for the national anthems. 7:40PM You can't argue with this @NatashaSHenry score draw! Ireland to score early or very late & concede a schoolboy error goal we don’t do it any other way. Warriors needed tonight & that spirit is in every Irish person! Come on Ireland! 1-1— John McEnerney (@MackerOnTheMed) November 11, 2017  Will John be right? 7:39PM The teams are in the tunnel I hope you've got your drinks and snacks as there is not long to go.  7:30PM 15 minutes until kick-off A reminder of those teams:  Team to play Rep Ireland: Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:28PM O'Neil on O'Dowda "He's playing very well, he's got a little bit of pace and I hope he can cause them a few places. He'll start in robbie Brady's position. He can change, he's adaptable as he has shown for Bristol City. " We'll soon see if he is right... 7:27PM Two up top Kevin Doyle, former Cork City and Reading striker, believes that Martin O'Neil should've started with Daryl Murphy and Shane Long up front. Together.  Does he know nothing of modern football? 7:24PM Hello Davy Keogh Davy Keogh says 'hello' Credit: PA 7:21PM The Danes There have been five changes from their last game which was a 1-1 draw with Romania.  Andreas Cornelius, Andreas Bjelland, Peter Ankersen, Jens Larsen and Mathias Jorgensen all come into the squad with Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen and Nicklas 'Lord' Bendtner among those dropping to the bench.  Obviously we know all about Christian Eriksen, but Simon Kjaer and Kasper  Schmeichel could be just as influential over the two legs.  7:12PM Rep of Ire side The biggest discussion so far seems to be the inclusion of  Callum O'Dowda. the Brstol City winger replaces the banned David Meyler and tonight will be his eighth international cap.  That is the only change but they have a few names that will be familiar to Premier league fans with John O'Shea, Shane Long and Glenn Whelan all on the bench tonight. 7:08PM The visiting captain Tonight's captain, Ciaran Clark! �� #COYBIGpic.twitter.com/ftzHxLGDM8— FAIreland ⚽️���� (@FAIreland) November 11, 2017 7:05PM The team news Team to play Rep Ireland:Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:03PM Good evening We'll be bringing you all the news from the Telia Parken stadium as Denmark and Republic of Ireland go head-to-head in this play-off first-leg. 6:59PM Denmark v Republic of Ireland What is it? It's the World Cup play-off first leg between Denmark and Republic of Ireland. When is it? It's today, so Saturday, so November 11. What time is kick-off? At 7.45pm. Where is it? At Denmark’s Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. What TV channel is it on? You can watch live coverage on Sky Sports Main Event and Football. Their programme starts at 7.30pm. Alternatively, bookmark this page and come back on Saturday for our live blog.  Watch Denmark vs Republic of Ireland on Saturday with the NOW TV Sky Sports Day Pass. £6.99. No contract. What is the team news? Jeff Hendrick has handed Ireland a major boost ahead of the first leg. The 25-year-old Burnley midfielder was able to train with the rest of his team-mates on Thursday before the squad headed to Copenhagen after previously working with the Football Association of Ireland's medical team as he attempted to shake off a gluteal muscle injury. Jeff Hendrick has given Ireland a timely boost Credit: PA He was joined on the training pitch by club-mate Stephen Ward, with the full-back having been rested as a precaution earlier in the week. Hendrick's presence among the travelling party was all the more welcome because of the absence of David Meyler through suspension for the first leg and James McCarthy with a hamstring problem. What are they saying? Denmark coach Age Hareide on Christian Eriksen carrying the hopes of a nation: "You always feel he will create chances and produce something special," Hareide said. "So often a player like that, capable of extraordinary things, can be the difference when a match is very tight - especially against a team as well-organized as Ireland." Roy Keane on working with Martin O'Neill and Ireland: "I enjoy working with Martin, the staff and the FAI, and the only thing on my mind in the next few days is helping the team try to get to the World Cup. "In terms of club management, all that is on the back burner at the moment." Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What are the odds? Denmark 3/4 Draw 9/4 Ireland 5/1 What's our prediction? Ireland to grab a decent 1-1 draw to take back to the Aviva Stadium.

Denmark 0 Republic of Ireland 0: Stalemate sets up must-win game in Dublin

They left the pitch to a standing ovation, the cheers and applause from their delighted supporters drifting down the tunnel after them, but if this was a victory of sorts for the Republic of Ireland, it was an ugly one. Seen through the eyes of their hosts, they may as well have been slipping away from a crime scene. For Denmark, this felt like death by strangulation. Denmark will seek justice in Dublin, but Ireland have the upper hand after grinding out a goalless draw in the first leg of this play-off. They squeezed the life out of the Danes and, by the end, there was little fight left in them. It remains to be seen whether they can recover. As bad as Martin O’Neill’s team were in terms of keeping hold of the ball and using it decisively, their ability to play without meaningful possession in the opposition half means any sort of win on Tuesday night will be enough to send them to the World Cup. “The game is evenly poised for the second leg,” said O’Neill. “There is no doubt they have the ability to score a goal in the Aviva Stadium, so we might have to score two. We will have to use the ball a lot better than we did. We obviously want to be better with the ball, but the players put in a really big effort. “The pitch was really awkward. It might not have been the best [performance] but, overall, we adjusted and we coped for the most part.” Thomas Delaney, Christian Eriksen and Niklas Bendtner struggled to break down the Irish defense.  Credit: Pa It is just as well Ireland are so well drilled at playing without the ball because there are times when they appear to have very little ability with it. Not for the first time, this was a difficult to watch for long periods; tough to take any sort of pleasure from other than the result. That, though, is all that ultimately matters. If O’Neill can lead Ireland to their first World Cup for 16 years, nobody will care how he did it. He is a pragmatist not an entertainer. He knows the limitations of the Ireland team, so makes sure he disguises them. Ireland can be a hard to like if you still believe the idea football is the beautiful game, but there is no denying they are effective. Ireland’s lines move as one, dropping back or forward in unison. When the defence drop deeper, the space they leave is filled seamlessly by a five-man midfield that spreads the width of the pitch. When they push up, the formation does not change, the gaps between them do not alter. Ireland are so organised they resemble a Roman Phalanx, their defensive shield almost impenetrable as long as they work together and remember their training drills. O’Neill would like his team to be more than that. Sometimes they can be, but this was not one of those times. There were spells in this game, particularly in the second half as he and Roy Keane screamed their frustration on the touchline, that Ireland’s passing was atrocious rather than just wayward. The Irish fans turned out for their team in Copenhagen Credit: PA In the end, it did not matter. Denmark were frustrated and grew desperate. They had three good chances over the course of the 90 minutes, Ireland had two. For all of the difference between the two teams in terms of ambition and attacking intent, it could have been an even worse night for the home team. As it is, they still have a chance of progressing and will hope Ireland can also be frustrated in front of their own supporters. Denmark had two excellent chances, the first from a long, diagonal ball over the top of right-back Cyrus Christie which found the run of Jens Stryger Larsen. He took it down and got a shot away which was kept out by Darren Randolph. The loose ball fell perfectly to Andreas Cornelius, but he hit it straight at the goalkeeper. The second came from a swerving shot from Christian Erkisen that Randolph once again pushed out, but not away from danger. This time, from a tighter angle, Pione Sisto fired wide. Ireland had not got going, but they almost scored just before the break. Christie somehow wriggled into the area from the right flank and was in on goal, only for Kasper Schmeichel to sprint off his line, narrow the angle and get a hand up to block his shot as the Ireland full-back tried to lift the ball over him. The game had ground itself into a stalemate in the second half, with neither side threatening, until a late flurry of goalmouth action, as Shane Duffy saw a glancing header saved and Randolph tipped one over from Poulson at the other end. 9:40PM Same again on Tuesday? I really hope not. It wasn't the greatest game but I guess the possibility of going to Russia next year may add huge pressure to the occasion. Someone has to win in Dublin, let's hope it's the fans. 9:35PM 90 + 3 mins Larsen with another shot but it comes off which comes off Christie. Denmark can't use the corner as Randolph collect easily in the box.  Some slow-motion walking from Hendrick as he is replaced by Conor Hourihane. The Villa man does get a touch before the game is over. And that's the final whistle.  9:32PM 90 mins O'Dowda wins a free-kick after Kvist brings him down about 40 yards from goal.  Brady sends it into the box for you-know-who, Duffy. But the defender heads it straight at  Schmeichel. It's straight up the other end and Poulson's header is saved by Randolph after he connects with Larsen's cross.  Three minutes of extra-time to play. 9:29PM 87 mins Denmark have the ball in the middle of the park but there's no bite in their attack.  Harry Arter is down - although it doesn't look serious - and it looks like he will be coming off.  Glenn Whelan comes on for Harry Arter. 9:27PM 85 mins We started the evening with 15 players on a yellow card after the silly decision to continue them from the group stages, and it feels like the ref does not want to book anyone unless he has to.  Shane Long takes a shot but it comes off Delaney, which the officials manage to miss. Only for the Danes to give the ball back with a foul  on Harry Arter. 9:23PM 81 mins Another free-kick aimed at Duffy and you can guess what happened to it.  Denmark attack again and there are about nine minutes for someone to get a goal and the advantage before Tuesday's second-leg. 9:19PM 77 mins A comfortable save from Randolph from Jorgensen 's cross.  Bendtner catches Harry Arter and the Bournemouth man is down. It didn't appear malicious as he grazed the player's calf while trying to jump over him. The ref has given the visitors a free-kick, much to the annoyance of the crowd.  And guess what, they send the ball straight to Duffy.  9:15PM First Irish sub Shane Long on for Murphy. 9:13PM 71 mins Poulsen has a good shot but it bounces and goes just wide of Randolph's left hand post, after hge was teed up by Jporgensen.  It looks like Lord Bendtner will be gracing us with his presence soon. Larsen sends a ball into the box after more good work by Poulsen, but Christie clears it as the hosts get ready to make their second substitution.  Bendtner is on for Kvist.  9:10PM 68 mins Ireland have a free kick just inside the Danish half and it reaches Clark but the defender isn't ready for it and the hosts clear it.  Another throw-in for the visitors and another opportunity for Duffy to give away a foul.  9:06PM SUB Cornelius is replaced by Yussuf Polsen. An interesting decision as the Copenhagen player was very lively in the first-half. 9:05PM Fun fact The last Irish player to score a goal for the country against Denmark was Shane Long. That was ten years ago after he came on as a second-half substitute in an away game.  Who knows? 9:03PM 61 mins Eriksen tries to get a penalty after the ball hits Harry Arter's back but thankfully the ref is having none of it.  The game is more open but Ireland definitely have the quality to go and win it if they were a bit more confident. Denmark are happy to keep the  ball in and around the box but O'Neil's men are staying staying strong to every attack 9:00PM 58 mins Another long throw into the box onto Duffy's head but there's just too much physical stuff going on in the box for anyone to concentrate on the ball properly.  It's back into the Irish half but Christie keeps Kvist under control and Randolph collects the ball easily. Ireland race back up the other end and it's actually Eriksen who breaks up the attack, but he has no support and it ends up in a corner to the hosts after the ball comes off Harry Arter. 8:57PM 55 mins Neither team is getting a grip on the ball at the moment with a lot of sloppy passing. The Danes keeps trying to play down the middle about 30 yards from goal but Ireland are so organised.  Am I the only one who images Roy Keane shouting drills at them in their sleep? 8:52PM 51 mins Will the Lord make an appearance? Bendtner appears to be warming up.  A good run from McClean down the left but the Dane's block bounces off him and goes out for a throw-in. The Danes are playing the ball down the channel more, which worked better for them in the first-half.  8:49PM 48 mins Denmark appear to have regained their confidence during those 15 minutes as  Bjelland tries to send a diagonal ball to the outside of the box but Christie is there to get it away.  Once again, Ireland are playing in their own half. 8:46PM Second-half Denmark gets us back underway. 8:38PM How can you not love football? United in their love for their teams. Irish & Danish fans singing together in Copenhagen- this is why sport rocks!! #COYBIG#DENIRL#GAWA@RTEsport@dfatirlpic.twitter.com/rkYBXDL3SN— Andrew O'Callaghan (@AndyOCallagha) November 11, 2017 8:32PM Half-time You can now hear the Irish fans in the stadium and you have to wonder if that little flourish has dented the Danes confidence.  The referee blows the whistle straight away and we'll be back shortly for what should be an interesting second-half.  8:28PM 42 mins Ireland looking more dangerous in the last few minutes. Neither side is getting their foot on the ball at the moment.  Christie sails past Larsen down the right wing and he tries to chip the keeper, but like his Dad, Kasper stays big. Hendricks tries to swing at the rebound but it's out for a corner. 8:25PM 39 mins Christie tries a short throw instead of a long one and Ireland keep possession. McClean sends the ball to the edge of the box for O'Dowda but the youngster couldn't bring the ball down quick enough and Delaney clears.  The hosts have had 69% possession to the visitors 31%. 8:22PM 36 mins Denmark have had six attempts to Ireland's zero.  Cornelius is starting to cause more and more problems down that right hand side. Angerson tries a cross shot after Eriksen comes out to the right.  Remember, this is the first-leg with the second on Tuesday evening. 8:18PM 31 mins Another great save from Randolph as Clark chests the ball straight to Eriksen but the keeper gets down well to push it away, only for Sisto to send the rebound wide of goal. 8:15PM 28 mins Jorgensen is the next Dane to have a go but his shot is wide. The visitors are defending well but they have to take advantage of these attacking opportunities when they arise.  8:12PM 25 mins A Danish corner after Ireland clear Eriksen's free-kick. The ref has reminded Brady and Delaney that this is not WWE.  Ireland get the ball but can't seem to keep possession. Or maybe they can. McLean is fouled right on the sidelines about and it's perfect for a deadball situation. Brady sends it into the box and it's cleared, all the way back to Randolph who lobs it straight back. 8:09PM 22 mins Denmark having all of the ball but not doing much with it. Eriksen takes a shot from the edge of the box but it's straight down the middle and into Randolph's arms.  8:07PM Some hope for the visiting fans 4 - Republic of Ireland are unbeaten in their last four internationals against Denmark (W2 D2), with those wins coming in their last two contests. Confident.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 11, 2017 8:04PM 18 mins Ward gets the ball and he looked like he was going to go on the run but instead Harry Arter decides he's a crab and plays it sideways and then back to Randolph.  Sisto is the next Dane to take advantage as he looks to loft a ball in for Cornelius, but it's headed clear.  8:01PM 15 mins That first shot from Larsen came after O'Dowda lost him on the left wing, allowing the Dane to bring the ball down.  Another Christie throw is aimed at Duffy and Clark but Denmark clear.  7:59PM 13 mins The Danes are just knocking the ball about with Murphy the furthest player forward, about five yards into hosts half. Randolph does his job and his double save could be crucial come 90 minutes. First he pushes out low to his right from Laresen's shot, before he parries Cornelius' attempt.  7:55PM 9 mins The visitors get a throw and Christie sends it long but the ref sees a foul the free-kick to the hosts. Denmark looking a lot more confident and you get the sense that O'Neil's men will play it long or try and use pace to create something on the break 7:53PM 7 mins Eriksen gets the ball and I actually feel a little nervous for the visitors but Christie does well to get possession from the Spurs man. 7:51PM 5 mins Cornelius thinks he should have a corner and replays suggest he is right as Clark heads the ball away at the near corner flag. Randolph kicks it long and you suspect this could be the start of things to come.  The hosts look confident on the ball with every Irish player back in their own half. 7:48PM Kick-off And we are off. Both teams look like they are starting with four at the back as the visitors get the first deadball. Duffy was there waiting, but Cornelius heads it clear.  7:45PM Your teams Team to play Rep Ireland: Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:44PM Ooh, acapella So the Danish anthem is an acapella number; but not the kind you see on X-Factor.  Very passionate and backed up with fireworks. Let's hope the game is as dramatic.  7:41PM Moments away The players are on the pitch, Roy Keane is looking moody. that means it's time for the national anthems. 7:40PM You can't argue with this @NatashaSHenry score draw! Ireland to score early or very late & concede a schoolboy error goal we don’t do it any other way. Warriors needed tonight & that spirit is in every Irish person! Come on Ireland! 1-1— John McEnerney (@MackerOnTheMed) November 11, 2017  Will John be right? 7:39PM The teams are in the tunnel I hope you've got your drinks and snacks as there is not long to go.  7:30PM 15 minutes until kick-off A reminder of those teams:  Team to play Rep Ireland: Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:28PM O'Neil on O'Dowda "He's playing very well, he's got a little bit of pace and I hope he can cause them a few places. He'll start in robbie Brady's position. He can change, he's adaptable as he has shown for Bristol City. " We'll soon see if he is right... 7:27PM Two up top Kevin Doyle, former Cork City and Reading striker, believes that Martin O'Neil should've started with Daryl Murphy and Shane Long up front. Together.  Does he know nothing of modern football? 7:24PM Hello Davy Keogh Davy Keogh says 'hello' Credit: PA 7:21PM The Danes There have been five changes from their last game which was a 1-1 draw with Romania.  Andreas Cornelius, Andreas Bjelland, Peter Ankersen, Jens Larsen and Mathias Jorgensen all come into the squad with Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen and Nicklas 'Lord' Bendtner among those dropping to the bench.  Obviously we know all about Christian Eriksen, but Simon Kjaer and Kasper  Schmeichel could be just as influential over the two legs.  7:12PM Rep of Ire side The biggest discussion so far seems to be the inclusion of  Callum O'Dowda. the Brstol City winger replaces the banned David Meyler and tonight will be his eighth international cap.  That is the only change but they have a few names that will be familiar to Premier league fans with John O'Shea, Shane Long and Glenn Whelan all on the bench tonight. 7:08PM The visiting captain Tonight's captain, Ciaran Clark! �� #COYBIGpic.twitter.com/ftzHxLGDM8— FAIreland ⚽️���� (@FAIreland) November 11, 2017 7:05PM The team news Team to play Rep Ireland:Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:03PM Good evening We'll be bringing you all the news from the Telia Parken stadium as Denmark and Republic of Ireland go head-to-head in this play-off first-leg. 6:59PM Denmark v Republic of Ireland What is it? It's the World Cup play-off first leg between Denmark and Republic of Ireland. When is it? It's today, so Saturday, so November 11. What time is kick-off? At 7.45pm. Where is it? At Denmark’s Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. What TV channel is it on? You can watch live coverage on Sky Sports Main Event and Football. Their programme starts at 7.30pm. Alternatively, bookmark this page and come back on Saturday for our live blog.  Watch Denmark vs Republic of Ireland on Saturday with the NOW TV Sky Sports Day Pass. £6.99. No contract. What is the team news? Jeff Hendrick has handed Ireland a major boost ahead of the first leg. The 25-year-old Burnley midfielder was able to train with the rest of his team-mates on Thursday before the squad headed to Copenhagen after previously working with the Football Association of Ireland's medical team as he attempted to shake off a gluteal muscle injury. Jeff Hendrick has given Ireland a timely boost Credit: PA He was joined on the training pitch by club-mate Stephen Ward, with the full-back having been rested as a precaution earlier in the week. Hendrick's presence among the travelling party was all the more welcome because of the absence of David Meyler through suspension for the first leg and James McCarthy with a hamstring problem. What are they saying? Denmark coach Age Hareide on Christian Eriksen carrying the hopes of a nation: "You always feel he will create chances and produce something special," Hareide said. "So often a player like that, capable of extraordinary things, can be the difference when a match is very tight - especially against a team as well-organized as Ireland." Roy Keane on working with Martin O'Neill and Ireland: "I enjoy working with Martin, the staff and the FAI, and the only thing on my mind in the next few days is helping the team try to get to the World Cup. "In terms of club management, all that is on the back burner at the moment." Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What are the odds? Denmark 3/4 Draw 9/4 Ireland 5/1 What's our prediction? Ireland to grab a decent 1-1 draw to take back to the Aviva Stadium.

Denmark 0 Republic of Ireland 0: Stalemate sets up must-win game in Dublin

They left the pitch to a standing ovation, the cheers and applause from their delighted supporters drifting down the tunnel after them, but if this was a victory of sorts for the Republic of Ireland, it was an ugly one. Seen through the eyes of their hosts, they may as well have been slipping away from a crime scene. For Denmark, this felt like death by strangulation. Denmark will seek justice in Dublin, but Ireland have the upper hand after grinding out a goalless draw in the first leg of this play-off. They squeezed the life out of the Danes and, by the end, there was little fight left in them. It remains to be seen whether they can recover. As bad as Martin O’Neill’s team were in terms of keeping hold of the ball and using it decisively, their ability to play without meaningful possession in the opposition half means any sort of win on Tuesday night will be enough to send them to the World Cup. “The game is evenly poised for the second leg,” said O’Neill. “There is no doubt they have the ability to score a goal in the Aviva Stadium, so we might have to score two. We will have to use the ball a lot better than we did. We obviously want to be better with the ball, but the players put in a really big effort. “The pitch was really awkward. It might not have been the best [performance] but, overall, we adjusted and we coped for the most part.” Thomas Delaney, Christian Eriksen and Niklas Bendtner struggled to break down the Irish defense.  Credit: Pa It is just as well Ireland are so well drilled at playing without the ball because there are times when they appear to have very little ability with it. Not for the first time, this was a difficult to watch for long periods; tough to take any sort of pleasure from other than the result. That, though, is all that ultimately matters. If O’Neill can lead Ireland to their first World Cup for 16 years, nobody will care how he did it. He is a pragmatist not an entertainer. He knows the limitations of the Ireland team, so makes sure he disguises them. Ireland can be a hard to like if you still believe the idea football is the beautiful game, but there is no denying they are effective. Ireland’s lines move as one, dropping back or forward in unison. When the defence drop deeper, the space they leave is filled seamlessly by a five-man midfield that spreads the width of the pitch. When they push up, the formation does not change, the gaps between them do not alter. Ireland are so organised they resemble a Roman Phalanx, their defensive shield almost impenetrable as long as they work together and remember their training drills. O’Neill would like his team to be more than that. Sometimes they can be, but this was not one of those times. There were spells in this game, particularly in the second half as he and Roy Keane screamed their frustration on the touchline, that Ireland’s passing was atrocious rather than just wayward. The Irish fans turned out for their team in Copenhagen Credit: PA In the end, it did not matter. Denmark were frustrated and grew desperate. They had three good chances over the course of the 90 minutes, Ireland had two. For all of the difference between the two teams in terms of ambition and attacking intent, it could have been an even worse night for the home team. As it is, they still have a chance of progressing and will hope Ireland can also be frustrated in front of their own supporters. Denmark had two excellent chances, the first from a long, diagonal ball over the top of right-back Cyrus Christie which found the run of Jens Stryger Larsen. He took it down and got a shot away which was kept out by Darren Randolph. The loose ball fell perfectly to Andreas Cornelius, but he hit it straight at the goalkeeper. The second came from a swerving shot from Christian Erkisen that Randolph once again pushed out, but not away from danger. This time, from a tighter angle, Pione Sisto fired wide. Ireland had not got going, but they almost scored just before the break. Christie somehow wriggled into the area from the right flank and was in on goal, only for Kasper Schmeichel to sprint off his line, narrow the angle and get a hand up to block his shot as the Ireland full-back tried to lift the ball over him. The game had ground itself into a stalemate in the second half, with neither side threatening, until a late flurry of goalmouth action, as Shane Duffy saw a glancing header saved and Randolph tipped one over from Poulson at the other end. 9:40PM Same again on Tuesday? I really hope not. It wasn't the greatest game but I guess the possibility of going to Russia next year may add huge pressure to the occasion. Someone has to win in Dublin, let's hope it's the fans. 9:35PM 90 + 3 mins Larsen with another shot but it comes off which comes off Christie. Denmark can't use the corner as Randolph collect easily in the box.  Some slow-motion walking from Hendrick as he is replaced by Conor Hourihane. The Villa man does get a touch before the game is over. And that's the final whistle.  9:32PM 90 mins O'Dowda wins a free-kick after Kvist brings him down about 40 yards from goal.  Brady sends it into the box for you-know-who, Duffy. But the defender heads it straight at  Schmeichel. It's straight up the other end and Poulson's header is saved by Randolph after he connects with Larsen's cross.  Three minutes of extra-time to play. 9:29PM 87 mins Denmark have the ball in the middle of the park but there's no bite in their attack.  Harry Arter is down - although it doesn't look serious - and it looks like he will be coming off.  Glenn Whelan comes on for Harry Arter. 9:27PM 85 mins We started the evening with 15 players on a yellow card after the silly decision to continue them from the group stages, and it feels like the ref does not want to book anyone unless he has to.  Shane Long takes a shot but it comes off Delaney, which the officials manage to miss. Only for the Danes to give the ball back with a foul  on Harry Arter. 9:23PM 81 mins Another free-kick aimed at Duffy and you can guess what happened to it.  Denmark attack again and there are about nine minutes for someone to get a goal and the advantage before Tuesday's second-leg. 9:19PM 77 mins A comfortable save from Randolph from Jorgensen 's cross.  Bendtner catches Harry Arter and the Bournemouth man is down. It didn't appear malicious as he grazed the player's calf while trying to jump over him. The ref has given the visitors a free-kick, much to the annoyance of the crowd.  And guess what, they send the ball straight to Duffy.  9:15PM First Irish sub Shane Long on for Murphy. 9:13PM 71 mins Poulsen has a good shot but it bounces and goes just wide of Randolph's left hand post, after hge was teed up by Jporgensen.  It looks like Lord Bendtner will be gracing us with his presence soon. Larsen sends a ball into the box after more good work by Poulsen, but Christie clears it as the hosts get ready to make their second substitution.  Bendtner is on for Kvist.  9:10PM 68 mins Ireland have a free kick just inside the Danish half and it reaches Clark but the defender isn't ready for it and the hosts clear it.  Another throw-in for the visitors and another opportunity for Duffy to give away a foul.  9:06PM SUB Cornelius is replaced by Yussuf Polsen. An interesting decision as the Copenhagen player was very lively in the first-half. 9:05PM Fun fact The last Irish player to score a goal for the country against Denmark was Shane Long. That was ten years ago after he came on as a second-half substitute in an away game.  Who knows? 9:03PM 61 mins Eriksen tries to get a penalty after the ball hits Harry Arter's back but thankfully the ref is having none of it.  The game is more open but Ireland definitely have the quality to go and win it if they were a bit more confident. Denmark are happy to keep the  ball in and around the box but O'Neil's men are staying staying strong to every attack 9:00PM 58 mins Another long throw into the box onto Duffy's head but there's just too much physical stuff going on in the box for anyone to concentrate on the ball properly.  It's back into the Irish half but Christie keeps Kvist under control and Randolph collects the ball easily. Ireland race back up the other end and it's actually Eriksen who breaks up the attack, but he has no support and it ends up in a corner to the hosts after the ball comes off Harry Arter. 8:57PM 55 mins Neither team is getting a grip on the ball at the moment with a lot of sloppy passing. The Danes keeps trying to play down the middle about 30 yards from goal but Ireland are so organised.  Am I the only one who images Roy Keane shouting drills at them in their sleep? 8:52PM 51 mins Will the Lord make an appearance? Bendtner appears to be warming up.  A good run from McClean down the left but the Dane's block bounces off him and goes out for a throw-in. The Danes are playing the ball down the channel more, which worked better for them in the first-half.  8:49PM 48 mins Denmark appear to have regained their confidence during those 15 minutes as  Bjelland tries to send a diagonal ball to the outside of the box but Christie is there to get it away.  Once again, Ireland are playing in their own half. 8:46PM Second-half Denmark gets us back underway. 8:38PM How can you not love football? United in their love for their teams. Irish & Danish fans singing together in Copenhagen- this is why sport rocks!! #COYBIG#DENIRL#GAWA@RTEsport@dfatirlpic.twitter.com/rkYBXDL3SN— Andrew O'Callaghan (@AndyOCallagha) November 11, 2017 8:32PM Half-time You can now hear the Irish fans in the stadium and you have to wonder if that little flourish has dented the Danes confidence.  The referee blows the whistle straight away and we'll be back shortly for what should be an interesting second-half.  8:28PM 42 mins Ireland looking more dangerous in the last few minutes. Neither side is getting their foot on the ball at the moment.  Christie sails past Larsen down the right wing and he tries to chip the keeper, but like his Dad, Kasper stays big. Hendricks tries to swing at the rebound but it's out for a corner. 8:25PM 39 mins Christie tries a short throw instead of a long one and Ireland keep possession. McClean sends the ball to the edge of the box for O'Dowda but the youngster couldn't bring the ball down quick enough and Delaney clears.  The hosts have had 69% possession to the visitors 31%. 8:22PM 36 mins Denmark have had six attempts to Ireland's zero.  Cornelius is starting to cause more and more problems down that right hand side. Angerson tries a cross shot after Eriksen comes out to the right.  Remember, this is the first-leg with the second on Tuesday evening. 8:18PM 31 mins Another great save from Randolph as Clark chests the ball straight to Eriksen but the keeper gets down well to push it away, only for Sisto to send the rebound wide of goal. 8:15PM 28 mins Jorgensen is the next Dane to have a go but his shot is wide. The visitors are defending well but they have to take advantage of these attacking opportunities when they arise.  8:12PM 25 mins A Danish corner after Ireland clear Eriksen's free-kick. The ref has reminded Brady and Delaney that this is not WWE.  Ireland get the ball but can't seem to keep possession. Or maybe they can. McLean is fouled right on the sidelines about and it's perfect for a deadball situation. Brady sends it into the box and it's cleared, all the way back to Randolph who lobs it straight back. 8:09PM 22 mins Denmark having all of the ball but not doing much with it. Eriksen takes a shot from the edge of the box but it's straight down the middle and into Randolph's arms.  8:07PM Some hope for the visiting fans 4 - Republic of Ireland are unbeaten in their last four internationals against Denmark (W2 D2), with those wins coming in their last two contests. Confident.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 11, 2017 8:04PM 18 mins Ward gets the ball and he looked like he was going to go on the run but instead Harry Arter decides he's a crab and plays it sideways and then back to Randolph.  Sisto is the next Dane to take advantage as he looks to loft a ball in for Cornelius, but it's headed clear.  8:01PM 15 mins That first shot from Larsen came after O'Dowda lost him on the left wing, allowing the Dane to bring the ball down.  Another Christie throw is aimed at Duffy and Clark but Denmark clear.  7:59PM 13 mins The Danes are just knocking the ball about with Murphy the furthest player forward, about five yards into hosts half. Randolph does his job and his double save could be crucial come 90 minutes. First he pushes out low to his right from Laresen's shot, before he parries Cornelius' attempt.  7:55PM 9 mins The visitors get a throw and Christie sends it long but the ref sees a foul the free-kick to the hosts. Denmark looking a lot more confident and you get the sense that O'Neil's men will play it long or try and use pace to create something on the break 7:53PM 7 mins Eriksen gets the ball and I actually feel a little nervous for the visitors but Christie does well to get possession from the Spurs man. 7:51PM 5 mins Cornelius thinks he should have a corner and replays suggest he is right as Clark heads the ball away at the near corner flag. Randolph kicks it long and you suspect this could be the start of things to come.  The hosts look confident on the ball with every Irish player back in their own half. 7:48PM Kick-off And we are off. Both teams look like they are starting with four at the back as the visitors get the first deadball. Duffy was there waiting, but Cornelius heads it clear.  7:45PM Your teams Team to play Rep Ireland: Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:44PM Ooh, acapella So the Danish anthem is an acapella number; but not the kind you see on X-Factor.  Very passionate and backed up with fireworks. Let's hope the game is as dramatic.  7:41PM Moments away The players are on the pitch, Roy Keane is looking moody. that means it's time for the national anthems. 7:40PM You can't argue with this @NatashaSHenry score draw! Ireland to score early or very late & concede a schoolboy error goal we don’t do it any other way. Warriors needed tonight & that spirit is in every Irish person! Come on Ireland! 1-1— John McEnerney (@MackerOnTheMed) November 11, 2017  Will John be right? 7:39PM The teams are in the tunnel I hope you've got your drinks and snacks as there is not long to go.  7:30PM 15 minutes until kick-off A reminder of those teams:  Team to play Rep Ireland: Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:28PM O'Neil on O'Dowda "He's playing very well, he's got a little bit of pace and I hope he can cause them a few places. He'll start in robbie Brady's position. He can change, he's adaptable as he has shown for Bristol City. " We'll soon see if he is right... 7:27PM Two up top Kevin Doyle, former Cork City and Reading striker, believes that Martin O'Neil should've started with Daryl Murphy and Shane Long up front. Together.  Does he know nothing of modern football? 7:24PM Hello Davy Keogh Davy Keogh says 'hello' Credit: PA 7:21PM The Danes There have been five changes from their last game which was a 1-1 draw with Romania.  Andreas Cornelius, Andreas Bjelland, Peter Ankersen, Jens Larsen and Mathias Jorgensen all come into the squad with Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen and Nicklas 'Lord' Bendtner among those dropping to the bench.  Obviously we know all about Christian Eriksen, but Simon Kjaer and Kasper  Schmeichel could be just as influential over the two legs.  7:12PM Rep of Ire side The biggest discussion so far seems to be the inclusion of  Callum O'Dowda. the Brstol City winger replaces the banned David Meyler and tonight will be his eighth international cap.  That is the only change but they have a few names that will be familiar to Premier league fans with John O'Shea, Shane Long and Glenn Whelan all on the bench tonight. 7:08PM The visiting captain Tonight's captain, Ciaran Clark! �� #COYBIGpic.twitter.com/ftzHxLGDM8— FAIreland ⚽️���� (@FAIreland) November 11, 2017 7:05PM The team news Team to play Rep Ireland:Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:03PM Good evening We'll be bringing you all the news from the Telia Parken stadium as Denmark and Republic of Ireland go head-to-head in this play-off first-leg. 6:59PM Denmark v Republic of Ireland What is it? It's the World Cup play-off first leg between Denmark and Republic of Ireland. When is it? It's today, so Saturday, so November 11. What time is kick-off? At 7.45pm. Where is it? At Denmark’s Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. What TV channel is it on? You can watch live coverage on Sky Sports Main Event and Football. Their programme starts at 7.30pm. Alternatively, bookmark this page and come back on Saturday for our live blog.  Watch Denmark vs Republic of Ireland on Saturday with the NOW TV Sky Sports Day Pass. £6.99. No contract. What is the team news? Jeff Hendrick has handed Ireland a major boost ahead of the first leg. The 25-year-old Burnley midfielder was able to train with the rest of his team-mates on Thursday before the squad headed to Copenhagen after previously working with the Football Association of Ireland's medical team as he attempted to shake off a gluteal muscle injury. Jeff Hendrick has given Ireland a timely boost Credit: PA He was joined on the training pitch by club-mate Stephen Ward, with the full-back having been rested as a precaution earlier in the week. Hendrick's presence among the travelling party was all the more welcome because of the absence of David Meyler through suspension for the first leg and James McCarthy with a hamstring problem. What are they saying? Denmark coach Age Hareide on Christian Eriksen carrying the hopes of a nation: "You always feel he will create chances and produce something special," Hareide said. "So often a player like that, capable of extraordinary things, can be the difference when a match is very tight - especially against a team as well-organized as Ireland." Roy Keane on working with Martin O'Neill and Ireland: "I enjoy working with Martin, the staff and the FAI, and the only thing on my mind in the next few days is helping the team try to get to the World Cup. "In terms of club management, all that is on the back burner at the moment." Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What are the odds? Denmark 3/4 Draw 9/4 Ireland 5/1 What's our prediction? Ireland to grab a decent 1-1 draw to take back to the Aviva Stadium.

Denmark 0 Republic of Ireland 0: Stalemate sets up must-win game in Dublin

They left the pitch to a standing ovation, the cheers and applause from their delighted supporters drifting down the tunnel after them, but if this was a victory of sorts for the Republic of Ireland, it was an ugly one. Seen through the eyes of their hosts, they may as well have been slipping away from a crime scene. For Denmark, this felt like death by strangulation. Denmark will seek justice in Dublin, but Ireland have the upper hand after grinding out a goalless draw in the first leg of this play-off. They squeezed the life out of the Danes and, by the end, there was little fight left in them. It remains to be seen whether they can recover. As bad as Martin O’Neill’s team were in terms of keeping hold of the ball and using it decisively, their ability to play without meaningful possession in the opposition half means any sort of win on Tuesday night will be enough to send them to the World Cup. “The game is evenly poised for the second leg,” said O’Neill. “There is no doubt they have the ability to score a goal in the Aviva Stadium, so we might have to score two. We will have to use the ball a lot better than we did. We obviously want to be better with the ball, but the players put in a really big effort. “The pitch was really awkward. It might not have been the best [performance] but, overall, we adjusted and we coped for the most part.” Thomas Delaney, Christian Eriksen and Niklas Bendtner struggled to break down the Irish defense.  Credit: Pa It is just as well Ireland are so well drilled at playing without the ball because there are times when they appear to have very little ability with it. Not for the first time, this was a difficult to watch for long periods; tough to take any sort of pleasure from other than the result. That, though, is all that ultimately matters. If O’Neill can lead Ireland to their first World Cup for 16 years, nobody will care how he did it. He is a pragmatist not an entertainer. He knows the limitations of the Ireland team, so makes sure he disguises them. Ireland can be a hard to like if you still believe the idea football is the beautiful game, but there is no denying they are effective. Ireland’s lines move as one, dropping back or forward in unison. When the defence drop deeper, the space they leave is filled seamlessly by a five-man midfield that spreads the width of the pitch. When they push up, the formation does not change, the gaps between them do not alter. Ireland are so organised they resemble a Roman Phalanx, their defensive shield almost impenetrable as long as they work together and remember their training drills. O’Neill would like his team to be more than that. Sometimes they can be, but this was not one of those times. There were spells in this game, particularly in the second half as he and Roy Keane screamed their frustration on the touchline, that Ireland’s passing was atrocious rather than just wayward. The Irish fans turned out for their team in Copenhagen Credit: PA In the end, it did not matter. Denmark were frustrated and grew desperate. They had three good chances over the course of the 90 minutes, Ireland had two. For all of the difference between the two teams in terms of ambition and attacking intent, it could have been an even worse night for the home team. As it is, they still have a chance of progressing and will hope Ireland can also be frustrated in front of their own supporters. Denmark had two excellent chances, the first from a long, diagonal ball over the top of right-back Cyrus Christie which found the run of Jens Stryger Larsen. He took it down and got a shot away which was kept out by Darren Randolph. The loose ball fell perfectly to Andreas Cornelius, but he hit it straight at the goalkeeper. The second came from a swerving shot from Christian Erkisen that Randolph once again pushed out, but not away from danger. This time, from a tighter angle, Pione Sisto fired wide. Ireland had not got going, but they almost scored just before the break. Christie somehow wriggled into the area from the right flank and was in on goal, only for Kasper Schmeichel to sprint off his line, narrow the angle and get a hand up to block his shot as the Ireland full-back tried to lift the ball over him. The game had ground itself into a stalemate in the second half, with neither side threatening, until a late flurry of goalmouth action, as Shane Duffy saw a glancing header saved and Randolph tipped one over from Poulson at the other end. 9:40PM Same again on Tuesday? I really hope not. It wasn't the greatest game but I guess the possibility of going to Russia next year may add huge pressure to the occasion. Someone has to win in Dublin, let's hope it's the fans. 9:35PM 90 + 3 mins Larsen with another shot but it comes off which comes off Christie. Denmark can't use the corner as Randolph collect easily in the box.  Some slow-motion walking from Hendrick as he is replaced by Conor Hourihane. The Villa man does get a touch before the game is over. And that's the final whistle.  9:32PM 90 mins O'Dowda wins a free-kick after Kvist brings him down about 40 yards from goal.  Brady sends it into the box for you-know-who, Duffy. But the defender heads it straight at  Schmeichel. It's straight up the other end and Poulson's header is saved by Randolph after he connects with Larsen's cross.  Three minutes of extra-time to play. 9:29PM 87 mins Denmark have the ball in the middle of the park but there's no bite in their attack.  Harry Arter is down - although it doesn't look serious - and it looks like he will be coming off.  Glenn Whelan comes on for Harry Arter. 9:27PM 85 mins We started the evening with 15 players on a yellow card after the silly decision to continue them from the group stages, and it feels like the ref does not want to book anyone unless he has to.  Shane Long takes a shot but it comes off Delaney, which the officials manage to miss. Only for the Danes to give the ball back with a foul  on Harry Arter. 9:23PM 81 mins Another free-kick aimed at Duffy and you can guess what happened to it.  Denmark attack again and there are about nine minutes for someone to get a goal and the advantage before Tuesday's second-leg. 9:19PM 77 mins A comfortable save from Randolph from Jorgensen 's cross.  Bendtner catches Harry Arter and the Bournemouth man is down. It didn't appear malicious as he grazed the player's calf while trying to jump over him. The ref has given the visitors a free-kick, much to the annoyance of the crowd.  And guess what, they send the ball straight to Duffy.  9:15PM First Irish sub Shane Long on for Murphy. 9:13PM 71 mins Poulsen has a good shot but it bounces and goes just wide of Randolph's left hand post, after hge was teed up by Jporgensen.  It looks like Lord Bendtner will be gracing us with his presence soon. Larsen sends a ball into the box after more good work by Poulsen, but Christie clears it as the hosts get ready to make their second substitution.  Bendtner is on for Kvist.  9:10PM 68 mins Ireland have a free kick just inside the Danish half and it reaches Clark but the defender isn't ready for it and the hosts clear it.  Another throw-in for the visitors and another opportunity for Duffy to give away a foul.  9:06PM SUB Cornelius is replaced by Yussuf Polsen. An interesting decision as the Copenhagen player was very lively in the first-half. 9:05PM Fun fact The last Irish player to score a goal for the country against Denmark was Shane Long. That was ten years ago after he came on as a second-half substitute in an away game.  Who knows? 9:03PM 61 mins Eriksen tries to get a penalty after the ball hits Harry Arter's back but thankfully the ref is having none of it.  The game is more open but Ireland definitely have the quality to go and win it if they were a bit more confident. Denmark are happy to keep the  ball in and around the box but O'Neil's men are staying staying strong to every attack 9:00PM 58 mins Another long throw into the box onto Duffy's head but there's just too much physical stuff going on in the box for anyone to concentrate on the ball properly.  It's back into the Irish half but Christie keeps Kvist under control and Randolph collects the ball easily. Ireland race back up the other end and it's actually Eriksen who breaks up the attack, but he has no support and it ends up in a corner to the hosts after the ball comes off Harry Arter. 8:57PM 55 mins Neither team is getting a grip on the ball at the moment with a lot of sloppy passing. The Danes keeps trying to play down the middle about 30 yards from goal but Ireland are so organised.  Am I the only one who images Roy Keane shouting drills at them in their sleep? 8:52PM 51 mins Will the Lord make an appearance? Bendtner appears to be warming up.  A good run from McClean down the left but the Dane's block bounces off him and goes out for a throw-in. The Danes are playing the ball down the channel more, which worked better for them in the first-half.  8:49PM 48 mins Denmark appear to have regained their confidence during those 15 minutes as  Bjelland tries to send a diagonal ball to the outside of the box but Christie is there to get it away.  Once again, Ireland are playing in their own half. 8:46PM Second-half Denmark gets us back underway. 8:38PM How can you not love football? United in their love for their teams. Irish & Danish fans singing together in Copenhagen- this is why sport rocks!! #COYBIG#DENIRL#GAWA@RTEsport@dfatirlpic.twitter.com/rkYBXDL3SN— Andrew O'Callaghan (@AndyOCallagha) November 11, 2017 8:32PM Half-time You can now hear the Irish fans in the stadium and you have to wonder if that little flourish has dented the Danes confidence.  The referee blows the whistle straight away and we'll be back shortly for what should be an interesting second-half.  8:28PM 42 mins Ireland looking more dangerous in the last few minutes. Neither side is getting their foot on the ball at the moment.  Christie sails past Larsen down the right wing and he tries to chip the keeper, but like his Dad, Kasper stays big. Hendricks tries to swing at the rebound but it's out for a corner. 8:25PM 39 mins Christie tries a short throw instead of a long one and Ireland keep possession. McClean sends the ball to the edge of the box for O'Dowda but the youngster couldn't bring the ball down quick enough and Delaney clears.  The hosts have had 69% possession to the visitors 31%. 8:22PM 36 mins Denmark have had six attempts to Ireland's zero.  Cornelius is starting to cause more and more problems down that right hand side. Angerson tries a cross shot after Eriksen comes out to the right.  Remember, this is the first-leg with the second on Tuesday evening. 8:18PM 31 mins Another great save from Randolph as Clark chests the ball straight to Eriksen but the keeper gets down well to push it away, only for Sisto to send the rebound wide of goal. 8:15PM 28 mins Jorgensen is the next Dane to have a go but his shot is wide. The visitors are defending well but they have to take advantage of these attacking opportunities when they arise.  8:12PM 25 mins A Danish corner after Ireland clear Eriksen's free-kick. The ref has reminded Brady and Delaney that this is not WWE.  Ireland get the ball but can't seem to keep possession. Or maybe they can. McLean is fouled right on the sidelines about and it's perfect for a deadball situation. Brady sends it into the box and it's cleared, all the way back to Randolph who lobs it straight back. 8:09PM 22 mins Denmark having all of the ball but not doing much with it. Eriksen takes a shot from the edge of the box but it's straight down the middle and into Randolph's arms.  8:07PM Some hope for the visiting fans 4 - Republic of Ireland are unbeaten in their last four internationals against Denmark (W2 D2), with those wins coming in their last two contests. Confident.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 11, 2017 8:04PM 18 mins Ward gets the ball and he looked like he was going to go on the run but instead Harry Arter decides he's a crab and plays it sideways and then back to Randolph.  Sisto is the next Dane to take advantage as he looks to loft a ball in for Cornelius, but it's headed clear.  8:01PM 15 mins That first shot from Larsen came after O'Dowda lost him on the left wing, allowing the Dane to bring the ball down.  Another Christie throw is aimed at Duffy and Clark but Denmark clear.  7:59PM 13 mins The Danes are just knocking the ball about with Murphy the furthest player forward, about five yards into hosts half. Randolph does his job and his double save could be crucial come 90 minutes. First he pushes out low to his right from Laresen's shot, before he parries Cornelius' attempt.  7:55PM 9 mins The visitors get a throw and Christie sends it long but the ref sees a foul the free-kick to the hosts. Denmark looking a lot more confident and you get the sense that O'Neil's men will play it long or try and use pace to create something on the break 7:53PM 7 mins Eriksen gets the ball and I actually feel a little nervous for the visitors but Christie does well to get possession from the Spurs man. 7:51PM 5 mins Cornelius thinks he should have a corner and replays suggest he is right as Clark heads the ball away at the near corner flag. Randolph kicks it long and you suspect this could be the start of things to come.  The hosts look confident on the ball with every Irish player back in their own half. 7:48PM Kick-off And we are off. Both teams look like they are starting with four at the back as the visitors get the first deadball. Duffy was there waiting, but Cornelius heads it clear.  7:45PM Your teams Team to play Rep Ireland: Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:44PM Ooh, acapella So the Danish anthem is an acapella number; but not the kind you see on X-Factor.  Very passionate and backed up with fireworks. Let's hope the game is as dramatic.  7:41PM Moments away The players are on the pitch, Roy Keane is looking moody. that means it's time for the national anthems. 7:40PM You can't argue with this @NatashaSHenry score draw! Ireland to score early or very late & concede a schoolboy error goal we don’t do it any other way. Warriors needed tonight & that spirit is in every Irish person! Come on Ireland! 1-1— John McEnerney (@MackerOnTheMed) November 11, 2017  Will John be right? 7:39PM The teams are in the tunnel I hope you've got your drinks and snacks as there is not long to go.  7:30PM 15 minutes until kick-off A reminder of those teams:  Team to play Rep Ireland: Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:28PM O'Neil on O'Dowda "He's playing very well, he's got a little bit of pace and I hope he can cause them a few places. He'll start in robbie Brady's position. He can change, he's adaptable as he has shown for Bristol City. " We'll soon see if he is right... 7:27PM Two up top Kevin Doyle, former Cork City and Reading striker, believes that Martin O'Neil should've started with Daryl Murphy and Shane Long up front. Together.  Does he know nothing of modern football? 7:24PM Hello Davy Keogh Davy Keogh says 'hello' Credit: PA 7:21PM The Danes There have been five changes from their last game which was a 1-1 draw with Romania.  Andreas Cornelius, Andreas Bjelland, Peter Ankersen, Jens Larsen and Mathias Jorgensen all come into the squad with Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen and Nicklas 'Lord' Bendtner among those dropping to the bench.  Obviously we know all about Christian Eriksen, but Simon Kjaer and Kasper  Schmeichel could be just as influential over the two legs.  7:12PM Rep of Ire side The biggest discussion so far seems to be the inclusion of  Callum O'Dowda. the Brstol City winger replaces the banned David Meyler and tonight will be his eighth international cap.  That is the only change but they have a few names that will be familiar to Premier league fans with John O'Shea, Shane Long and Glenn Whelan all on the bench tonight. 7:08PM The visiting captain Tonight's captain, Ciaran Clark! �� #COYBIGpic.twitter.com/ftzHxLGDM8— FAIreland ⚽️���� (@FAIreland) November 11, 2017 7:05PM The team news Team to play Rep Ireland:Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:03PM Good evening We'll be bringing you all the news from the Telia Parken stadium as Denmark and Republic of Ireland go head-to-head in this play-off first-leg. 6:59PM Denmark v Republic of Ireland What is it? It's the World Cup play-off first leg between Denmark and Republic of Ireland. When is it? It's today, so Saturday, so November 11. What time is kick-off? At 7.45pm. Where is it? At Denmark’s Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. What TV channel is it on? You can watch live coverage on Sky Sports Main Event and Football. Their programme starts at 7.30pm. Alternatively, bookmark this page and come back on Saturday for our live blog.  Watch Denmark vs Republic of Ireland on Saturday with the NOW TV Sky Sports Day Pass. £6.99. No contract. What is the team news? Jeff Hendrick has handed Ireland a major boost ahead of the first leg. The 25-year-old Burnley midfielder was able to train with the rest of his team-mates on Thursday before the squad headed to Copenhagen after previously working with the Football Association of Ireland's medical team as he attempted to shake off a gluteal muscle injury. Jeff Hendrick has given Ireland a timely boost Credit: PA He was joined on the training pitch by club-mate Stephen Ward, with the full-back having been rested as a precaution earlier in the week. Hendrick's presence among the travelling party was all the more welcome because of the absence of David Meyler through suspension for the first leg and James McCarthy with a hamstring problem. What are they saying? Denmark coach Age Hareide on Christian Eriksen carrying the hopes of a nation: "You always feel he will create chances and produce something special," Hareide said. "So often a player like that, capable of extraordinary things, can be the difference when a match is very tight - especially against a team as well-organized as Ireland." Roy Keane on working with Martin O'Neill and Ireland: "I enjoy working with Martin, the staff and the FAI, and the only thing on my mind in the next few days is helping the team try to get to the World Cup. "In terms of club management, all that is on the back burner at the moment." Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What are the odds? Denmark 3/4 Draw 9/4 Ireland 5/1 What's our prediction? Ireland to grab a decent 1-1 draw to take back to the Aviva Stadium.

Denmark 0 Republic of Ireland 0: Stalemate sets up must-win game in Dublin

They left the pitch to a standing ovation, the cheers and applause from their delighted supporters drifting down the tunnel after them, but if this was a victory of sorts for the Republic of Ireland, it was an ugly one. Seen through the eyes of their hosts, they may as well have been slipping away from a crime scene. For Denmark, this felt like death by strangulation. Denmark will seek justice in Dublin, but Ireland have the upper hand after grinding out a goalless draw in the first leg of this play-off. They squeezed the life out of the Danes and, by the end, there was little fight left in them. It remains to be seen whether they can recover. As bad as Martin O’Neill’s team were in terms of keeping hold of the ball and using it decisively, their ability to play without meaningful possession in the opposition half means any sort of win on Tuesday night will be enough to send them to the World Cup. “The game is evenly poised for the second leg,” said O’Neill. “There is no doubt they have the ability to score a goal in the Aviva Stadium, so we might have to score two. We will have to use the ball a lot better than we did. We obviously want to be better with the ball, but the players put in a really big effort. “The pitch was really awkward. It might not have been the best [performance] but, overall, we adjusted and we coped for the most part.” Thomas Delaney, Christian Eriksen and Niklas Bendtner struggled to break down the Irish defense.  Credit: Pa It is just as well Ireland are so well drilled at playing without the ball because there are times when they appear to have very little ability with it. Not for the first time, this was a difficult to watch for long periods; tough to take any sort of pleasure from other than the result. That, though, is all that ultimately matters. If O’Neill can lead Ireland to their first World Cup for 16 years, nobody will care how he did it. He is a pragmatist not an entertainer. He knows the limitations of the Ireland team, so makes sure he disguises them. Ireland can be a hard to like if you still believe the idea football is the beautiful game, but there is no denying they are effective. Ireland’s lines move as one, dropping back or forward in unison. When the defence drop deeper, the space they leave is filled seamlessly by a five-man midfield that spreads the width of the pitch. When they push up, the formation does not change, the gaps between them do not alter. Ireland are so organised they resemble a Roman Phalanx, their defensive shield almost impenetrable as long as they work together and remember their training drills. O’Neill would like his team to be more than that. Sometimes they can be, but this was not one of those times. There were spells in this game, particularly in the second half as he and Roy Keane screamed their frustration on the touchline, that Ireland’s passing was atrocious rather than just wayward. The Irish fans turned out for their team in Copenhagen Credit: PA In the end, it did not matter. Denmark were frustrated and grew desperate. They had three good chances over the course of the 90 minutes, Ireland had two. For all of the difference between the two teams in terms of ambition and attacking intent, it could have been an even worse night for the home team. As it is, they still have a chance of progressing and will hope Ireland can also be frustrated in front of their own supporters. Denmark had two excellent chances, the first from a long, diagonal ball over the top of right-back Cyrus Christie which found the run of Jens Stryger Larsen. He took it down and got a shot away which was kept out by Darren Randolph. The loose ball fell perfectly to Andreas Cornelius, but he hit it straight at the goalkeeper. The second came from a swerving shot from Christian Erkisen that Randolph once again pushed out, but not away from danger. This time, from a tighter angle, Pione Sisto fired wide. Ireland had not got going, but they almost scored just before the break. Christie somehow wriggled into the area from the right flank and was in on goal, only for Kasper Schmeichel to sprint off his line, narrow the angle and get a hand up to block his shot as the Ireland full-back tried to lift the ball over him. The game had ground itself into a stalemate in the second half, with neither side threatening, until a late flurry of goalmouth action, as Shane Duffy saw a glancing header saved and Randolph tipped one over from Poulson at the other end. 9:40PM Same again on Tuesday? I really hope not. It wasn't the greatest game but I guess the possibility of going to Russia next year may add huge pressure to the occasion. Someone has to win in Dublin, let's hope it's the fans. 9:35PM 90 + 3 mins Larsen with another shot but it comes off which comes off Christie. Denmark can't use the corner as Randolph collect easily in the box.  Some slow-motion walking from Hendrick as he is replaced by Conor Hourihane. The Villa man does get a touch before the game is over. And that's the final whistle.  9:32PM 90 mins O'Dowda wins a free-kick after Kvist brings him down about 40 yards from goal.  Brady sends it into the box for you-know-who, Duffy. But the defender heads it straight at  Schmeichel. It's straight up the other end and Poulson's header is saved by Randolph after he connects with Larsen's cross.  Three minutes of extra-time to play. 9:29PM 87 mins Denmark have the ball in the middle of the park but there's no bite in their attack.  Harry Arter is down - although it doesn't look serious - and it looks like he will be coming off.  Glenn Whelan comes on for Harry Arter. 9:27PM 85 mins We started the evening with 15 players on a yellow card after the silly decision to continue them from the group stages, and it feels like the ref does not want to book anyone unless he has to.  Shane Long takes a shot but it comes off Delaney, which the officials manage to miss. Only for the Danes to give the ball back with a foul  on Harry Arter. 9:23PM 81 mins Another free-kick aimed at Duffy and you can guess what happened to it.  Denmark attack again and there are about nine minutes for someone to get a goal and the advantage before Tuesday's second-leg. 9:19PM 77 mins A comfortable save from Randolph from Jorgensen 's cross.  Bendtner catches Harry Arter and the Bournemouth man is down. It didn't appear malicious as he grazed the player's calf while trying to jump over him. The ref has given the visitors a free-kick, much to the annoyance of the crowd.  And guess what, they send the ball straight to Duffy.  9:15PM First Irish sub Shane Long on for Murphy. 9:13PM 71 mins Poulsen has a good shot but it bounces and goes just wide of Randolph's left hand post, after hge was teed up by Jporgensen.  It looks like Lord Bendtner will be gracing us with his presence soon. Larsen sends a ball into the box after more good work by Poulsen, but Christie clears it as the hosts get ready to make their second substitution.  Bendtner is on for Kvist.  9:10PM 68 mins Ireland have a free kick just inside the Danish half and it reaches Clark but the defender isn't ready for it and the hosts clear it.  Another throw-in for the visitors and another opportunity for Duffy to give away a foul.  9:06PM SUB Cornelius is replaced by Yussuf Polsen. An interesting decision as the Copenhagen player was very lively in the first-half. 9:05PM Fun fact The last Irish player to score a goal for the country against Denmark was Shane Long. That was ten years ago after he came on as a second-half substitute in an away game.  Who knows? 9:03PM 61 mins Eriksen tries to get a penalty after the ball hits Harry Arter's back but thankfully the ref is having none of it.  The game is more open but Ireland definitely have the quality to go and win it if they were a bit more confident. Denmark are happy to keep the  ball in and around the box but O'Neil's men are staying staying strong to every attack 9:00PM 58 mins Another long throw into the box onto Duffy's head but there's just too much physical stuff going on in the box for anyone to concentrate on the ball properly.  It's back into the Irish half but Christie keeps Kvist under control and Randolph collects the ball easily. Ireland race back up the other end and it's actually Eriksen who breaks up the attack, but he has no support and it ends up in a corner to the hosts after the ball comes off Harry Arter. 8:57PM 55 mins Neither team is getting a grip on the ball at the moment with a lot of sloppy passing. The Danes keeps trying to play down the middle about 30 yards from goal but Ireland are so organised.  Am I the only one who images Roy Keane shouting drills at them in their sleep? 8:52PM 51 mins Will the Lord make an appearance? Bendtner appears to be warming up.  A good run from McClean down the left but the Dane's block bounces off him and goes out for a throw-in. The Danes are playing the ball down the channel more, which worked better for them in the first-half.  8:49PM 48 mins Denmark appear to have regained their confidence during those 15 minutes as  Bjelland tries to send a diagonal ball to the outside of the box but Christie is there to get it away.  Once again, Ireland are playing in their own half. 8:46PM Second-half Denmark gets us back underway. 8:38PM How can you not love football? United in their love for their teams. Irish & Danish fans singing together in Copenhagen- this is why sport rocks!! #COYBIG#DENIRL#GAWA@RTEsport@dfatirlpic.twitter.com/rkYBXDL3SN— Andrew O'Callaghan (@AndyOCallagha) November 11, 2017 8:32PM Half-time You can now hear the Irish fans in the stadium and you have to wonder if that little flourish has dented the Danes confidence.  The referee blows the whistle straight away and we'll be back shortly for what should be an interesting second-half.  8:28PM 42 mins Ireland looking more dangerous in the last few minutes. Neither side is getting their foot on the ball at the moment.  Christie sails past Larsen down the right wing and he tries to chip the keeper, but like his Dad, Kasper stays big. Hendricks tries to swing at the rebound but it's out for a corner. 8:25PM 39 mins Christie tries a short throw instead of a long one and Ireland keep possession. McClean sends the ball to the edge of the box for O'Dowda but the youngster couldn't bring the ball down quick enough and Delaney clears.  The hosts have had 69% possession to the visitors 31%. 8:22PM 36 mins Denmark have had six attempts to Ireland's zero.  Cornelius is starting to cause more and more problems down that right hand side. Angerson tries a cross shot after Eriksen comes out to the right.  Remember, this is the first-leg with the second on Tuesday evening. 8:18PM 31 mins Another great save from Randolph as Clark chests the ball straight to Eriksen but the keeper gets down well to push it away, only for Sisto to send the rebound wide of goal. 8:15PM 28 mins Jorgensen is the next Dane to have a go but his shot is wide. The visitors are defending well but they have to take advantage of these attacking opportunities when they arise.  8:12PM 25 mins A Danish corner after Ireland clear Eriksen's free-kick. The ref has reminded Brady and Delaney that this is not WWE.  Ireland get the ball but can't seem to keep possession. Or maybe they can. McLean is fouled right on the sidelines about and it's perfect for a deadball situation. Brady sends it into the box and it's cleared, all the way back to Randolph who lobs it straight back. 8:09PM 22 mins Denmark having all of the ball but not doing much with it. Eriksen takes a shot from the edge of the box but it's straight down the middle and into Randolph's arms.  8:07PM Some hope for the visiting fans 4 - Republic of Ireland are unbeaten in their last four internationals against Denmark (W2 D2), with those wins coming in their last two contests. Confident.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 11, 2017 8:04PM 18 mins Ward gets the ball and he looked like he was going to go on the run but instead Harry Arter decides he's a crab and plays it sideways and then back to Randolph.  Sisto is the next Dane to take advantage as he looks to loft a ball in for Cornelius, but it's headed clear.  8:01PM 15 mins That first shot from Larsen came after O'Dowda lost him on the left wing, allowing the Dane to bring the ball down.  Another Christie throw is aimed at Duffy and Clark but Denmark clear.  7:59PM 13 mins The Danes are just knocking the ball about with Murphy the furthest player forward, about five yards into hosts half. Randolph does his job and his double save could be crucial come 90 minutes. First he pushes out low to his right from Laresen's shot, before he parries Cornelius' attempt.  7:55PM 9 mins The visitors get a throw and Christie sends it long but the ref sees a foul the free-kick to the hosts. Denmark looking a lot more confident and you get the sense that O'Neil's men will play it long or try and use pace to create something on the break 7:53PM 7 mins Eriksen gets the ball and I actually feel a little nervous for the visitors but Christie does well to get possession from the Spurs man. 7:51PM 5 mins Cornelius thinks he should have a corner and replays suggest he is right as Clark heads the ball away at the near corner flag. Randolph kicks it long and you suspect this could be the start of things to come.  The hosts look confident on the ball with every Irish player back in their own half. 7:48PM Kick-off And we are off. Both teams look like they are starting with four at the back as the visitors get the first deadball. Duffy was there waiting, but Cornelius heads it clear.  7:45PM Your teams Team to play Rep Ireland: Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:44PM Ooh, acapella So the Danish anthem is an acapella number; but not the kind you see on X-Factor.  Very passionate and backed up with fireworks. Let's hope the game is as dramatic.  7:41PM Moments away The players are on the pitch, Roy Keane is looking moody. that means it's time for the national anthems. 7:40PM You can't argue with this @NatashaSHenry score draw! Ireland to score early or very late & concede a schoolboy error goal we don’t do it any other way. Warriors needed tonight & that spirit is in every Irish person! Come on Ireland! 1-1— John McEnerney (@MackerOnTheMed) November 11, 2017  Will John be right? 7:39PM The teams are in the tunnel I hope you've got your drinks and snacks as there is not long to go.  7:30PM 15 minutes until kick-off A reminder of those teams:  Team to play Rep Ireland: Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:28PM O'Neil on O'Dowda "He's playing very well, he's got a little bit of pace and I hope he can cause them a few places. He'll start in robbie Brady's position. He can change, he's adaptable as he has shown for Bristol City. " We'll soon see if he is right... 7:27PM Two up top Kevin Doyle, former Cork City and Reading striker, believes that Martin O'Neil should've started with Daryl Murphy and Shane Long up front. Together.  Does he know nothing of modern football? 7:24PM Hello Davy Keogh Davy Keogh says 'hello' Credit: PA 7:21PM The Danes There have been five changes from their last game which was a 1-1 draw with Romania.  Andreas Cornelius, Andreas Bjelland, Peter Ankersen, Jens Larsen and Mathias Jorgensen all come into the squad with Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen and Nicklas 'Lord' Bendtner among those dropping to the bench.  Obviously we know all about Christian Eriksen, but Simon Kjaer and Kasper  Schmeichel could be just as influential over the two legs.  7:12PM Rep of Ire side The biggest discussion so far seems to be the inclusion of  Callum O'Dowda. the Brstol City winger replaces the banned David Meyler and tonight will be his eighth international cap.  That is the only change but they have a few names that will be familiar to Premier league fans with John O'Shea, Shane Long and Glenn Whelan all on the bench tonight. 7:08PM The visiting captain Tonight's captain, Ciaran Clark! �� #COYBIGpic.twitter.com/ftzHxLGDM8— FAIreland ⚽️���� (@FAIreland) November 11, 2017 7:05PM The team news Team to play Rep Ireland:Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:03PM Good evening We'll be bringing you all the news from the Telia Parken stadium as Denmark and Republic of Ireland go head-to-head in this play-off first-leg. 6:59PM Denmark v Republic of Ireland What is it? It's the World Cup play-off first leg between Denmark and Republic of Ireland. When is it? It's today, so Saturday, so November 11. What time is kick-off? At 7.45pm. Where is it? At Denmark’s Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. What TV channel is it on? You can watch live coverage on Sky Sports Main Event and Football. Their programme starts at 7.30pm. Alternatively, bookmark this page and come back on Saturday for our live blog.  Watch Denmark vs Republic of Ireland on Saturday with the NOW TV Sky Sports Day Pass. £6.99. No contract. What is the team news? Jeff Hendrick has handed Ireland a major boost ahead of the first leg. The 25-year-old Burnley midfielder was able to train with the rest of his team-mates on Thursday before the squad headed to Copenhagen after previously working with the Football Association of Ireland's medical team as he attempted to shake off a gluteal muscle injury. Jeff Hendrick has given Ireland a timely boost Credit: PA He was joined on the training pitch by club-mate Stephen Ward, with the full-back having been rested as a precaution earlier in the week. Hendrick's presence among the travelling party was all the more welcome because of the absence of David Meyler through suspension for the first leg and James McCarthy with a hamstring problem. What are they saying? Denmark coach Age Hareide on Christian Eriksen carrying the hopes of a nation: "You always feel he will create chances and produce something special," Hareide said. "So often a player like that, capable of extraordinary things, can be the difference when a match is very tight - especially against a team as well-organized as Ireland." Roy Keane on working with Martin O'Neill and Ireland: "I enjoy working with Martin, the staff and the FAI, and the only thing on my mind in the next few days is helping the team try to get to the World Cup. "In terms of club management, all that is on the back burner at the moment." Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What are the odds? Denmark 3/4 Draw 9/4 Ireland 5/1 What's our prediction? Ireland to grab a decent 1-1 draw to take back to the Aviva Stadium.

Denmark vs Republic of Ireland, World Cup play-off - live score updates

Denmark 0 - 0 Republic of Ireland 8:09PM 22 mins Denmark having all of the ball but not doing much with it. Eriksen takes a shot from the edge of the box but it's straight down the middle and into Randolph's arms.  8:07PM Some hope for the visiting fans 4 - Republic of Ireland are unbeaten in their last four internationals against Denmark (W2 D2), with those wins coming in their last two contests. Confident.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 11, 2017 8:04PM 18 mins Ward gets the ball and he looked like he was going to go on the run but instead Harry Arter decides he's a crab and plays it sideways and then back to Randolph.  Sisto is the next Dane to take advantage as he looks to loft a ball in for Cornelius, but it's headed clear.  8:01PM 15 mins That first shot from Larsen came after O'Dowda lost him on the left wing, allowing the Dane to bring the ball down.  Another Christie throw is aimed at Duffy and Clark but Denmark clear.  7:59PM 13 mins The Danes are just knocking the ball about with Murphy the furthest player forward, about five yards into hosts half. Randolph does his job and his double save could be crucial come 90 minutes. First he pushes out low to his right from Laresen's shot, before he parries Cornelius' attempt.  7:55PM 9 mins The visitors get a throw and Christie sends it long but the ref sees a foul the free-kick to the hosts. Denmark looking a lot more confident and you get the sense that O'Neil's men will play it long or try and use pace to create something on the break 7:53PM 7 mins Eriksen gets the ball and I actually feel a little nervous for the visitors but Christie does well to get possession from the Spurs man. 7:51PM 5 mins Cornelius thinks he should have a corner and replays suggest he is right as Clark heads the ball away at the near corner flag. Randolph kicks it long and you suspect this could be the start of things to come.  The hosts look confident on the ball with every Irish player back in their own half. 7:48PM Kick-off And we are off. Both teams look like they are starting with four at the back as the visitors get the first deadball. Duffy was there waiting, but Cornelius heads it clear.  7:45PM Your teams Team to play Rep Ireland: Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:44PM Ooh, acapella So the Danish anthem is an acapella number; but not the kind you see on X-Factor.  Very passionate and backed up with fireworks. Let's hope the game is as dramatic.  7:41PM Moments away The players are on the pitch, Roy Keane is looking moody. that means it's time for the national anthems. 7:40PM You can't argue with this @NatashaSHenry score draw! Ireland to score early or very late & concede a schoolboy error goal we don’t do it any other way. Warriors needed tonight & that spirit is in every Irish person! Come on Ireland! 1-1— John McEnerney (@MackerOnTheMed) November 11, 2017  Will John be right? 7:39PM The teams are in the tunnel I hope you've got your drinks and snacks as there is not long to go.  7:30PM 15 minutes until kick-off A reminder of those teams:  Team to play Rep Ireland: Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:28PM O'Neil on O'Dowda "He's playing very well, he's got a little bit of pace and I hope he can cause them a few places. He'll start in robbie Brady's position. He can change, he's adaptable as he has shown for Bristol City. " We'll soon see if he is right... 7:27PM Two up top Kevin Doyle, former Cork City and Reading striker, believes that Martin O'Neil should've started with Daryl Murphy and Shane Long up front. Together.  Does he know nothing of modern football? 7:24PM Hello Davy Keogh Davy Keogh says 'hello' Credit: PA 7:21PM The Danes There have been five changes from their last game which was a 1-1 draw with Romania.  Andreas Cornelius, Andreas Bjelland, Peter Ankersen, Jens Larsen and Mathias Jorgensen all come into the squad with Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen and Nicklas 'Lord' Bendtner among those dropping to the bench.  Obviously we know all about Christian Eriksen, but Simon Kjaer and Kasper  Schmeichel could be just as influential over the two legs.  7:12PM Rep of Ire side The biggest discussion so far seems to be the inclusion of  Callum O'Dowda. the Brstol City winger replaces the banned David Meyler and tonight will be his eighth international cap.  That is the only change but they have a few names that will be familiar to Premier league fans with John O'Shea, Shane Long and Glenn Whelan all on the bench tonight. 7:08PM The visiting captain Tonight's captain, Ciaran Clark! �� #COYBIGpic.twitter.com/ftzHxLGDM8— FAIreland ⚽️���� (@FAIreland) November 11, 2017 7:05PM The team news Team to play Rep Ireland:Schmeichel, Ankersen, Kjaer, Bjelland, Larsen, Kvist, Delaney, Eriksen, Sisto, Cornelius, Jorgensen Subs: Lossl, Hansen, Jensen, Vestergaard, Christensen, Bendtner, Jorgensen, Knudsen, Fischer, Lerager, Schone, Poulsen Team to play Denmark: Randolph, Christie, Duffy, Clark, Ward, Hendrick, Arter, O'Dowda, Brady, McClean, Murphy Subs: Westwood, Elliot, O'Shea, McShane, Whelan, McGeady, S. Long, Hoolahan, Hourihane, Doherty, Hogan, K. Long 7:03PM Good evening We'll be bringing you all the news from the Telia Parken stadium as Denmark and Republic of Ireland go head-to-head in this play-off first-leg. 6:59PM Denmark v Republic of Ireland What is it? It's the World Cup play-off first leg between Denmark and Republic of Ireland. When is it? It's today, so Saturday, so November 11. What time is kick-off? At 7.45pm. Where is it? At Denmark’s Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. What TV channel is it on? You can watch live coverage on Sky Sports Main Event and Football. Their programme starts at 7.30pm. Alternatively, bookmark this page and come back on Saturday for our live blog.  Watch Denmark vs Republic of Ireland on Saturday with the NOW TV Sky Sports Day Pass. £6.99. No contract. What is the team news? Jeff Hendrick has handed Ireland a major boost ahead of the first leg. The 25-year-old Burnley midfielder was able to train with the rest of his team-mates on Thursday before the squad headed to Copenhagen after previously working with the Football Association of Ireland's medical team as he attempted to shake off a gluteal muscle injury. Jeff Hendrick has given Ireland a timely boost Credit: PA He was joined on the training pitch by club-mate Stephen Ward, with the full-back having been rested as a precaution earlier in the week. Hendrick's presence among the travelling party was all the more welcome because of the absence of David Meyler through suspension for the first leg and James McCarthy with a hamstring problem. What are they saying? Denmark coach Age Hareide on Christian Eriksen carrying the hopes of a nation: "You always feel he will create chances and produce something special," Hareide said. "So often a player like that, capable of extraordinary things, can be the difference when a match is very tight - especially against a team as well-organized as Ireland." Roy Keane on working with Martin O'Neill and Ireland: "I enjoy working with Martin, the staff and the FAI, and the only thing on my mind in the next few days is helping the team try to get to the World Cup. "In terms of club management, all that is on the back burner at the moment." Best-priced accumulators | New customer offers What are the odds? Denmark 3/4 Draw 9/4 Ireland 5/1 What's our prediction? Ireland to grab a decent 1-1 draw to take back to the Aviva Stadium.

Modern heroes: Who has done most for your club in the last 20 years?

Some clubs' heroes from the past 20 years are obvious. They are the standout player who served with distinction for a decade, the trophy-winning manager, or the chairman who steadied the ship. For others it's a more difficult decision. Some are blessed with many candidates. Others, very few. Nevertheless we asked our writers a simple question: Which single person has had the greatest positive influence on their club since 1997? Here are their responses, for every club currently playing in the top two flights.  PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal Dennis Bergkamp Credit: ACTION IMAGES Arsene Wenger, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira could all lay claim to this accolade, but Dennis Bergkamp just shades it.  Bergkamp's arrival at Arsenal in 1995 heralded a new direction for the club, and he retired 11 years later with three Premier Leagues and four FA Cups to his name.  More than just winning titles though, Bergkamp was a joy in everything he did at Highbury. The vision, the exquisite technique, the spectacular goals - Bergkamp got the Arsenal fans not just off their seats but frequently shaking their heads in disbelief.  His team-mates were - and remain - similarly in awe, and if you want reminding of Bergkamp's genius, watch his superlative hat-trick against Leicester in 1997.  Charlie Eccleshare AFC Bournemouth Eddie Howe Credit: GETTY IMAGES Eddie Howe's association with Bournemouth remains the stuff of fairytale. Became manager in 2009 at the age of 31 when he somehow reversed a 17-point deficit to keep the club both in existence and in the Football League. Despite a transfer embargo, he then won the first of his promotions before leaving for a spell at Burnley. Upon his return in 2012, Bournemouth have been promoted twice, reached the top flight for the first time in their history, and finished ninth in the Premier League last season. His influence is felt at every level of the club. Jeremy Wilson Brighton and Hove Albion Dick Knight Credit: ALAMY Without current chairman Tony Bloom's money, Brighton's Amex Stadium and top-class training ground wouldn't have progressed beyond dreams, but Dick Knight deserves recognition as the club's spiritual saviour in the near-death years of the late 1990s. With extraordinary persistence, Knight fought battles with planners, politicians and pessimists to keep the supporters believing in salvation. An ad-man by trade, he sold the rebirth idea with a smile. Paul Hayward Burnley Sean Dyche Credit: ACTION IMAGES It simply has to be Sean Mark Dyche, the throat-sore "Ginger Mourinho" who got Burnley promoted to the Premier League not once but twice and is showing every sign of keeping them in the division the second time around. It takes a lot to get a team through the 46-game epic that is the Championship season but then to go back and do it a second time, harnessing all that is best about this famous Lancashire club, took guts and intelligence. A special mention also to the former chairman Barry Kilby, now the vice-chair. His investment of £3 million in January 1999, when he became the largest single shareholder, saved Burnley and helped lay the foundations for the club it is now. Sam Wallace Chelsea Roman Abramovich Credit: AP Chelsea were on the brink of financial crisis before Roman Abramovich transformed the club into a European superpower in 2003. The Blues were likely to default on a £75million loan, but, ironically, it was their perilous financial position that attracted Abramovich, who had also weighed up bids for Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. Chelsea were relatively easy to take over and within two years of buying the club, Abramovich had spent over £100million on new players. His spending has meant that in 14 years, Chelsea have won five Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League. Matt Law Crystal Palace Wilfried Zaha Credit: GETTY IMAGES Steve Parish and his consortium saved Crystal Palace from extinction, but Wilfried Zaha has breathed new life into the club since his debut in 2010.  South London born and bred, 'Wilf' is the talisman and poster boy for a club that prides itself on developing young talent from the local community. Player of the year for the last two seasons, no-one has beguiled, hypnotised and enthralled Palace fans more than the man about which they sing 'he's just too good for you'.  Callum Davis Everton David Moyes Credit: PA David Moyes has been the victim of historic revisionism in recent years. When he took over at Everton in 2002 the club had been consistently stuck in the bottom half of the table. Over 10 years he re-established a top six position and even broke into the top four. A guard of honour bid him farewell when he left for Manchester United. He was accused of not being ambitious enough – harsh given financial restraints he worked with. The circumstances around his departure (private meetings with Sir Alex Ferguson) have soured memories of his reign, but future generations will recognise his positive contribution.   Chris Bascombe Huddersfield Town Dean Hoyle Dean Hoyle meets his adoring public after Huddersfield won promotion to the Premier League Credit: REUTERS Every morning at 8am at 24 schools more than 1,000 children eat a healthy breakfast paid for by Huddersfield Town. The scheme is the brainchild of club chairman and owner Dean Hoyle, a lifelong fan who joined the board in 2008 and is full of forward thinking initiatives while he has transformed Huddersfield and taken them into the Premier League for the first time in their history. He offered £100 season tickets to long-standing fans if the club ever reached the top-flight and has been good to his word and the sight of him collapsing with joy after their Championship play-off win at Wembley, on penalties, was one of the images of last season. Jason Burt Leicester City Claudio Ranieri Credit: PA It can be only one man, after the most remarkable story of the past 35 years, since Nottingham Forest's European Cup triumphs. Ranieri guided a team built by Nigel Pearson to the Premier League title, utilising intuition and shrewd management, with a permanent glint in his eye. It all went awry the following season, and many will argue over whether Ranieri simply inherited an outstanding set-up, but his name will forever be etched into Leicester - and football - history. John Percy Liverpool Steven Gerrard Credit: PA If Steven Gerrard had not been born a Liverpool fan, the recent history of the club would look very different. He scored in the victorious Uefa Cup final, League Cup final, FA Cup final and, of course, the Champions League final. Managers Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez got the best from him, but as every club in Europe tried in vain to lure him from Anfield, Gerrard’s loyalty kept Liverpool competitive during an often tumultuous period off the pitch. Chris Bascombe Manchester City Sheikh Mansour Credit: AFP Okay, so the Arab billionaire did not buy City until 2008 but has anyone done more to entirely reshape the fortunes of the club over the past 20 years? The answer, of course, is no, and with Pep Guardiola having presided over the most electrifying start to a season yet, City could be on the brink of a new era of success after Premier League title triumphs in 2011/12 and 2013/14. The days of Jamie Pollock and former manager Stuart Pearce parading his daughter's treasured "Beanie horse" in the technical area are long gone. It is not just the team and club Sheikh Mansour's petro dollars have transformed either. East Manchester has been revitalised by his benevolence. James Ducker Manchester United Sir Alex Ferguson Credit: AP An obvious choice, yes, but the only choice. Some wondered if the man who masterminded United's unprecedented treble success of Premier League title, Champions League and FA Cup in 1998/99 had outstayed his welcome when United went three seasons without the championship between 2004 and 2006. But Ferguson reacted to the rise of Chelsea, bankrolled by Roman Abramovich's billions, and then later Sheikh Mansour's takeover of Manchester City in 2008, at a time when United's own purse strings were being tightened by the Glazers' controversial ownership, by presiding over the most successful period in United's history. Sir Alex Ferguson reveals the secrets of his success 03:31 As well as winning five Premier League titles between 2006 and his retirement in 2013, he also claimed a second Champions League crown with one of the most exciting sides in the club's era. James Ducker Newcastle United Alan Shearer Credit: ACTION IMAGES Turned down the chance to sign for Manchester United to return home to his beloved Newcastle in a then world record £15m move from Blackburn Rovers in 1996 when he was at the peak of his powers and could have signed for any club in the world. Carried the team on his shoulders for more than a decade, breaking Jackie Milburn’s goalscoring record in the process, eventually retiring with 206 goals in 404 games for the Magpies. The former England captain may not have won any trophies on Tyneside, but he earned something more important to him, the love and admiration of his own people. He is genuine when he says he has no regrets. Luke Edwards Southampton Markus Liebherr Credit: GETTY IMAGES The time-frame takes in a more peripheral phase of Matthew Le Tissier’s Southampton career. Other hugely influential players from his era were Jason Dodd and Francis Benali before the recent rise that was inspired by Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Jose Fonte. Yet underpinning everything was the 2009 takeover by Markus Liebherr that rescued the club. His executive chairman Nicola Costese played a huge but sometimes divisive role in pushing the team forward and changing the culture and, with Katharina Liebherr taking on a more visible role, the club have remained successful since his departure in 2014. Jeremy Wilson Stoke City Peter Coates Credit: PAUL COOPER After returning to buy the club in 2006, Peter Coates has presided over a glorious period in Stoke history. As chairman he masterminded the return of Tony Pulis, with promotion to the Premier League swiftly following, and has transformed the club from its squad to the training ground with his financial backing. His son John has also played a huge part in Stoke's progress but Coates Senior is probably the best chairman in the Premier League right now. His love for all things Stoke City can never be doubted. John Percy Swansea City Leon Britton Credit: GETTY IMAGES Roberto Martinez, Paulo Sousa and later Brendan Rodgers may have cultivated the idea of possession football in south Wales, but it was Leon Britton who brought the vision to life.  The London-born playmaker has been Swansea's beating beating heart in their journey through the ranks of the football league: from the bottom of the fourth tier to established Premier League outfit. His expert ball retention saw him become one of Europe's most unlikely pass-masters in the early part of this decade, with statistics regularly rivalling those of Xavi and other more glamorous names. His legacy will live on at the Liberty Stadium long after he eventually decides to retire. Callum Davis Tottenham Hotspur Mauricio Pochettino Credit: REX The influence of chairman Daniel Levy should not be understated, yet what Pochettino has done to change Spurs in just a few years is utterly remarkable. He has given the team a new identity, and has transformed consistently average players into very good ones while making his best players world-beaters. As a result, Spurs are now one of the most exciting teams on the planet. Most importantly, he has made Tottenham fans feel something they haven't for a very long time: optimism. For that they will be forever grateful. Alistair Tweedale Watford Gino Pozzo Credit: PA A common misconception outside of Watford is that the club somehow 'lost its identity' following the Pozzo family's takeover in 2012. But the Hornets were teetering on the brink of ruin under the contentious ownership of Laurence Bassini before the Italian job brought stability and success. The team are already an established Premier League presence with an exciting turnover of talented players. But Gino Pozzo's reign as owner is as much defined by the progress off the pitch; a vastly improved Vicarage Road and a commitment to community and heritage that has always been a part of Watford's fabric. Tom Hoggins West Bromwich Albion Kevin Phillips Credit: GETTY IMAGES For obvious reasons it can’t be Lee Hughes and the exemplary ‘Super Bob’ Taylor falls just outside this arbitrary time frame so it has to be Kevin Phillips who scored 46 goals over two seasons, firing the Baggies to the play-off final in 2007 and then promotion in 2008. The monotonous caution and conservatism of the Roy Hodgson and Tony Pulis regimes ignore one crucial thing. Safety and certainty, shunning risk and reward, anaesthetises the soul. But goals make the people happy and for two years Phillips made the Baggies boing once more. Rob Bagchi West Ham United Paolo Di Canio Credit: GETTY IMAGES Imagine you are playing one of those quick-fire answer games, where you have to respond to a question immediately, without giving it second thought, and you are asked: “What is the defining image of West Ham’s modern existence?” Paolo Di Canio’s volley against Wimbledon. Next. The flying scissor kick was the strike of a lifetime, and is surely the Premier League’s finest goal. And yet Di Canio was so much more than that. As well as the goals, it was the passion and the ego, the ups and the downs, the tattoos and the tears.  It was everything West Ham have lacked since they moved to the soulless London Stadium. How they must crave a player a player of his creativity and devotion now. Sam Dean CHAMPIONSHIP Aston Villa Stiliyan Petrov Credit: GETTY IMAGES Signed in 2006, Stiliyan Petrov quickly made himself a vital member of the Martin O’Neill squad that had Aston Villa challenging for Champions League qualification. He was voted the club’s Player of the Year in 2009, but three years later he was diagnosed with acute leukaemia. In tribute to Petrov, Villa fans clapped in the 19th minute of every home and away game to support the midfielder, who wore the number 19 shirt, in his battle against illness. In August 2012, it was announced Petrov’s leukaemia was in remission but he announced his retirement from the game just under a year later. Petrov has been described as an inspiration for the way he handled his illness and will forever be cherished by Villa supporters. Matt Law Barnsley Adam Hammill Credit: GETTY IMAGES There are slim pickings at a club that has had 17 permanent managers since 1997 and yo-yoed between English football's second and third tier. But few players can boast of scoring in a Wembley final, let alone two in the same season. That is why winger Adam Hammill is Barnsley's modern hero. The former Southampton player has had two spells at Oakwell, making 155 appearances, and things peaked in the 2015-16 season when Barnsley won the FA Trophy and League One play-off final at the national stadium with Hammill scoring in both.  Dan Zeqiri Birmingham City Barry Ferguson Credit: GETTY IMAGES Birmingham have never had a problem taking on troubled players looking to prove themselves, Barry Ferguson was no different. After leaving Rangers under a cloud of controversy following a drinking - and subsequent swearing - session on Scotland duty, City gave him the chance to prove himself at the highest level. His classy displays in anchoring the midfield helped achieve a ninth-placed Premier League finish and also secure a second major trophy. Ferguson played more than 70 minutes of that League Cup final with a broken rib, something that endeared him to Birmingham fans and left them yearning for somebody of his quality ever since. Chris Quinn Bolton Wanderers Jay-Jay Okocha Credit: PA Never before or since have Bolton had a superstar quite like Jay-Jay Okocha, whose four-year stay at the Reebok Stadium between 2002 and 2006 was even more magical than the club's supporters had dreamed of.  Okocha‘s beguiling flicks and tricks were so effortless, so natural, that at times he looked like a kid having a bit of fun in the school playground. Okocha was no show-pony however - he also provided a number of crucial goals and assists, and captained the side in a halcyon period when they reached the League Cup final and finished eighth in the Premier League.  As Bolton fans used to say, Okocha was "so good they named him twice." Charlie Eccleshare Brentford Matthew Benham Credit: EMPICS Brentford's modern hero? Beyond any question, owner Matthew Benham. The Brentford fan, and professional gambler, has saved the club from the scrapheap, pumped in £45million and is bankrolling a new stadium. (Warning: strong language) The team are playing their most exciting football in living memory, they are in with a real chance of going up, and these feel like the good times at Griffin Park. Even axing popular manager Mark Warburton could not cool the fans’ ardour: Bees are walking in a Benham wonderland. Alan Tyers Bristol City Gary Johnson Credit: PA After taking over as manager in 2005, Gary Johnson soon became a cult hero for City fans, who had endured a series of playoff heartbreaks in the early 2000s and were seemingly marooned in Division Two. After eight years of trying to reach the second tier of English football, City finally reached the Championship in 2007, two years into Johnson’s reign. Less than a year later, a second successive promotion was a genuine possibility as Johnson guided the side to the top of the Championship. They eventually finished fourth, their highest finish since 1980, but were thwarted in the play-off final by Hull City and 39-year-old Dean Windass. The club spiralled into decline following Johnson’s departure in 2010, and they were relegated back into League One in 2013. Now, though, they are back in the Championship and have started the season brightly under Lee Johnson, who just happens to be Gary’s son. Sam Dean Burton Albion Nigel Clough Credit: DAVE EVITTS In an 11-year spell as player-manager then manager between 1998 and 2009, Clough led Burton from the league below the Conference to the brink of promotion to the Football League. Has since returned to take them up into the Championship - their loftiest ever position - in his first season back. A club legend who has done more than anyone else to make Burton Albion a force in English football, for the first time in their history. Alistair Tweedale Cardiff City Neil Warnock Credit: PA With a nod to Andy Campbell, which scored the winning goal in the 2003 play-off final which ended the two-decade spell in the lower two divisions, it is difficult to know where Cardiff City would be had Neil Warnock not arrived last season to haul them from the bottom three. Would Vincent Tan had hung around and seemed so positive in League One? Would the club’s future appear more uncertain than ever? The answer to latter is a resounding yes, after two decades of controversial foreign ownership under first Sam Hammam and now the colour-swapping Malaysian. Instead, the club, riding high in the top three, has not felt so united for years. James Corrigan Derby County Peter Gadsby  Credit: ALAMY Derby's home Pride Park opened in 1997, and it still looks every inch a Premier League stadium. Derby's then lead director and property developer Peter Gadsby was the brains behind the operation, drawing up plans within 10 weeks and delivering the new ground for approximately £18 million.  As well as a state-of-the-art training ground at Moor Farm, Gadsby returned in 2006 to take control of the club after it had been misused by Jeremy Keith who was later convicted of fraud and false accounting. Despite many near-misses, Derby have failed to return to the top flight since their dismal 2007-8 campaign, but if they do they'll have Gadsby to thank for bequeathing them fantastic infrastructure.  Dan Zeqiri Fulham Roy Hodgson Credit: AP On Thursday 18 March, 2010, a Juventus team featuring Fabio Cannavaro and David Trezeguet, and with Alessandro Del Piero coming off the bench, came to Craven Cottage and were beaten 4-1 in the second leg of Europa League round of 16 tie, 5-4 on aggregate, having at one point led the tie 4-1. Because it is Fulham, most of the supporters are just too polite to make much of a fuss but the man in charge for their extraordinary drive to the Europa League final, Roy Hodgson, deserves for it to be mentioned much more often. Hodgson gave Fulham fans the season they will never forget. They had been to an FA Cup final in 1975 and won the Championship in 2001 but otherwise this is a club that Juventus fans would otherwise only know if they spotted the stadium from a Thames river cruise. Mohamed Al-Fayed put the money in, but it was ultimately Hodgson who sprinkled the magic. Which is not to say the football was much to watch. The results, however, were incredible.   Sam Wallace Hull City Dean Windass Credit: PA The club legend had three stints at Hull, his hometown club, after being released as a YTS trainee. The striker was given a second chance, scoring 57 league goals in 176 matches, before being sold to Aberdeen for £700,000 in 1995. And then a third chance as Windass returned, after a journeyman career, in January 2007. The rest, for Hull, is history with Windass scoring the only goal that took them into the Premier League, into the top-flight for the first time in their history, to beat Bristol City in the Championship play-offs in 2008. Windass hung up his boots aged 40, but not before he became Hull’s oldest ever goal-scorer, scoring in the Premier League at the grand old age of 39. Jason Burt Ipswich Town Matt Holland Credit: GETTY IMAGES Nicknamed Captain Marvel by George Burnley, the ever dependable Matt Holland only missed one league match in six years at Portman Road. Even then it wasn't injury which ended his 223 consecutive league appearances, but an international call-up. Always the last player to leave the pitch whatever the result home or away, family man Holland was the perfect fit for the Ipswich family.  A loyal servant, Holland rejected a move to Aston Villa when Ipswich were relegated having led them to a fifth-place finish the season before and narrowly missing out on a Champions League berth.  Vicki Hodges Leeds United Leeds Fans Remembrance Tributes to fans killed in Instanbul at the Billy Bremner statue  outside Elland Road Credit: ACTION IMAGES Twenty years of profligacy, penury and being exploited as a publicity vehicle by various blowhards - an era which may now, hopefully, have come to an end - Leeds supporters have no heroes but themselves and particularly Leeds Fans Remembrance, set up to honour the memories of Chris Loftus and Kevin Speight who were murdered in Istanbul in April 2000 on the eve of Leeds’ Uefa Cup semi-final tie. The pain endures because more than 17 years on justice has not been served on the killers. Nonetheless this inspirational campaign has raised thousands for Candlelighters, the Leeds’ cancer charity, and helped to build a play pavilion for the children’s cancer ward at Leeds General Infirmary. Rob Bagchi Middlesbrough Juninho Juninho gives Newcastle's Philippe Albert a telling off Credit: GETTY IMAGES The thought of a Brazil international signing for a club like Middlesbrough would have been fanciful before the creation of the Premier League, but Juninho did, arriving from Sao Paulo in 1995. He actually left in 1997, following the club’s relegation to from the top flight, but made an emotional return two years later on loan before signing another permanent deal to play for the Teesside club in 2002.  He fell in love with the club and the club fell in love with him. Widely regarded as Boro’s best player of the modern era he brought skill, flair but also sweat to the cause. He was so revered, the club even renamed the Cheeseburgers sold inside the stadium “The Juninho.” Luke Edwards Millwall Neil Harris Harris (right) with Tim Cahill en route to the FA Cup final in 2004 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Former striker and current manager has done enough in three spells in Bermondsey to fill several Roy of the Rovers annuals.  Arrived at the club in 1998 and was the top scorer in any English league during the 2000/01 season before being diagnosed with testicular cancer. Recovered to lead his team to Wembley for a scarecly believable FA Cup final appearance in 2004. In his second spell at The Den, Harris became Millwall's all-time leading goalscorer and has since steered his club back to the second tier as their manager. What more could you possibly ask for? Thom Gibbs Norwich City Delia Smith Credit: PA It’s not all been plain sailing under Delia Smith’s stewardship but without her Norwich could be in a far stickier position than they currently find themselves. Without the financial support of Smith and her husband, Michael Wynn-Jones, administration would have been a real possibility. Instead there have been three separate stints in the Premier League, with four promotions and as many relegations since 2003. Smith is a fan first and foremost, and although her future position is unclear she has acted as a custodian of the club, doing so very much for the right reasons. Julian Bennetts Nottingham Forest Chris Cohen Credit: ACTION IMAGES There has been 20 years of underachievement, false dawns, questionable ownership and 17 managers, since Forest's relegation from the top flight in 1999. Hope for the future is there, after the takeover by Evangelos Marinakis and the tangible progress under Mark Warburton, but the one constant during recent turmoil has been Chris Cohen. The midfielder has suffered three serious knee injuries but returned through resilience and determination, a player to be highly admired for his loyalty. John Percy Preston North End Sean Gregan Credit: ALAMY If you can look back at your career in the knowledge that you were given the nickname of ‘God’, you can be sure that you have done something right. That’s certainly the case for Preston legend Sean Gregan, who was twice named the club’s official player of the year and was the heartbeat of the impressive side which came so close to reaching the Premier League under David Moyes. Having joined the club from Darlington in 1996, Gregan went on to captain the side to the old Second Division title in 2000, before helping Preston to the First Division play-off final the following season, when they lost to Bolton Wanderers. Sam Dean Queens Park Rangers Ian Holloway Credit: ACTION IMAGES QPR's best players in the past 20 years only sparkled briefly. Paul Furlong, Lee Cook, Adel Taarabt, Charlie Austin and Bobby Zamora all shone, but not for long. About six seconds at Wembley in 2014 in Zamora's case. None eclipse Ian Holloway's body of work at Loftus Road. He arrived at the club in 2001 with relegation to the third tier beckoning. It couldn't be avoided, and the following summer Holloway was left with just six senior professionals before QPR's Division 2 campaign. With astute signings and sheer force of his "unconventional" personality, Holloway galvanised his side and eventually the entire club. Promotion back to the second tier in 2004 was his crowning glory. Now back in W12, again in challenging circumstances and looks unlikely to repeat the trick. But no QPR fan will ever regard Hollway as less than heroic. Thom Gibbs Reading Graeme Murty Credit: PA Reading's all-conquering 2005/2006 campaign in the Championship was backed up by finishing seventh in the Premier League the following season, and it's impossible to look past captain Graeme Murty's role in the club's rise over that period. Murty in total made over 300 appearances for the Royals in a stellar 11-year career between 1998 and 2009. His match-winning penalty against QPR - just his second goal for the club - clinched the record for the most points in a Championship season with 106. Ben Coles Sheffield United Neil Warnock Credit: PA The obdurate Yorkshireman oversaw United's most successful period in recent history by leading the club to the semi-finals of the FA and League Cups in 2003 and promotion to the Premier League in 2006. He was largely responsible too for the building of United's academy from scratch, one which produced Kyle Walker and Phil Jagielka among others. A passionate and effervescent character, the Blades' controversial relegation a season later, however, left the outspoken Warnock drained and led to his remorseful resignation.  Vicki Hodges Sheffield Wednesday Dejphon Chansiri Credit: GETTY IMAGES Not exactly a vintage 20 years for Owls fans. Aside from nice guy Drew Talbot scoring in the playoff final v Hartlepool, moments of on-pitch joy have been extremely limited. The most significant individual has probably been Dejphon Chansiri, who has pumped a ton of money into the club. As a Thai tuna magnate, he’s not exactly the most reliable figure for fans, but if he continues to invest, who knows? Perhaps the club will one day dine again at English football’s captain's table. Alan Tyers Sunderland Niall Quinn Credit: ACTION IMAGES It would be tempting to select his strike partner Kevin Phillips, given he won the Golden Boot for the European football top goalscorer as Sunderland finished seventh in the Premier League, but it was Quinn who galvanised the supporters and allowed them to dream of becoming a major force again. He wrote in his autobiography: “I learned my trade at Arsenal, became a footballer at Manchester City, but Sunderland got under my skin. I love Sunderland."  Sunderland supporters still sing about his “disco pants” two decades later and his hard work and love for the club has become the benchmark for all Sunderland players since. Quinn also became club chairman in 2007 under the Drumaville Consortium before stepped down in 2012 after a falling out with new owner, Ellis Short. Luke Edwards Wolverhampton Wanderers Sir Jack Hayward Hayward celebrates a playoff final victory in 2003 with then-Wolves manager Dave Jones Credit: GETTY IMAGES There is only one choice for this award at Molineux and that man is ‘Mr Wolves’, Sir Jack Hayward. His popularity was such that thousands lined the streets for his funeral when he died aged 91 in January 2015, just recognition for having sunk £70m of his own money into the club between 1990 and 2007. On his watch Molineux was transformed and the South Bank stand is now named after him, while there are plans for a statue of Hayward outside the ground.  Julian Bennetts   Have we missed your personal favourite modern hero? Give us your nominations and why they deserve the status in the comments section below.

Modern heroes: Who has done most for your club in the last 20 years?

Some clubs' heroes from the past 20 years are obvious. They are the standout player who served with distinction for a decade, the trophy-winning manager, or the chairman who steadied the ship. For others it's a more difficult decision. Some are blessed with many candidates. Others, very few. Nevertheless we asked our writers a simple question: Which single person has had the greatest positive influence on their club since 1997? Here are their responses, for every club currently playing in the top two flights.  PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal Dennis Bergkamp Credit: ACTION IMAGES Arsene Wenger, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira could all lay claim to this accolade, but Dennis Bergkamp just shades it.  Bergkamp's arrival at Arsenal in 1995 heralded a new direction for the club, and he retired 11 years later with three Premier Leagues and four FA Cups to his name.  More than just winning titles though, Bergkamp was a joy in everything he did at Highbury. The vision, the exquisite technique, the spectacular goals - Bergkamp got the Arsenal fans not just off their seats but frequently shaking their heads in disbelief.  His team-mates were - and remain - similarly in awe, and if you want reminding of Bergkamp's genius, watch his superlative hat-trick against Leicester in 1997.  Charlie Eccleshare AFC Bournemouth Eddie Howe Credit: GETTY IMAGES Eddie Howe's association with Bournemouth remains the stuff of fairytale. Became manager in 2009 at the age of 31 when he somehow reversed a 17-point deficit to keep the club both in existence and in the Football League. Despite a transfer embargo, he then won the first of his promotions before leaving for a spell at Burnley. Upon his return in 2012, Bournemouth have been promoted twice, reached the top flight for the first time in their history, and finished ninth in the Premier League last season. His influence is felt at every level of the club. Jeremy Wilson Brighton and Hove Albion Dick Knight Credit: ALAMY Without current chairman Tony Bloom's money, Brighton's Amex Stadium and top-class training ground wouldn't have progressed beyond dreams, but Dick Knight deserves recognition as the club's spiritual saviour in the near-death years of the late 1990s. With extraordinary persistence, Knight fought battles with planners, politicians and pessimists to keep the supporters believing in salvation. An ad-man by trade, he sold the rebirth idea with a smile. Paul Hayward Burnley Sean Dyche Credit: ACTION IMAGES It simply has to be Sean Mark Dyche, the throat-sore "Ginger Mourinho" who got Burnley promoted to the Premier League not once but twice and is showing every sign of keeping them in the division the second time around. It takes a lot to get a team through the 46-game epic that is the Championship season but then to go back and do it a second time, harnessing all that is best about this famous Lancashire club, took guts and intelligence. A special mention also to the former chairman Barry Kilby, now the vice-chair. His investment of £3 million in January 1999, when he became the largest single shareholder, saved Burnley and helped lay the foundations for the club it is now. Sam Wallace Chelsea Roman Abramovich Credit: AP Chelsea were on the brink of financial crisis before Roman Abramovich transformed the club into a European superpower in 2003. The Blues were likely to default on a £75million loan, but, ironically, it was their perilous financial position that attracted Abramovich, who had also weighed up bids for Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. Chelsea were relatively easy to take over and within two years of buying the club, Abramovich had spent over £100million on new players. His spending has meant that in 14 years, Chelsea have won five Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League. Matt Law Crystal Palace Wilfried Zaha Credit: GETTY IMAGES Steve Parish and his consortium saved Crystal Palace from extinction, but Wilfried Zaha has breathed new life into the club since his debut in 2010.  South London born and bred, 'Wilf' is the talisman and poster boy for a club that prides itself on developing young talent from the local community. Player of the year for the last two seasons, no-one has beguiled, hypnotised and enthralled Palace fans more than the man about which they sing 'he's just too good for you'.  Callum Davis Everton David Moyes Credit: PA David Moyes has been the victim of historic revisionism in recent years. When he took over at Everton in 2002 the club had been consistently stuck in the bottom half of the table. Over 10 years he re-established a top six position and even broke into the top four. A guard of honour bid him farewell when he left for Manchester United. He was accused of not being ambitious enough – harsh given financial restraints he worked with. The circumstances around his departure (private meetings with Sir Alex Ferguson) have soured memories of his reign, but future generations will recognise his positive contribution.   Chris Bascombe Huddersfield Town Dean Hoyle Dean Hoyle meets his adoring public after Huddersfield won promotion to the Premier League Credit: REUTERS Every morning at 8am at 24 schools more than 1,000 children eat a healthy breakfast paid for by Huddersfield Town. The scheme is the brainchild of club chairman and owner Dean Hoyle, a lifelong fan who joined the board in 2008 and is full of forward thinking initiatives while he has transformed Huddersfield and taken them into the Premier League for the first time in their history. He offered £100 season tickets to long-standing fans if the club ever reached the top-flight and has been good to his word and the sight of him collapsing with joy after their Championship play-off win at Wembley, on penalties, was one of the images of last season. Jason Burt Leicester City Claudio Ranieri Credit: PA It can be only one man, after the most remarkable story of the past 35 years, since Nottingham Forest's European Cup triumphs. Ranieri guided a team built by Nigel Pearson to the Premier League title, utilising intuition and shrewd management, with a permanent glint in his eye. It all went awry the following season, and many will argue over whether Ranieri simply inherited an outstanding set-up, but his name will forever be etched into Leicester - and football - history. John Percy Liverpool Steven Gerrard Credit: PA If Steven Gerrard had not been born a Liverpool fan, the recent history of the club would look very different. He scored in the victorious Uefa Cup final, League Cup final, FA Cup final and, of course, the Champions League final. Managers Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez got the best from him, but as every club in Europe tried in vain to lure him from Anfield, Gerrard’s loyalty kept Liverpool competitive during an often tumultuous period off the pitch. Chris Bascombe Manchester City Sheikh Mansour Credit: AFP Okay, so the Arab billionaire did not buy City until 2008 but has anyone done more to entirely reshape the fortunes of the club over the past 20 years? The answer, of course, is no, and with Pep Guardiola having presided over the most electrifying start to a season yet, City could be on the brink of a new era of success after Premier League title triumphs in 2011/12 and 2013/14. The days of Jamie Pollock and former manager Stuart Pearce parading his daughter's treasured "Beanie horse" in the technical area are long gone. It is not just the team and club Sheikh Mansour's petro dollars have transformed either. East Manchester has been revitalised by his benevolence. James Ducker Manchester United Sir Alex Ferguson Credit: AP An obvious choice, yes, but the only choice. Some wondered if the man who masterminded United's unprecedented treble success of Premier League title, Champions League and FA Cup in 1998/99 had outstayed his welcome when United went three seasons without the championship between 2004 and 2006. But Ferguson reacted to the rise of Chelsea, bankrolled by Roman Abramovich's billions, and then later Sheikh Mansour's takeover of Manchester City in 2008, at a time when United's own purse strings were being tightened by the Glazers' controversial ownership, by presiding over the most successful period in United's history. Sir Alex Ferguson reveals the secrets of his success 03:31 As well as winning five Premier League titles between 2006 and his retirement in 2013, he also claimed a second Champions League crown with one of the most exciting sides in the club's era. James Ducker Newcastle United Alan Shearer Credit: ACTION IMAGES Turned down the chance to sign for Manchester United to return home to his beloved Newcastle in a then world record £15m move from Blackburn Rovers in 1996 when he was at the peak of his powers and could have signed for any club in the world. Carried the team on his shoulders for more than a decade, breaking Jackie Milburn’s goalscoring record in the process, eventually retiring with 206 goals in 404 games for the Magpies. The former England captain may not have won any trophies on Tyneside, but he earned something more important to him, the love and admiration of his own people. He is genuine when he says he has no regrets. Luke Edwards Southampton Markus Liebherr Credit: GETTY IMAGES The time-frame takes in a more peripheral phase of Matthew Le Tissier’s Southampton career. Other hugely influential players from his era were Jason Dodd and Francis Benali before the recent rise that was inspired by Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Jose Fonte. Yet underpinning everything was the 2009 takeover by Markus Liebherr that rescued the club. His executive chairman Nicola Costese played a huge but sometimes divisive role in pushing the team forward and changing the culture and, with Katharina Liebherr taking on a more visible role, the club have remained successful since his departure in 2014. Jeremy Wilson Stoke City Peter Coates Credit: PAUL COOPER After returning to buy the club in 2006, Peter Coates has presided over a glorious period in Stoke history. As chairman he masterminded the return of Tony Pulis, with promotion to the Premier League swiftly following, and has transformed the club from its squad to the training ground with his financial backing. His son John has also played a huge part in Stoke's progress but Coates Senior is probably the best chairman in the Premier League right now. His love for all things Stoke City can never be doubted. John Percy Swansea City Leon Britton Credit: GETTY IMAGES Roberto Martinez, Paulo Sousa and later Brendan Rodgers may have cultivated the idea of possession football in south Wales, but it was Leon Britton who brought the vision to life.  The London-born playmaker has been Swansea's beating beating heart in their journey through the ranks of the football league: from the bottom of the fourth tier to established Premier League outfit. His expert ball retention saw him become one of Europe's most unlikely pass-masters in the early part of this decade, with statistics regularly rivalling those of Xavi and other more glamorous names. His legacy will live on at the Liberty Stadium long after he eventually decides to retire. Callum Davis Tottenham Hotspur Mauricio Pochettino Credit: REX The influence of chairman Daniel Levy should not be understated, yet what Pochettino has done to change Spurs in just a few years is utterly remarkable. He has given the team a new identity, and has transformed consistently average players into very good ones while making his best players world-beaters. As a result, Spurs are now one of the most exciting teams on the planet. Most importantly, he has made Tottenham fans feel something they haven't for a very long time: optimism. For that they will be forever grateful. Alistair Tweedale Watford Gino Pozzo Credit: PA A common misconception outside of Watford is that the club somehow 'lost its identity' following the Pozzo family's takeover in 2012. But the Hornets were teetering on the brink of ruin under the contentious ownership of Laurence Bassini before the Italian job brought stability and success. The team are already an established Premier League presence with an exciting turnover of talented players. But Gino Pozzo's reign as owner is as much defined by the progress off the pitch; a vastly improved Vicarage Road and a commitment to community and heritage that has always been a part of Watford's fabric. Tom Hoggins West Bromwich Albion Kevin Phillips Credit: GETTY IMAGES For obvious reasons it can’t be Lee Hughes and the exemplary ‘Super Bob’ Taylor falls just outside this arbitrary time frame so it has to be Kevin Phillips who scored 46 goals over two seasons, firing the Baggies to the play-off final in 2007 and then promotion in 2008. The monotonous caution and conservatism of the Roy Hodgson and Tony Pulis regimes ignore one crucial thing. Safety and certainty, shunning risk and reward, anaesthetises the soul. But goals make the people happy and for two years Phillips made the Baggies boing once more. Rob Bagchi West Ham United Paolo Di Canio Credit: GETTY IMAGES Imagine you are playing one of those quick-fire answer games, where you have to respond to a question immediately, without giving it second thought, and you are asked: “What is the defining image of West Ham’s modern existence?” Paolo Di Canio’s volley against Wimbledon. Next. The flying scissor kick was the strike of a lifetime, and is surely the Premier League’s finest goal. And yet Di Canio was so much more than that. As well as the goals, it was the passion and the ego, the ups and the downs, the tattoos and the tears.  It was everything West Ham have lacked since they moved to the soulless London Stadium. How they must crave a player a player of his creativity and devotion now. Sam Dean CHAMPIONSHIP Aston Villa Stiliyan Petrov Credit: GETTY IMAGES Signed in 2006, Stiliyan Petrov quickly made himself a vital member of the Martin O’Neill squad that had Aston Villa challenging for Champions League qualification. He was voted the club’s Player of the Year in 2009, but three years later he was diagnosed with acute leukaemia. In tribute to Petrov, Villa fans clapped in the 19th minute of every home and away game to support the midfielder, who wore the number 19 shirt, in his battle against illness. In August 2012, it was announced Petrov’s leukaemia was in remission but he announced his retirement from the game just under a year later. Petrov has been described as an inspiration for the way he handled his illness and will forever be cherished by Villa supporters. Matt Law Barnsley Adam Hammill Credit: GETTY IMAGES There are slim pickings at a club that has had 17 permanent managers since 1997 and yo-yoed between English football's second and third tier. But few players can boast of scoring in a Wembley final, let alone two in the same season. That is why winger Adam Hammill is Barnsley's modern hero. The former Southampton player has had two spells at Oakwell, making 155 appearances, and things peaked in the 2015-16 season when Barnsley won the FA Trophy and League One play-off final at the national stadium with Hammill scoring in both.  Dan Zeqiri Birmingham City Barry Ferguson Credit: GETTY IMAGES Birmingham have never had a problem taking on troubled players looking to prove themselves, Barry Ferguson was no different. After leaving Rangers under a cloud of controversy following a drinking - and subsequent swearing - session on Scotland duty, City gave him the chance to prove himself at the highest level. His classy displays in anchoring the midfield helped achieve a ninth-placed Premier League finish and also secure a second major trophy. Ferguson played more than 70 minutes of that League Cup final with a broken rib, something that endeared him to Birmingham fans and left them yearning for somebody of his quality ever since. Chris Quinn Bolton Wanderers Jay-Jay Okocha Credit: PA Never before or since have Bolton had a superstar quite like Jay-Jay Okocha, whose four-year stay at the Reebok Stadium between 2002 and 2006 was even more magical than the club's supporters had dreamed of.  Okocha‘s beguiling flicks and tricks were so effortless, so natural, that at times he looked like a kid having a bit of fun in the school playground. Okocha was no show-pony however - he also provided a number of crucial goals and assists, and captained the side in a halcyon period when they reached the League Cup final and finished eighth in the Premier League.  As Bolton fans used to say, Okocha was "so good they named him twice." Charlie Eccleshare Brentford Matthew Benham Credit: EMPICS Brentford's modern hero? Beyond any question, owner Matthew Benham. The Brentford fan, and professional gambler, has saved the club from the scrapheap, pumped in £45million and is bankrolling a new stadium. (Warning: strong language) The team are playing their most exciting football in living memory, they are in with a real chance of going up, and these feel like the good times at Griffin Park. Even axing popular manager Mark Warburton could not cool the fans’ ardour: Bees are walking in a Benham wonderland. Alan Tyers Bristol City Gary Johnson Credit: PA After taking over as manager in 2005, Gary Johnson soon became a cult hero for City fans, who had endured a series of playoff heartbreaks in the early 2000s and were seemingly marooned in Division Two. After eight years of trying to reach the second tier of English football, City finally reached the Championship in 2007, two years into Johnson’s reign. Less than a year later, a second successive promotion was a genuine possibility as Johnson guided the side to the top of the Championship. They eventually finished fourth, their highest finish since 1980, but were thwarted in the play-off final by Hull City and 39-year-old Dean Windass. The club spiralled into decline following Johnson’s departure in 2010, and they were relegated back into League One in 2013. Now, though, they are back in the Championship and have started the season brightly under Lee Johnson, who just happens to be Gary’s son. Sam Dean Burton Albion Nigel Clough Credit: DAVE EVITTS In an 11-year spell as player-manager then manager between 1998 and 2009, Clough led Burton from the league below the Conference to the brink of promotion to the Football League. Has since returned to take them up into the Championship - their loftiest ever position - in his first season back. A club legend who has done more than anyone else to make Burton Albion a force in English football, for the first time in their history. Alistair Tweedale Cardiff City Neil Warnock Credit: PA With a nod to Andy Campbell, which scored the winning goal in the 2003 play-off final which ended the two-decade spell in the lower two divisions, it is difficult to know where Cardiff City would be had Neil Warnock not arrived last season to haul them from the bottom three. Would Vincent Tan had hung around and seemed so positive in League One? Would the club’s future appear more uncertain than ever? The answer to latter is a resounding yes, after two decades of controversial foreign ownership under first Sam Hammam and now the colour-swapping Malaysian. Instead, the club, riding high in the top three, has not felt so united for years. James Corrigan Derby County Peter Gadsby  Credit: ALAMY Derby's home Pride Park opened in 1997, and it still looks every inch a Premier League stadium. Derby's then lead director and property developer Peter Gadsby was the brains behind the operation, drawing up plans within 10 weeks and delivering the new ground for approximately £18 million.  As well as a state-of-the-art training ground at Moor Farm, Gadsby returned in 2006 to take control of the club after it had been misused by Jeremy Keith who was later convicted of fraud and false accounting. Despite many near-misses, Derby have failed to return to the top flight since their dismal 2007-8 campaign, but if they do they'll have Gadsby to thank for bequeathing them fantastic infrastructure.  Dan Zeqiri Fulham Roy Hodgson Credit: AP On Thursday 18 March, 2010, a Juventus team featuring Fabio Cannavaro and David Trezeguet, and with Alessandro Del Piero coming off the bench, came to Craven Cottage and were beaten 4-1 in the second leg of Europa League round of 16 tie, 5-4 on aggregate, having at one point led the tie 4-1. Because it is Fulham, most of the supporters are just too polite to make much of a fuss but the man in charge for their extraordinary drive to the Europa League final, Roy Hodgson, deserves for it to be mentioned much more often. Hodgson gave Fulham fans the season they will never forget. They had been to an FA Cup final in 1975 and won the Championship in 2001 but otherwise this is a club that Juventus fans would otherwise only know if they spotted the stadium from a Thames river cruise. Mohamed Al-Fayed put the money in, but it was ultimately Hodgson who sprinkled the magic. Which is not to say the football was much to watch. The results, however, were incredible.   Sam Wallace Hull City Dean Windass Credit: PA The club legend had three stints at Hull, his hometown club, after being released as a YTS trainee. The striker was given a second chance, scoring 57 league goals in 176 matches, before being sold to Aberdeen for £700,000 in 1995. And then a third chance as Windass returned, after a journeyman career, in January 2007. The rest, for Hull, is history with Windass scoring the only goal that took them into the Premier League, into the top-flight for the first time in their history, to beat Bristol City in the Championship play-offs in 2008. Windass hung up his boots aged 40, but not before he became Hull’s oldest ever goal-scorer, scoring in the Premier League at the grand old age of 39. Jason Burt Ipswich Town Matt Holland Credit: GETTY IMAGES Nicknamed Captain Marvel by George Burnley, the ever dependable Matt Holland only missed one league match in six years at Portman Road. Even then it wasn't injury which ended his 223 consecutive league appearances, but an international call-up. Always the last player to leave the pitch whatever the result home or away, family man Holland was the perfect fit for the Ipswich family.  A loyal servant, Holland rejected a move to Aston Villa when Ipswich were relegated having led them to a fifth-place finish the season before and narrowly missing out on a Champions League berth.  Vicki Hodges Leeds United Leeds Fans Remembrance Tributes to fans killed in Instanbul at the Billy Bremner statue  outside Elland Road Credit: ACTION IMAGES Twenty years of profligacy, penury and being exploited as a publicity vehicle by various blowhards - an era which may now, hopefully, have come to an end - Leeds supporters have no heroes but themselves and particularly Leeds Fans Remembrance, set up to honour the memories of Chris Loftus and Kevin Speight who were murdered in Istanbul in April 2000 on the eve of Leeds’ Uefa Cup semi-final tie. The pain endures because more than 17 years on justice has not been served on the killers. Nonetheless this inspirational campaign has raised thousands for Candlelighters, the Leeds’ cancer charity, and helped to build a play pavilion for the children’s cancer ward at Leeds General Infirmary. Rob Bagchi Middlesbrough Juninho Juninho gives Newcastle's Philippe Albert a telling off Credit: GETTY IMAGES The thought of a Brazil international signing for a club like Middlesbrough would have been fanciful before the creation of the Premier League, but Juninho did, arriving from Sao Paulo in 1995. He actually left in 1997, following the club’s relegation to from the top flight, but made an emotional return two years later on loan before signing another permanent deal to play for the Teesside club in 2002.  He fell in love with the club and the club fell in love with him. Widely regarded as Boro’s best player of the modern era he brought skill, flair but also sweat to the cause. He was so revered, the club even renamed the Cheeseburgers sold inside the stadium “The Juninho.” Luke Edwards Millwall Neil Harris Harris (right) with Tim Cahill en route to the FA Cup final in 2004 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Former striker and current manager has done enough in three spells in Bermondsey to fill several Roy of the Rovers annuals.  Arrived at the club in 1998 and was the top scorer in any English league during the 2000/01 season before being diagnosed with testicular cancer. Recovered to lead his team to Wembley for a scarecly believable FA Cup final appearance in 2004. In his second spell at The Den, Harris became Millwall's all-time leading goalscorer and has since steered his club back to the second tier as their manager. What more could you possibly ask for? Thom Gibbs Norwich City Delia Smith Credit: PA It’s not all been plain sailing under Delia Smith’s stewardship but without her Norwich could be in a far stickier position than they currently find themselves. Without the financial support of Smith and her husband, Michael Wynn-Jones, administration would have been a real possibility. Instead there have been three separate stints in the Premier League, with four promotions and as many relegations since 2003. Smith is a fan first and foremost, and although her future position is unclear she has acted as a custodian of the club, doing so very much for the right reasons. Julian Bennetts Nottingham Forest Chris Cohen Credit: ACTION IMAGES There has been 20 years of underachievement, false dawns, questionable ownership and 17 managers, since Forest's relegation from the top flight in 1999. Hope for the future is there, after the takeover by Evangelos Marinakis and the tangible progress under Mark Warburton, but the one constant during recent turmoil has been Chris Cohen. The midfielder has suffered three serious knee injuries but returned through resilience and determination, a player to be highly admired for his loyalty. John Percy Preston North End Sean Gregan Credit: ALAMY If you can look back at your career in the knowledge that you were given the nickname of ‘God’, you can be sure that you have done something right. That’s certainly the case for Preston legend Sean Gregan, who was twice named the club’s official player of the year and was the heartbeat of the impressive side which came so close to reaching the Premier League under David Moyes. Having joined the club from Darlington in 1996, Gregan went on to captain the side to the old Second Division title in 2000, before helping Preston to the First Division play-off final the following season, when they lost to Bolton Wanderers. Sam Dean Queens Park Rangers Ian Holloway Credit: ACTION IMAGES QPR's best players in the past 20 years only sparkled briefly. Paul Furlong, Lee Cook, Adel Taarabt, Charlie Austin and Bobby Zamora all shone, but not for long. About six seconds at Wembley in 2014 in Zamora's case. None eclipse Ian Holloway's body of work at Loftus Road. He arrived at the club in 2001 with relegation to the third tier beckoning. It couldn't be avoided, and the following summer Holloway was left with just six senior professionals before QPR's Division 2 campaign. With astute signings and sheer force of his "unconventional" personality, Holloway galvanised his side and eventually the entire club. Promotion back to the second tier in 2004 was his crowning glory. Now back in W12, again in challenging circumstances and looks unlikely to repeat the trick. But no QPR fan will ever regard Hollway as less than heroic. Thom Gibbs Reading Graeme Murty Credit: PA Reading's all-conquering 2005/2006 campaign in the Championship was backed up by finishing seventh in the Premier League the following season, and it's impossible to look past captain Graeme Murty's role in the club's rise over that period. Murty in total made over 300 appearances for the Royals in a stellar 11-year career between 1998 and 2009. His match-winning penalty against QPR - just his second goal for the club - clinched the record for the most points in a Championship season with 106. Ben Coles Sheffield United Neil Warnock Credit: PA The obdurate Yorkshireman oversaw United's most successful period in recent history by leading the club to the semi-finals of the FA and League Cups in 2003 and promotion to the Premier League in 2006. He was largely responsible too for the building of United's academy from scratch, one which produced Kyle Walker and Phil Jagielka among others. A passionate and effervescent character, the Blades' controversial relegation a season later, however, left the outspoken Warnock drained and led to his remorseful resignation.  Vicki Hodges Sheffield Wednesday Dejphon Chansiri Credit: GETTY IMAGES Not exactly a vintage 20 years for Owls fans. Aside from nice guy Drew Talbot scoring in the playoff final v Hartlepool, moments of on-pitch joy have been extremely limited. The most significant individual has probably been Dejphon Chansiri, who has pumped a ton of money into the club. As a Thai tuna magnate, he’s not exactly the most reliable figure for fans, but if he continues to invest, who knows? Perhaps the club will one day dine again at English football’s captain's table. Alan Tyers Sunderland Niall Quinn Credit: ACTION IMAGES It would be tempting to select his strike partner Kevin Phillips, given he won the Golden Boot for the European football top goalscorer as Sunderland finished seventh in the Premier League, but it was Quinn who galvanised the supporters and allowed them to dream of becoming a major force again. He wrote in his autobiography: “I learned my trade at Arsenal, became a footballer at Manchester City, but Sunderland got under my skin. I love Sunderland."  Sunderland supporters still sing about his “disco pants” two decades later and his hard work and love for the club has become the benchmark for all Sunderland players since. Quinn also became club chairman in 2007 under the Drumaville Consortium before stepped down in 2012 after a falling out with new owner, Ellis Short. Luke Edwards Wolverhampton Wanderers Sir Jack Hayward Hayward celebrates a playoff final victory in 2003 with then-Wolves manager Dave Jones Credit: GETTY IMAGES There is only one choice for this award at Molineux and that man is ‘Mr Wolves’, Sir Jack Hayward. His popularity was such that thousands lined the streets for his funeral when he died aged 91 in January 2015, just recognition for having sunk £70m of his own money into the club between 1990 and 2007. On his watch Molineux was transformed and the South Bank stand is now named after him, while there are plans for a statue of Hayward outside the ground.  Julian Bennetts   Have we missed your personal favourite modern hero? Give us your nominations and why they deserve the status in the comments section below.

Modern heroes: Who has done most for your club in the last 20 years?

Some clubs' heroes from the past 20 years are obvious. They are the standout player who served with distinction for a decade, the trophy-winning manager, or the chairman who steadied the ship. For others it's a more difficult decision. Some are blessed with many candidates. Others, very few. Nevertheless we asked our writers a simple question: Which single person has had the greatest positive influence on their club since 1997? Here are their responses, for every club currently playing in the top two flights.  PREMIER LEAGUE Arsenal Dennis Bergkamp Credit: ACTION IMAGES Arsene Wenger, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira could all lay claim to this accolade, but Dennis Bergkamp just shades it.  Bergkamp's arrival at Arsenal in 1995 heralded a new direction for the club, and he retired 11 years later with three Premier Leagues and four FA Cups to his name.  More than just winning titles though, Bergkamp was a joy in everything he did at Highbury. The vision, the exquisite technique, the spectacular goals - Bergkamp got the Arsenal fans not just off their seats but frequently shaking their heads in disbelief.  His team-mates were - and remain - similarly in awe, and if you want reminding of Bergkamp's genius, watch his superlative hat-trick against Leicester in 1997.  Charlie Eccleshare AFC Bournemouth Eddie Howe Credit: GETTY IMAGES Eddie Howe's association with Bournemouth remains the stuff of fairytale. Became manager in 2009 at the age of 31 when he somehow reversed a 17-point deficit to keep the club both in existence and in the Football League. Despite a transfer embargo, he then won the first of his promotions before leaving for a spell at Burnley. Upon his return in 2012, Bournemouth have been promoted twice, reached the top flight for the first time in their history, and finished ninth in the Premier League last season. His influence is felt at every level of the club. Jeremy Wilson Brighton and Hove Albion Dick Knight Credit: ALAMY Without current chairman Tony Bloom's money, Brighton's Amex Stadium and top-class training ground wouldn't have progressed beyond dreams, but Dick Knight deserves recognition as the club's spiritual saviour in the near-death years of the late 1990s. With extraordinary persistence, Knight fought battles with planners, politicians and pessimists to keep the supporters believing in salvation. An ad-man by trade, he sold the rebirth idea with a smile. Paul Hayward Burnley Sean Dyche Credit: ACTION IMAGES It simply has to be Sean Mark Dyche, the throat-sore "Ginger Mourinho" who got Burnley promoted to the Premier League not once but twice and is showing every sign of keeping them in the division the second time around. It takes a lot to get a team through the 46-game epic that is the Championship season but then to go back and do it a second time, harnessing all that is best about this famous Lancashire club, took guts and intelligence. A special mention also to the former chairman Barry Kilby, now the vice-chair. His investment of £3 million in January 1999, when he became the largest single shareholder, saved Burnley and helped lay the foundations for the club it is now. Sam Wallace Chelsea Roman Abramovich Credit: AP Chelsea were on the brink of financial crisis before Roman Abramovich transformed the club into a European superpower in 2003. The Blues were likely to default on a £75million loan, but, ironically, it was their perilous financial position that attracted Abramovich, who had also weighed up bids for Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. Chelsea were relatively easy to take over and within two years of buying the club, Abramovich had spent over £100million on new players. His spending has meant that in 14 years, Chelsea have won five Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, the Europa League and the Champions League. Matt Law Crystal Palace Wilfried Zaha Credit: GETTY IMAGES Steve Parish and his consortium saved Crystal Palace from extinction, but Wilfried Zaha has breathed new life into the club since his debut in 2010.  South London born and bred, 'Wilf' is the talisman and poster boy for a club that prides itself on developing young talent from the local community. Player of the year for the last two seasons, no-one has beguiled, hypnotised and enthralled Palace fans more than the man about which they sing 'he's just too good for you'.  Callum Davis Everton David Moyes Credit: PA David Moyes has been the victim of historic revisionism in recent years. When he took over at Everton in 2002 the club had been consistently stuck in the bottom half of the table. Over 10 years he re-established a top six position and even broke into the top four. A guard of honour bid him farewell when he left for Manchester United. He was accused of not being ambitious enough – harsh given financial restraints he worked with. The circumstances around his departure (private meetings with Sir Alex Ferguson) have soured memories of his reign, but future generations will recognise his positive contribution.   Chris Bascombe Huddersfield Town Dean Hoyle Dean Hoyle meets his adoring public after Huddersfield won promotion to the Premier League Credit: REUTERS Every morning at 8am at 24 schools more than 1,000 children eat a healthy breakfast paid for by Huddersfield Town. The scheme is the brainchild of club chairman and owner Dean Hoyle, a lifelong fan who joined the board in 2008 and is full of forward thinking initiatives while he has transformed Huddersfield and taken them into the Premier League for the first time in their history. He offered £100 season tickets to long-standing fans if the club ever reached the top-flight and has been good to his word and the sight of him collapsing with joy after their Championship play-off win at Wembley, on penalties, was one of the images of last season. Jason Burt Leicester City Claudio Ranieri Credit: PA It can be only one man, after the most remarkable story of the past 35 years, since Nottingham Forest's European Cup triumphs. Ranieri guided a team built by Nigel Pearson to the Premier League title, utilising intuition and shrewd management, with a permanent glint in his eye. It all went awry the following season, and many will argue over whether Ranieri simply inherited an outstanding set-up, but his name will forever be etched into Leicester - and football - history. John Percy Liverpool Steven Gerrard Credit: PA If Steven Gerrard had not been born a Liverpool fan, the recent history of the club would look very different. He scored in the victorious Uefa Cup final, League Cup final, FA Cup final and, of course, the Champions League final. Managers Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez got the best from him, but as every club in Europe tried in vain to lure him from Anfield, Gerrard’s loyalty kept Liverpool competitive during an often tumultuous period off the pitch. Chris Bascombe Manchester City Sheikh Mansour Credit: AFP Okay, so the Arab billionaire did not buy City until 2008 but has anyone done more to entirely reshape the fortunes of the club over the past 20 years? The answer, of course, is no, and with Pep Guardiola having presided over the most electrifying start to a season yet, City could be on the brink of a new era of success after Premier League title triumphs in 2011/12 and 2013/14. The days of Jamie Pollock and former manager Stuart Pearce parading his daughter's treasured "Beanie horse" in the technical area are long gone. It is not just the team and club Sheikh Mansour's petro dollars have transformed either. East Manchester has been revitalised by his benevolence. James Ducker Manchester United Sir Alex Ferguson Credit: AP An obvious choice, yes, but the only choice. Some wondered if the man who masterminded United's unprecedented treble success of Premier League title, Champions League and FA Cup in 1998/99 had outstayed his welcome when United went three seasons without the championship between 2004 and 2006. But Ferguson reacted to the rise of Chelsea, bankrolled by Roman Abramovich's billions, and then later Sheikh Mansour's takeover of Manchester City in 2008, at a time when United's own purse strings were being tightened by the Glazers' controversial ownership, by presiding over the most successful period in United's history. Sir Alex Ferguson reveals the secrets of his success 03:31 As well as winning five Premier League titles between 2006 and his retirement in 2013, he also claimed a second Champions League crown with one of the most exciting sides in the club's era. James Ducker Newcastle United Alan Shearer Credit: ACTION IMAGES Turned down the chance to sign for Manchester United to return home to his beloved Newcastle in a then world record £15m move from Blackburn Rovers in 1996 when he was at the peak of his powers and could have signed for any club in the world. Carried the team on his shoulders for more than a decade, breaking Jackie Milburn’s goalscoring record in the process, eventually retiring with 206 goals in 404 games for the Magpies. The former England captain may not have won any trophies on Tyneside, but he earned something more important to him, the love and admiration of his own people. He is genuine when he says he has no regrets. Luke Edwards Southampton Markus Liebherr Credit: GETTY IMAGES The time-frame takes in a more peripheral phase of Matthew Le Tissier’s Southampton career. Other hugely influential players from his era were Jason Dodd and Francis Benali before the recent rise that was inspired by Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Jose Fonte. Yet underpinning everything was the 2009 takeover by Markus Liebherr that rescued the club. His executive chairman Nicola Costese played a huge but sometimes divisive role in pushing the team forward and changing the culture and, with Katharina Liebherr taking on a more visible role, the club have remained successful since his departure in 2014. Jeremy Wilson Stoke City Peter Coates Credit: PAUL COOPER After returning to buy the club in 2006, Peter Coates has presided over a glorious period in Stoke history. As chairman he masterminded the return of Tony Pulis, with promotion to the Premier League swiftly following, and has transformed the club from its squad to the training ground with his financial backing. His son John has also played a huge part in Stoke's progress but Coates Senior is probably the best chairman in the Premier League right now. His love for all things Stoke City can never be doubted. John Percy Swansea City Leon Britton Credit: GETTY IMAGES Roberto Martinez, Paulo Sousa and later Brendan Rodgers may have cultivated the idea of possession football in south Wales, but it was Leon Britton who brought the vision to life.  The London-born playmaker has been Swansea's beating beating heart in their journey through the ranks of the football league: from the bottom of the fourth tier to established Premier League outfit. His expert ball retention saw him become one of Europe's most unlikely pass-masters in the early part of this decade, with statistics regularly rivalling those of Xavi and other more glamorous names. His legacy will live on at the Liberty Stadium long after he eventually decides to retire. Callum Davis Tottenham Hotspur Mauricio Pochettino Credit: REX The influence of chairman Daniel Levy should not be understated, yet what Pochettino has done to change Spurs in just a few years is utterly remarkable. He has given the team a new identity, and has transformed consistently average players into very good ones while making his best players world-beaters. As a result, Spurs are now one of the most exciting teams on the planet. Most importantly, he has made Tottenham fans feel something they haven't for a very long time: optimism. For that they will be forever grateful. Alistair Tweedale Watford Gino Pozzo Credit: PA A common misconception outside of Watford is that the club somehow 'lost its identity' following the Pozzo family's takeover in 2012. But the Hornets were teetering on the brink of ruin under the contentious ownership of Laurence Bassini before the Italian job brought stability and success. The team are already an established Premier League presence with an exciting turnover of talented players. But Gino Pozzo's reign as owner is as much defined by the progress off the pitch; a vastly improved Vicarage Road and a commitment to community and heritage that has always been a part of Watford's fabric. Tom Hoggins West Bromwich Albion Kevin Phillips Credit: GETTY IMAGES For obvious reasons it can’t be Lee Hughes and the exemplary ‘Super Bob’ Taylor falls just outside this arbitrary time frame so it has to be Kevin Phillips who scored 46 goals over two seasons, firing the Baggies to the play-off final in 2007 and then promotion in 2008. The monotonous caution and conservatism of the Roy Hodgson and Tony Pulis regimes ignore one crucial thing. Safety and certainty, shunning risk and reward, anaesthetises the soul. But goals make the people happy and for two years Phillips made the Baggies boing once more. Rob Bagchi West Ham United Paolo Di Canio Credit: GETTY IMAGES Imagine you are playing one of those quick-fire answer games, where you have to respond to a question immediately, without giving it second thought, and you are asked: “What is the defining image of West Ham’s modern existence?” Paolo Di Canio’s volley against Wimbledon. Next. The flying scissor kick was the strike of a lifetime, and is surely the Premier League’s finest goal. And yet Di Canio was so much more than that. As well as the goals, it was the passion and the ego, the ups and the downs, the tattoos and the tears.  It was everything West Ham have lacked since they moved to the soulless London Stadium. How they must crave a player a player of his creativity and devotion now. Sam Dean CHAMPIONSHIP Aston Villa Stiliyan Petrov Credit: GETTY IMAGES Signed in 2006, Stiliyan Petrov quickly made himself a vital member of the Martin O’Neill squad that had Aston Villa challenging for Champions League qualification. He was voted the club’s Player of the Year in 2009, but three years later he was diagnosed with acute leukaemia. In tribute to Petrov, Villa fans clapped in the 19th minute of every home and away game to support the midfielder, who wore the number 19 shirt, in his battle against illness. In August 2012, it was announced Petrov’s leukaemia was in remission but he announced his retirement from the game just under a year later. Petrov has been described as an inspiration for the way he handled his illness and will forever be cherished by Villa supporters. Matt Law Barnsley Adam Hammill Credit: GETTY IMAGES There are slim pickings at a club that has had 17 permanent managers since 1997 and yo-yoed between English football's second and third tier. But few players can boast of scoring in a Wembley final, let alone two in the same season. That is why winger Adam Hammill is Barnsley's modern hero. The former Southampton player has had two spells at Oakwell, making 155 appearances, and things peaked in the 2015-16 season when Barnsley won the FA Trophy and League One play-off final at the national stadium with Hammill scoring in both.  Dan Zeqiri Birmingham City Barry Ferguson Credit: GETTY IMAGES Birmingham have never had a problem taking on troubled players looking to prove themselves, Barry Ferguson was no different. After leaving Rangers under a cloud of controversy following a drinking - and subsequent swearing - session on Scotland duty, City gave him the chance to prove himself at the highest level. His classy displays in anchoring the midfield helped achieve a ninth-placed Premier League finish and also secure a second major trophy. Ferguson played more than 70 minutes of that League Cup final with a broken rib, something that endeared him to Birmingham fans and left them yearning for somebody of his quality ever since. Chris Quinn Bolton Wanderers Jay-Jay Okocha Credit: PA Never before or since have Bolton had a superstar quite like Jay-Jay Okocha, whose four-year stay at the Reebok Stadium between 2002 and 2006 was even more magical than the club's supporters had dreamed of.  Okocha‘s beguiling flicks and tricks were so effortless, so natural, that at times he looked like a kid having a bit of fun in the school playground. Okocha was no show-pony however - he also provided a number of crucial goals and assists, and captained the side in a halcyon period when they reached the League Cup final and finished eighth in the Premier League.  As Bolton fans used to say, Okocha was "so good they named him twice." Charlie Eccleshare Brentford Matthew Benham Credit: EMPICS Brentford's modern hero? Beyond any question, owner Matthew Benham. The Brentford fan, and professional gambler, has saved the club from the scrapheap, pumped in £45million and is bankrolling a new stadium. (Warning: strong language) The team are playing their most exciting football in living memory, they are in with a real chance of going up, and these feel like the good times at Griffin Park. Even axing popular manager Mark Warburton could not cool the fans’ ardour: Bees are walking in a Benham wonderland. Alan Tyers Bristol City Gary Johnson Credit: PA After taking over as manager in 2005, Gary Johnson soon became a cult hero for City fans, who had endured a series of playoff heartbreaks in the early 2000s and were seemingly marooned in Division Two. After eight years of trying to reach the second tier of English football, City finally reached the Championship in 2007, two years into Johnson’s reign. Less than a year later, a second successive promotion was a genuine possibility as Johnson guided the side to the top of the Championship. They eventually finished fourth, their highest finish since 1980, but were thwarted in the play-off final by Hull City and 39-year-old Dean Windass. The club spiralled into decline following Johnson’s departure in 2010, and they were relegated back into League One in 2013. Now, though, they are back in the Championship and have started the season brightly under Lee Johnson, who just happens to be Gary’s son. Sam Dean Burton Albion Nigel Clough Credit: DAVE EVITTS In an 11-year spell as player-manager then manager between 1998 and 2009, Clough led Burton from the league below the Conference to the brink of promotion to the Football League. Has since returned to take them up into the Championship - their loftiest ever position - in his first season back. A club legend who has done more than anyone else to make Burton Albion a force in English football, for the first time in their history. Alistair Tweedale Cardiff City Neil Warnock Credit: PA With a nod to Andy Campbell, which scored the winning goal in the 2003 play-off final which ended the two-decade spell in the lower two divisions, it is difficult to know where Cardiff City would be had Neil Warnock not arrived last season to haul them from the bottom three. Would Vincent Tan had hung around and seemed so positive in League One? Would the club’s future appear more uncertain than ever? The answer to latter is a resounding yes, after two decades of controversial foreign ownership under first Sam Hammam and now the colour-swapping Malaysian. Instead, the club, riding high in the top three, has not felt so united for years. James Corrigan Derby County Peter Gadsby  Credit: ALAMY Derby's home Pride Park opened in 1997, and it still looks every inch a Premier League stadium. Derby's then lead director and property developer Peter Gadsby was the brains behind the operation, drawing up plans within 10 weeks and delivering the new ground for approximately £18 million.  As well as a state-of-the-art training ground at Moor Farm, Gadsby returned in 2006 to take control of the club after it had been misused by Jeremy Keith who was later convicted of fraud and false accounting. Despite many near-misses, Derby have failed to return to the top flight since their dismal 2007-8 campaign, but if they do they'll have Gadsby to thank for bequeathing them fantastic infrastructure.  Dan Zeqiri Fulham Roy Hodgson Credit: AP On Thursday 18 March, 2010, a Juventus team featuring Fabio Cannavaro and David Trezeguet, and with Alessandro Del Piero coming off the bench, came to Craven Cottage and were beaten 4-1 in the second leg of Europa League round of 16 tie, 5-4 on aggregate, having at one point led the tie 4-1. Because it is Fulham, most of the supporters are just too polite to make much of a fuss but the man in charge for their extraordinary drive to the Europa League final, Roy Hodgson, deserves for it to be mentioned much more often. Hodgson gave Fulham fans the season they will never forget. They had been to an FA Cup final in 1975 and won the Championship in 2001 but otherwise this is a club that Juventus fans would otherwise only know if they spotted the stadium from a Thames river cruise. Mohamed Al-Fayed put the money in, but it was ultimately Hodgson who sprinkled the magic. Which is not to say the football was much to watch. The results, however, were incredible.   Sam Wallace Hull City Dean Windass Credit: PA The club legend had three stints at Hull, his hometown club, after being released as a YTS trainee. The striker was given a second chance, scoring 57 league goals in 176 matches, before being sold to Aberdeen for £700,000 in 1995. And then a third chance as Windass returned, after a journeyman career, in January 2007. The rest, for Hull, is history with Windass scoring the only goal that took them into the Premier League, into the top-flight for the first time in their history, to beat Bristol City in the Championship play-offs in 2008. Windass hung up his boots aged 40, but not before he became Hull’s oldest ever goal-scorer, scoring in the Premier League at the grand old age of 39. Jason Burt Ipswich Town Matt Holland Credit: GETTY IMAGES Nicknamed Captain Marvel by George Burnley, the ever dependable Matt Holland only missed one league match in six years at Portman Road. Even then it wasn't injury which ended his 223 consecutive league appearances, but an international call-up. Always the last player to leave the pitch whatever the result home or away, family man Holland was the perfect fit for the Ipswich family.  A loyal servant, Holland rejected a move to Aston Villa when Ipswich were relegated having led them to a fifth-place finish the season before and narrowly missing out on a Champions League berth.  Vicki Hodges Leeds United Leeds Fans Remembrance Tributes to fans killed in Instanbul at the Billy Bremner statue  outside Elland Road Credit: ACTION IMAGES Twenty years of profligacy, penury and being exploited as a publicity vehicle by various blowhards - an era which may now, hopefully, have come to an end - Leeds supporters have no heroes but themselves and particularly Leeds Fans Remembrance, set up to honour the memories of Chris Loftus and Kevin Speight who were murdered in Istanbul in April 2000 on the eve of Leeds’ Uefa Cup semi-final tie. The pain endures because more than 17 years on justice has not been served on the killers. Nonetheless this inspirational campaign has raised thousands for Candlelighters, the Leeds’ cancer charity, and helped to build a play pavilion for the children’s cancer ward at Leeds General Infirmary. Rob Bagchi Middlesbrough Juninho Juninho gives Newcastle's Philippe Albert a telling off Credit: GETTY IMAGES The thought of a Brazil international signing for a club like Middlesbrough would have been fanciful before the creation of the Premier League, but Juninho did, arriving from Sao Paulo in 1995. He actually left in 1997, following the club’s relegation to from the top flight, but made an emotional return two years later on loan before signing another permanent deal to play for the Teesside club in 2002.  He fell in love with the club and the club fell in love with him. Widely regarded as Boro’s best player of the modern era he brought skill, flair but also sweat to the cause. He was so revered, the club even renamed the Cheeseburgers sold inside the stadium “The Juninho.” Luke Edwards Millwall Neil Harris Harris (right) with Tim Cahill en route to the FA Cup final in 2004 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Former striker and current manager has done enough in three spells in Bermondsey to fill several Roy of the Rovers annuals.  Arrived at the club in 1998 and was the top scorer in any English league during the 2000/01 season before being diagnosed with testicular cancer. Recovered to lead his team to Wembley for a scarecly believable FA Cup final appearance in 2004. In his second spell at The Den, Harris became Millwall's all-time leading goalscorer and has since steered his club back to the second tier as their manager. What more could you possibly ask for? Thom Gibbs Norwich City Delia Smith Credit: PA It’s not all been plain sailing under Delia Smith’s stewardship but without her Norwich could be in a far stickier position than they currently find themselves. Without the financial support of Smith and her husband, Michael Wynn-Jones, administration would have been a real possibility. Instead there have been three separate stints in the Premier League, with four promotions and as many relegations since 2003. Smith is a fan first and foremost, and although her future position is unclear she has acted as a custodian of the club, doing so very much for the right reasons. Julian Bennetts Nottingham Forest Chris Cohen Credit: ACTION IMAGES There has been 20 years of underachievement, false dawns, questionable ownership and 17 managers, since Forest's relegation from the top flight in 1999. Hope for the future is there, after the takeover by Evangelos Marinakis and the tangible progress under Mark Warburton, but the one constant during recent turmoil has been Chris Cohen. The midfielder has suffered three serious knee injuries but returned through resilience and determination, a player to be highly admired for his loyalty. John Percy Preston North End Sean Gregan Credit: ALAMY If you can look back at your career in the knowledge that you were given the nickname of ‘God’, you can be sure that you have done something right. That’s certainly the case for Preston legend Sean Gregan, who was twice named the club’s official player of the year and was the heartbeat of the impressive side which came so close to reaching the Premier League under David Moyes. Having joined the club from Darlington in 1996, Gregan went on to captain the side to the old Second Division title in 2000, before helping Preston to the First Division play-off final the following season, when they lost to Bolton Wanderers. Sam Dean Queens Park Rangers Ian Holloway Credit: ACTION IMAGES QPR's best players in the past 20 years only sparkled briefly. Paul Furlong, Lee Cook, Adel Taarabt, Charlie Austin and Bobby Zamora all shone, but not for long. About six seconds at Wembley in 2014 in Zamora's case. None eclipse Ian Holloway's body of work at Loftus Road. He arrived at the club in 2001 with relegation to the third tier beckoning. It couldn't be avoided, and the following summer Holloway was left with just six senior professionals before QPR's Division 2 campaign. With astute signings and sheer force of his "unconventional" personality, Holloway galvanised his side and eventually the entire club. Promotion back to the second tier in 2004 was his crowning glory. Now back in W12, again in challenging circumstances and looks unlikely to repeat the trick. But no QPR fan will ever regard Hollway as less than heroic. Thom Gibbs Reading Graeme Murty Credit: PA Reading's all-conquering 2005/2006 campaign in the Championship was backed up by finishing seventh in the Premier League the following season, and it's impossible to look past captain Graeme Murty's role in the club's rise over that period. Murty in total made over 300 appearances for the Royals in a stellar 11-year career between 1998 and 2009. His match-winning penalty against QPR - just his second goal for the club - clinched the record for the most points in a Championship season with 106. Ben Coles Sheffield United Neil Warnock Credit: PA The obdurate Yorkshireman oversaw United's most successful period in recent history by leading the club to the semi-finals of the FA and League Cups in 2003 and promotion to the Premier League in 2006. He was largely responsible too for the building of United's academy from scratch, one which produced Kyle Walker and Phil Jagielka among others. A passionate and effervescent character, the Blades' controversial relegation a season later, however, left the outspoken Warnock drained and led to his remorseful resignation.  Vicki Hodges Sheffield Wednesday Dejphon Chansiri Credit: GETTY IMAGES Not exactly a vintage 20 years for Owls fans. Aside from nice guy Drew Talbot scoring in the playoff final v Hartlepool, moments of on-pitch joy have been extremely limited. The most significant individual has probably been Dejphon Chansiri, who has pumped a ton of money into the club. As a Thai tuna magnate, he’s not exactly the most reliable figure for fans, but if he continues to invest, who knows? Perhaps the club will one day dine again at English football’s captain's table. Alan Tyers Sunderland Niall Quinn Credit: ACTION IMAGES It would be tempting to select his strike partner Kevin Phillips, given he won the Golden Boot for the European football top goalscorer as Sunderland finished seventh in the Premier League, but it was Quinn who galvanised the supporters and allowed them to dream of becoming a major force again. He wrote in his autobiography: “I learned my trade at Arsenal, became a footballer at Manchester City, but Sunderland got under my skin. I love Sunderland."  Sunderland supporters still sing about his “disco pants” two decades later and his hard work and love for the club has become the benchmark for all Sunderland players since. Quinn also became club chairman in 2007 under the Drumaville Consortium before stepped down in 2012 after a falling out with new owner, Ellis Short. Luke Edwards Wolverhampton Wanderers Sir Jack Hayward Hayward celebrates a playoff final victory in 2003 with then-Wolves manager Dave Jones Credit: GETTY IMAGES There is only one choice for this award at Molineux and that man is ‘Mr Wolves’, Sir Jack Hayward. His popularity was such that thousands lined the streets for his funeral when he died aged 91 in January 2015, just recognition for having sunk £70m of his own money into the club between 1990 and 2007. On his watch Molineux was transformed and the South Bank stand is now named after him, while there are plans for a statue of Hayward outside the ground.  Julian Bennetts   Have we missed your personal favourite modern hero? Give us your nominations and why they deserve the status in the comments section below.

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