England player ratings vs the Czech Republic: Saka and Grealish provide spark, Maguire slots back in

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·3-min read
England player ratings vs the Czech Republic: Saka and Grealish provide spark, Maguire slots back in
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Grealish, Sterling and Saka provided England’s spark in a bright first-half display (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Grealish, Sterling and Saka provided England’s spark in a bright first-half display (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

England secured top spot in Group D and booked a potentially daunting last-16 tie back at Wembley – likely against one of France, Germany or Portugal – with a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic.

As in their first match against Croatia, Raheem Sterling scored the only goal but it was Gareth Southgate’s additions to the team in Harry Maguire, Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka who shone brightest.

Dan Kilpatrick was at Wembley to rate the England players...

Jordan Pickford 7

Had to be at full stretch to deny Tomas Holes midway through the first half and commanded his area well. His kicking was also impressive.

Kyle Walker 7

Always in the right place to mop up defensively, where his pace is an enormous advantage. Occasionally linked up well with Saka but rarely a threat going forward.

John Stones 7

Made his presence felt in the air in both boxes in another assured display at the back. Replaced for the final ten minutes, possibly after taking a knock.

Harry Maguire 8

As much as anything, his return gave England another dimension going forward and he created a fine chance for Kane with a defence-splitting pass. Defended robustly, too.

Luke Shaw 7

Was a threat going forward in the first half and created an early chance which Sterling turned onto the post from the left-back’s fine pass. More conservative after the interval.

Declan Rice 6

Gave the ball away a few times in the early exchanges and perhaps feeling the strain, although caught the eye with one confident dribble on the counter. Hooked for Henderson at half-time.

Kalvin Phillips 7

Important in transition and provided a platform for England’s players to build from. Henderson’s return leaves his place under threat for the last-16.

Bukayo Saka 9 | Star man

A surprise starter, the Arsenal youngster brought England’s attack to life with a vibrant and menacing display on the right flank. Started the move which led to the goal by taking a risk and beating his man.

Jack Grealish 8

Justified the clamour with a stylish, eye-catching display. Made the breakthrough by standing up a great cross for Sterling to head home and linked well with his teammates. His substitution was booed, which tells you plenty about his display.

Raheem Sterling 8

Scored for the second time in the tournament and struck the post but was still outshone by Saka and Grealish. Until Kane clicks, he is England’s biggest goal-threat.

Harry Kane 7

Still looks half a yard off his usual pace but his hold-up play knitted together England’s livelier attack. Looked more like his old self in forcing a fine one-handed save from the goalkeeper after a trademark cut inside.

Substitutes

Jordan Henderson (Rice 46’) 7

Given his lack of football in the past six months, he did not look out of place and his return leaves Southgate with options ahead of the last-16. Saw a late goal disallowed for offside which would have been his first for England.

Jude Bellingham (Grealish 67’) 7

With Henderson and Phillips in reserve, Bellingham showed a little of the more attacking side of his game and nearly created a late goal for Henderson, which was ruled out.

Marcus Rashford (Sterling 67’) 6

Offered width on the left for the final 25 minutes and got in behind a couple of times in a lively cameo.

Tryone Mings (Joghn Stones 78’) 6

Untroubled as England saw out the final ten minutes.

Jadon Sancho (Saka 84’) N/A

Finally given some minutes at the Finals but not enough time to make an impact.

Subs not used: Ramsdale, Johnstone, Trippier, Coady, Calvert-Lewin, White, James.

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