Malta 1-5 Scotland: Willie Miller's player ratings

Scotland line up before kick-off
Chris Martin was the surprise choice up front for Scotland in Malta

Scotland could not have got their World Cup qualifying campaign off to a better start as they hammered Malta 5-1 in Attard.

Robert Snodgrass scored a hat-trick, with Chris Martin and Steven Fletcher scoring Scotland's other goals.

Malta had cancelled out Snodgrass's early opener through Alfred Effiong, but the Scots improved in the second half and their hosts lost their discipline to end the game with nine men.

With Scotland sitting at the top of Group F after the opening fixtures, former Scotland defender Willie Miller give his marks out of 10 for Gordon Strachan's side.

David Marshall (goalkeeper) 7

Alfred Effiong's header beats David Marshall
Alfred Effiong's header had David Marshall well beaten

Hull City's new signing was a bit of a spectator. He had no chance for Malta's goal and had one good save from point-blank range, but the boy was ruled offside anyway.

Callum Paterson (right-back) 7

Malta"s Joseph Zerafa and Scotland"s Callum Paterson
Callum Paterson made his first start for Scotland

The Hearts 21-year-old was making his first competitive start for Scotland and, for someone of that inexperience and youthfulness, he did well, getting forward and linking well.

Andrew Robertson (left-back) 8

Andrew Robertson shows his disappointment
Andrew Robertson had an effort saved by Malta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg

The Hull lad was the best of Scotland's defenders. He got himself into forward positions and had a good chance in the first half, when the goalkeeper was out quite sharp to block his shot.

Russell Martin (central defence) 6

Both of Scotland's central defenders looked rusty, having not played much for their clubs. Martin lost the centre forward for Malta's goal, when the striker played on his shoulder and got in behind him. The Norwich City man will know he should have done better.

Grant Hanley (central defence) 6

Grant Hanley shows his disappointment in Malta
Grant Hanley was part of rusty Scotland central defence

There was an awful lot of barging and clumsy challenges from Newcastle United's summer signing. He got himself dragged out of position and put in the kind heavy challenges that you don't want to give away at international level.

Darren Fletcher (central midfield) 7

Darren Fletcher shows his frustration
Darren Fletcher has taken over as captain after Scott Brown retired from Scotland duty

The new Scotland captain was not their most prominent midfielder, but the West Brom man showed a calm head when it was required and linked up well with Barry Bannan.

Barry Bannan (central midfield) 8

The Sheffield Wednesday man was the better of the two sitting midfielders. He showed composure and good use of the ball.

Robert Snodgrass (winger and central midfield) 10

Andrew Robertson congratulates scorer Robert Snodgrass
Robert Snodgrass (right) opened the scoring for Scotland

You have to give the Hull midfielder top marks considering he has come back from a career-threatening injury, scored three goals and, although he missed one other glorious chance, showed fabulous work-rate, good use of the ball and got into good positions, all while being was asked to play in two positions - wide in the first half and central in the second.

Matt Ritchie (winger) 8

Scotland winger Matt Ritchie
Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie was on the wing for Scotland

It was the best performance in a Scotland jersey from Newcastle United's summer signing. The quality of his delivery from wide areas and set-pieces was excellent and he was influential in Scotland's victory.

Oliver Burke (central midfield and winger) 7

Oliver Burke (right) in action against Malta
Oliver Burke (right) was making his competitive debut for Scotland

Leipzig's £13m signing showed a lot of promise in his competitive debut for Scotland. He is the type of player that defenders will not like to play against. Every touch was positive and, although it was a bit heavy at times, he was a threat. However, he still has a bit to go before being the finished article.

Chris Martin (striker) 7

Chris Martin celebrates his goal
Chris Martin scored after being a surprise starter up front

Fulham's summer signing would have got less than 7 if he had not scored. He was a surprise starter up front and was anonymous in the first half. Although he won the penalty for the third goal, there was no touch on him from the defender. However, you have to say that he made an impact by scoring the second goal.


James Forrest 6 (replaced Burke after 66 minutes)

The Celtic winger did not have enough time to make much of an impression.

Steven Fletcher 6 (replaced Martin after 68 minutes)

Steven Fletcher celebrates his goal
Steven Fletcher scored after coming on as a substitute

Sheffield Wednesday's summer signing was perhaps a surprise omission and scored Scotland's fourth goal with a powerful header, but he also missed a sitter, hitting the bar after rounding the goalkeeper, with Snodgrass completing his hat-trick from the rebound.

Ikechi Anya 5 (replaced Ritchie after 86 minutes)

Derby County's new signing did not have enough time on the pitch to make an impact.