England player ratings: Starboy Saka lights a spark


England stayed cool from the penalty spot to secure a place in the semi-finals at Euro 2024 – one man, a Starboy, stood head and shoulders above the rest.

England advanced to the semi-finals as Jordan Pickford’s save from Manuel Akanji’s spot-kick proved decisive following a 1-1 draw where Bukayo Saka found his spark.

Here, Sky Sports rates the England players and you too can rate all of them below…

Jordan Pickford – 8

Jordan Pickford saves Manuel Akanji's penalty
Image:
Jordan Pickford saves Manuel Akanji’s penalty

Faultless whenever called upon in an England jersey although Xherdan Shaqiri’s cheeky effort that cannoned off the bar almost gave him his England goalkeeper gaffe moment. Revelled in the theatrics of the penalty shootout, denying Manuel Akanji.

Kyle Walker – 6

Had one of his worst nights for England in the win over Slovakia but looked back to his reliable form in an England shirt. Kept it too safe with his play at times.

Ezri Konsa – 7

Ezri Konsa heads the ball clear
Image:
Ezri Konsa heads the ball clear

Only five caps but has already faced the challenge of Jeremy Doku and Vinicius Jnr in friendlies with England playing out of position at left-back, so this challenge didn’t look to faze him. Headed clear a dangerous cross early on and made another great block from Breel Embolo after 24 minutes. Handled the dangerous striker admirably but was harshly undone for the opening goal.

John Stones – 6

Breel Embolo scores from close range to give Switzerland the lead against England
Image:
Breel Embolo scores from close range to give Switzerland the lead against England

His missed clearance was a big factor in this match as Embolo slipped in to score – maybe harsh as otherwise he played with great assurance but this is the reality of knockout football.

Kieran Trippier – 6

Kieran Trippier
Image:
Kieran Trippier battles down the left flank

Skinned by Dan Ndoye in a sprint in the first 10 minutes which looked ominous but he never got isolated again. Streetwise performance yet again from a player clearly playing out of position.

Bukayo Saka – 10

Bukayo Saka celebrates after equalising for England against Switzerland
Image:
Bukayo Saka was England’s Starboy, stepping up when his country called

The Starboy.

Starting as the right-wing back to many raised eyebrows, Saka vindicated Gareth Southgate’s decision to play him down that flank as he tore Michel Aebischer apart one-on-one. His three crosses in the first half, on another day, could have led to three goals. Aebischer was dribbled past five times in the first half, the joint most by a player in a match at Euro 2024.

This was the Saka we see week-in-week-out at Arsenal, epitomised by his super-cool goal and immense penalty in the shootout.

This was redemption. A performance for the ages.

Declan Rice – 8

Declan Rice
Image:
Declan Rice held it all together in midfield

The rock of this England team. Showed up early with a great interception to set up a counter and continued to boss the midfield. As with most of his game, his long-range shooting is improving as Yann Sommer denied an expert effort from 30 yards in extra-time. Immense.

Kobbie Mainoo – 7

Kobbie Mainoo
Image:
Kobbie Mainoo impressed in the first half

The second youngest England player at 19 years and 78 days old to start a major tournament quarter-final match and floated around like a devilishly talented operator, especially in the first half. Made a very important and underrated early clearance, played with the required hustle and bustle in midfield up against some senior opponents and broke the lines with some intelligent gliding runs. Faded after the break.

Jude Bellingham – 8

Jude Bellingham dribbles away from Dan Ndoye
Image:
Jude Bellingham dribbles away from Dan Ndoye

Looked fitter and more powerful than we’ve seen at this tournament – like the Real Madrid version of Bellingham. That was emphasised by a rainbow flick to skip away before an impeccable switch of play in the first half. A couple of balls dropped his way that might’ve had his name on but the Swiss blocked well to deny him.

There was no doubt when he stepped up in the shootout.

Phil Foden – 5

Phil Foden makes a run for England against Switzerland
Image:
Phil Foden makes a run for England against Switzerland

The shackles of playing on the left side of a team playing with no width were released and he looked far more comfortable darting in central areas. Pressed well out of possession. But yet again, failed to truly influence the game in the big moments.

Harry Kane – 5

Harry Kane challenges Granit Xhaka
Image:
Harry Kane challenges Granit Xhaka

Sluggish at times with his hold-up play. Seriously caught on his heels from a deadly Saka cross in the first half and just looked a yard off the pace throughout. Departed in extra-time, absolutely legless.

Subs

Cole Palmer (On for Ezri Konsa) – 7

Cole Palmer converts from the penalty spot
Image:
Cole Palmer converts from the penalty spot

Added energy and extra forward thinking with the ball. Stepped up first in the shootout, setting the tone for perfection.

Eberechi Eze (On for Kobbie Mainoo) – 7

Is having to learn on the job how to play left-wing back. Dragged a good opening wide after gliding into space down the left.

Luke Shaw (On for Kieran Trippier) – 8

The first sighting of him at this tournament. It was a welcome one. Two outstanding clearances in central areas towards the end of the second half, showcasing his ability to play as the third centre-back. Another fine clearance in extra-time.

Ivan Toney (On for Harry Kane) – 7

The no-look penalty was delivered on the international stage.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (On for Phil Foden) – 7

Trent Alexander-Arnold scores the decisive penalty to send England into the Euro 2024 semi-finals
Image:
Trent Alexander-Arnold scores the decisive penalty to send England into the Euro 2024 semi-finals

His best moment in an England shirt. A stunning penalty to win a shootout and to send a country potty.

Manager

Gareth Southgate – 8

Gareth Southgate
Image:
Gareth Southgate takes notes

His 100th match in charge of the England national team – the third manager to reach that milestone. Deserves praise for isolating the Swiss down the England right with the starboy Saka. Was a little reactive rather than proactive with his substitutions but got them right eventually. And to prepare his penalty takers with such confidence and aplomb deserves a huge amount of praise. He is still the one.



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top