Matt O'Riley loses on Denmark debut as Celtic star gets Frank Lampard comparison from Northern Ireland legend
Matt O'Riley came out on the losing side in Belfast on his full Denmark debut against Northern Ireland.
The Celtic star was rewarded for his sizzling start to the Scottish Premiership season with a first call-up to Kasper Hjulmand's full squad after cutting his teeth in the Under 21s. Born in England, O'Riley qualifies for the Danes through his mother. The midfielder has taken his game to a new level under Brendan Rodgers, scoring six goals and creating seven in 17 appearances so far.
With Denmark safely through to the finals in Germany next summer after topping the group with 22 points, it was a chance for Hjulmand taking the opportunity to give some fringe and younger players a run out. And if O'Riley continues to impress this season, he could stake his claim for a place in the final 23 and put himself in a major tournament shop window. He's been linked with moves to England and this month admitted he's ready to play at another level, albeit is in no rush to leave Glasgow.
But his international career didn't get off to the best start as Michael O'Neill's men recorded a rare win. A fine team goal on the hour mark was finished off by Isaac Price, before St Mirren's Conor McMenamin set up Dion Charles to tap home a second with ten minutes to go and send the Windsor Park punters home happy.
Analysing the game pre-match, Viaplay Sports pundit Stephen Craigan said: "This season he's taken his game to a new level. The one thing he needed to add is goals and he's done that this season. He's signed a new long term contract and he's going to be going places. If you're a Celtic supporter, you'll enjoy watching him tonight."
Linfield boss David Healy added: "He's a wee bit like Frank Lampard. He makes those delayed runs into the