We rate and slate the England players following Sunday’s 6-5 penalty shootout win against Switzerland in the Nations League third-place play-off.
Gareth Southgate made seven changes to his starting line-up following the disappointment of Thursday’s defeat to the Netherlands and his players responded with an improved display.
However, there were still some obvious weak links and here we assess those performances in Guimarães.
Jordan Pickford: Well positioned in goal when he needed to be and made one or two smart saves. 7/10
Trent Alexander-Arnold: Got forward to good effect and put in several wicked deliveries which deserved much better reward. England’s star man and can surely now be considered first choice. 8.5
Joe Gomez: Read the game well and tracked Switzerland’s numerous midfield runners when he needed to be. A performance worthy of putting him ahead of John Stones, you might argue. 7
Harry Maguire: Rarely troubled and when he was extended, he used his defensive qualities to good effect. Looked more comfortable alongside Gomez than he did Stones on Thursday. 7
Danny Rose: Like TAA on the other flank, also got well to good effect. Has a fierce battle with Ben Chilwell for the No 3 shirt and there’s not much between them on this showing. 7.5
Fabian Delph: Caught in possession once or twice and was often caught between a rock and a hard place when facing the deep-lying attacking prowess of Xherdan Shaqiri. Worked hard nonetheless. 6.5
Eric Dier: Not at his best and now looks to be below the more mobile Declan Rice in the pecking order. Looked in need of a summer break, but he did score the winning penalty (again). 6
Jesse Lingard: Looked lost in the midfield with England’s shape- and the inclusion of Dele Alli – appearing to restrict his influence. Can they both play in the same side? Perhaps not… 5
Dele Alli: Burst forward to decent effect to support Harry Kane in attack, but should have scored a header in the first half, but then struck the bar with another header in the second half. 6.5
Raheem Sterling: The Football Writers Player of the Year was very wasteful in front of goal, missing a hat-trick of chances and looking his old, frustrating self of a few seasons ago. 5
Harry Kane: Lead the line well and very unlucky not to open the scoring early doors with a sweet chip. Had to drop deep at times, but otherwise looked nearer to full fitness again. 7.5
Kyle Walker (on for Rose, 70): Not too much asked of the Manchester City man, who slotted into the defence easily enough. 6
Callum Wilson (on for Kane, 75): Thought he’d scored the winner towards the end of the 90, before being harshly denied by VAR. 6
Jadon Sancho (on for Lingard, 106): Not enough to form a concrete judgement on, but took his penalty well. N/A
Ross Barkley (on for Delph, 106): Same as above. N/A
Gareth Southgate took the brave decision to make seven changes and it appeared to pay off with a better display. If the experiment was to draw some comparisons between some close selection battles, Southgate will probably have got a few clearer answers as England break for the summer.
After coming close to glory at the World Cup and the Nations League, however, Southgate is still the one, he still turns us on, even if football isn’t coming home again (yet!). 7
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