England player ratings vs Albania: Harry Kane dazzles with hat-trick as Reece James also stars

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

England all but booked their place at the 2022 World Cup after a 5-0 rout of Albania at Wembley.

Gareth Southgate’s side would need to lose to minnows San Marino on Monday and a need significant Poland victory over Hungary to be in any danger of missing out on automatic qualification for Qatar next winter.

England completed the job by half-time in one of their best 45 minutes under Southgate, as a perfect hat-trick from captain Harry Kane and goals from Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson put the hosts out of sight.

Dan Kilpatrick was at Wembley to run the rule over the England players...

Jordan Pickford 7

Made a smart save to deny Myrto Uzuni one-v-one after Walker’s loose back pass and composed on the rare occasions he was called into action.

Kyle Walker 6

Nearly cost England their early lead with a careless back pass. Otherwise used the ball intelligently and stayed deep to cover in behind.

John Stones 7

Clashed heads with James in a brave challenge but largely untroubled defensively and calm in possession.

Harry Maguire 8

Gave England the lead with a textbook thumping header and was commanding at the back, as he looked to put his woeful form for Manchester United behind him.

Reece James 9

His free-kick made Maguire’s goal and he was influential in England’s second after superb play in the build-up. The Chelsea full-back is so sharp and full of confidence at the moment.

Jordan Henderson 9

Put the second goal on a plate for Kane with a superb cross and scored the third with a jinking run into the box as he drove the side forward from midfield. His best performance in an England shirt for a while and will be frustrated at the winter break.

Kalvin Phillips 7

Harried, pressed well and kept it simple, staying as the deepest midfield and providing a platform for his teammates to run riot.

Ben Chilwell 7

Most of England’s most dangerous first-half attacks came down the right but Chilwell provided balance in a solid, energetic showing.

Raheem Sterling 7

Would have been frustrated not to score on a night when he couldn’t find his passing range. Nonetheless, he made Kane’s second goal and was lively in flashes, twice seeing decent penalty appeals turned away.

Phil Foden 7

Found pockets of space but squandered a good chance to score when he skied a shot from 18 yards. His corner was spectacularly volleyed home by Kane in a bright performance.

Harry Kane 10

Not looked this sharp since before the Euros. Finished with a perfect hat-trick to surpass Wayne Rooney as England’s top scorer in competitive matches and move level with Jimmy Greaves on 44 international goals. Also assisted Henderson and was menacing all night. Is he back?

Substitutes

Tammy Abraham (Kane 62’) 6

Unfortunate to lose his footing in his only sniff at goal as Albania reverted to damage limitation and England saw out a comfortable win.

Jack Grealish (Foden 62’) 7

As lively as usual and looked to take on his man and make things happen down the left flank. Had a decent effort deflected wide.

Jude Bellingham (Phillips 62’) 7

Showed his class with some cool touches, including a flick to James which nearly led to a sixth goal.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (James 76’) 6

Limited time to make an impression but will have to work hard to surpass James for the wing-back spot.

Emile Smith-Rowe (Sterling 76’) 7

Positive in a late cameo on debut, spraying some nice passing around.

Not used: Johnstone, Mings, Coady, Saka, Ramsdale.

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