The Netherlands continued their march toward Euro 2024 with a 2-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland. Michael Bell provides his player ratings for the match.

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Mark Flekken 5/10: The game was only a minute old when Flekken made the first mistake with his feet. Then he couldn’t save the penalty that came from the corner. A nervy performance from the goalkeeper who didn’t have saves to make but looked shaky with the ball at his feet.

Denzel Dumfries 8/10: Once again they key man for Oranje in attack, Dumfries won the penalty and then set up the winning goal. He is a weapon in both a 5-3-2 and 4-3-3.

Daley Blind 4.5/10: A really poor first half from Blind, who struggled with the intensity of the Irish forwards before being substituted at the break. He was easily run past a number of times which proves he doesn’t have the legs to play as a left wing-back anymore.

Nathan Ake 6.5/10: Out of the three centre-backs, Ake had the best first half but even he made a mistake at one point. He was more reliable after the break on the left-hand side of defence.

Virgil van Dijk 5/10: Gave away the penalty early on and was trumped a couple of times by the Irish striker. Does not look as unbeatable and reliable as he once did in Oranje. This was Van Dijk showing his club form.

Matthijs de Ligt 5/10: Heavily criticised by the pundits in the Netherlands for his first-half performance. De Ligt did give the ball away a number of times, but there was an improvement after the break.

Mats Wieffer 4.5/10: Given the chance to play alongside De Jong, Wieffer had a first half to forget. He gave away the ball and got himself a yellow card which meant he could no longer press and tackle his opponents. Was deservedly substituted.

Frenkie de Jong 7.5/10: Initially struggled in the midfield as he was closely marked but in the second half, he shone. His pass for the winning goal to Dumfries was sublime and he conducted the midfield. A strong showing from him in this international period.

Xavi Simons 5/10: Simons got a lot of space to move with the ball, especially in the second half but the decision-making was poor. A couple of counterattacks were killed because Simons lost the ball or failed to pick a pass.

Cody Gakpo 7/10: An excellent pass to Dumfries won the penalty and then he stepped up to score it. Gakpo drove with the ball at times and played well.

Donyell Malen 6/10: Was preferred to Weghorst through the middle and got two chances in on goal but his finishing was poor both times. He got into some good areas but lacked the final product. It was frustrating that he could not take on his man in the second half when on the wing.


Wout Weghorst 7.5/10: Was frustrated not to start the game but added some much-needed energy and got the winning goal. Another fine showing from him in Oranje and he is a good option for Koeman to have.

Tijjani Reijnders 7/10: Came on for Wieffer and improved the midfield. He looked more comfortable on the ball and completed 18/19 passes. Will definitely be pushing for his chance to start.

Teun Koopmeiners N/A: Not on the pitch long enough for a review

Noa Lang N/A: Not on the pitch long enough for a review

Steven Berghuis N/A: Not on the pitch long enough for a review

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