The coach of Ireland received a rather bizzare compliment from his colleague from Denmark.
Denmark manager Age Hareide has thanked Martin O’Neill for all the freedom his team provided for Christian Eriksen, which proved crucial in the outcome of the game as the Spurs’ playmaker ended up shredding The Boys in Green.
The Danes qualified for the 2018 World Cup after a brilliant come-back in Dublin, turning a 1-0 deficit into an expressive 1-5 win, with Eriksen scoring a hattrick, Bendtner scored another and Cyrus Christie scored an own goal.
O’Neill was looking for a second goal and forgot about its commonly-seen defensive tactics, but his offensive ideas simply gave Eriksen time and freedom to cut through the Irish. Speaking after the game, the Danes’ coach thanked his colleague for the opportunities his team gave to Denmark’s number 10.
“It was very good, especially when we went 1-0 behind, we didn’t get stressed,” Hareide told Sky Sports.
“We tried to play, and we got the openings, and we got the goals. We were more effective than in Parken, the effectiveness is very important in football.
“I’m very pleased for the team, this is a difficult place to play football – they’re compact and good defensively, so scoring five against Ireland does not happen very often.
“I was surprised. I think they played in a diamond with two forwards and that gave a lot of space in midfield for Eriksen and I just want to say thank you very much for giving him the space!”