England secured a merited goalless draw with world champions Germany tonight at Wembley as their build up to Russia 2018 officially begun.
Gareth Southgate’s team will be pleased with their night’s work as the injury-ravaged Three Lions held their own. Their evening of experimentation produced food for thought.
It was two young debutants who stole the show as Jordan Pickford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in particular impressed.
Here are the match ratings as England begun the international break with a self assured display.
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Jordan Pickford 8
What more do you want from a young goalkeeper against the world champions? Top class saves, check. Fine distribution, check. Clean sheet, check. Joe Hart should be concerned.
Kieran Trippier 8
If England had the options in midfield as they do at right-back, they would have half a chance in Russia. Southgate has a big call to make this summer, and with Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne to consider too it isn’t just a shoot out with Kyle Walker.
Phil Jones 7
Heroic header off the line from Sane’s well-place shot was one of his final acts. That warm sensation come from behind Gareth Southgate’s dugout? That was Jose Mourinho breathing down the back of his neck.
John Stones 7
Alarming early error quickly forgotten, Stones is fast becoming one of England’s most important players. Appears more comfortable in a back three than a four.
Harry Maguire 7
Composed and if England persist with this formation then he has every chance of playing in Russia, especially with Gary Cahill’s form questionable and Jones injury prone.
Danny Rose 6
Would have wanted the same amount of ball that Spurs’ colleague Trippier was afforded. Struggled a little when Sane pulled wide but a better player than Ryan Bertrand.
Eric Dier 7
Strong in his box and contained the talents of Ozil, Draxler and Gundogan in the middle of the park. Looks a happier player without Jordan Henderson alongside him.
Jake Livermore 7
Put himself about and not out of his depth. Still questions remain about England’s need for two holding midfielders but his best night for his country. Didn’t leave the team exposed.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek 8
A World Cup wildcard, you wonder. Excellent debut full of tricks and turns. Why Southgate thought it was a good idea to originally start Livermore in the more advanced role nobody knows.
Jamie Vardy 6
Missed England’s best chance, not quite getting the required direction on his header at the start of the second half yet his pace and energy often concerned the German back three.
Tammy Abraham 6
He couldn’t have asked for a bigger challenge on his England debut; the world champions and linking up alongside a second choice attack. Nearly scored, and was withdrawn on the hour.
Joe Gomez 7 (On for Jones 25)
Marcus Rashford 5 (On for Abraham 60)
Ryan Bertrand 6 (On for Trippier 72)
Kyle Walker 7 (On for Rose 72)
Jack Cork 6 (On for Livermore 86)
Jesse Lingard 6 (On for Vardy 86)