World Cup - England player ratings: Debut hero

Tom Adams grades the England players out of 10 following their World Cup qualifer against Montenegro at Wembley.

World Cup - England player ratings: Debut hero

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Andros Townsend (Reuters)

GK: Joe Hart – 6

The focus was very much on the England No. 1 after some high-profile mistakes at Manchester City but he had little to do in the first half and only looked uncomfortable on a couple of occasions. When called upon on 55 minutes he made a good save to deny Dejan Damjanovic and could do little for the goal as he conceded for only the fourth time in the qualifying campaign.

RB: Kyle Walker – 6

Something of a good omen in that England had not lost a game in which he played, Walker, as always, showed a willingness to join the attack and was hardly tested defensively by an inhibited Montenegro side. Was somewhat unfortunate to earn a booking when Stevan Jovetic exaggerated a pull on his shirt and now misses the Poland game on Tuesday.

CB: Gary Cahill – 5

Had little to do against a Montenegro side set up to defend – until the 71st minute when he was punished for a lapse in concentration, allowing Damjanovic to sneak in and finish. Otherwise was competent enough but his error marred his unspectacular performance.

CB: Phil Jagielka – 6

Didn’t look too smart when Damjanovic slipped between him and Cahill to score – even if the Montenegro forward was Cahill’s man to take care of. It was a blot on what has been a developing partnership but otherwise the Everton man acquitted himself well.

LB: Leighton Baines – 7

Excelled in the first half and was England’s best player before the break. Showed initiative in attack but was always mindful of his defensive duties when required. Linked up well with Welbeck ahead of him and though his influence waned, he proved once again on his 20th cap that he is a real contender to take Ashley Cole’s place away from him.

CM: Steven Gerrard – 6

On a night when he equalled Bobby Charlton’s 106 caps, Gerrard appeared unsure as to his precise role and, to no surprise at all, his partnership with Lampard was a dysfunctional one. Looked desperate to be the hero but failed to convert with a number of efforts in the first half and then missed an absolute sitter in the second.

CM: Frank Lampard – 5

With both he and Gerrard pushing forward, and neither entirely comfortable in a holding role, it was a mixed performance from the Chelsea man as he looked uncomfortable under pressure and was almost punished for one loose pass straight to Jovetic in the first half. Was otherwise solid enough but England lost little when he was removed after 65 minutes.

AMR: Andros Townsend – 8

Unexpectedly won his first cap and enjoyed a bright start as he ran at the Montenegro defence with great enthusiasm. However, despite looking lively approaching the box, he lost possession too often. Started the second half in fine fashion as it was his surging run that created the opening goal for Rooney and though he faded for 20 minutes or so, it was his scorching effort which sealed the win. A fine debut.

AMC: Wayne Rooney – 7

Back after missing England’s previous two qualifiers due to injury, Rooney tried his best to link midfield and attack, and played some neat passes while doing so, but wasted a huge chance after 40 minutes when failing to convert when a Townsend shot came back off the keeper. Made amends when netting the opener after 48 minutes but wasn’t at his fluent best.

AML: Danny Welbeck – 7

Was lively when cutting in from the left onto his favoured left foot but the man who has scored eight goals under Hodgson – second only to Rooney - did not have his shooting boots on in the first half, seeing one good chance saved by Vukasin Poleksic and an errant ‘header’, actually off his shoulder, going wide. Got the ‘assist’ for Branko Boskovic’s own goal and then went close with a firm drive. Continues to look very comfortable in an England shirt.

ST: Daniel Sturridge – 7

A rather subdued first half was given a jolt in the final minutes as he produced two attempts, the second of which was a clever backheel, but Sturridge was rather too isolated and was not rewarded for his good movement at times. Showed some nice touches in the second half – and his trickery won the penalty from which he scored deep into added time. The goal put gloss on a performance that was otherwise only decent.


Michael Carrick (for Lampard, 65’) – 6

Kept possession well enough and looked more at home in the deep role than Lampard.

Jack Wilshere (for Townsend, 80’) – 6

Was used in the hole as Rooney pushed wide to the left and Welbeck went to the right, but had little time to influence the game.

James Milner (for Gerrard, 87’) – N/A

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