Wales players celebrate during their comfortable victory over Ireland in their Nations League opener

Wales produced an exhibition of sparkling attacking football as they thrashed the Republic of Ireland in their Nations League opener to give manager Ryan Giggs a handsome victory in his first competitive match in charge.

Tom Lawrence set the tone with an emphatic sixth-minute finish from Joe Allen’s through ball, and Gareth Bale whipped in an even better second goal from the edge of the area after a raking cross-field pass from Ben Davies.

Giggs’ rampant young side were 3-0 up before half-time as 17-year-old Ethan Ampadu set up Aaron Ramsey, whose low finish left the Irish looking bewildered at Cardiff City Stadium – a ground where they won a vital World Cup qualifying match less than a year ago.

Connor Roberts got in on the act in the second half with a crisp left-footed strike, before the Republic of Ireland managed a consolation of sorts when substitute Shaun Williams seized on an error by Ramsey to score.

But that did little to undo the carnival atmosphere, as Wales gave a tantalising glimpse of what may be to come from this promising group of emerging talents.

More to follow.

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