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.