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England player ratings: Phil Foden back to his best, Kobbie Mainoo shines again against Holland | Football News

England player ratings: Phil Foden back to his best, Kobbie Mainoo shines again against Holland | Football News

England face Spain in the 2024 European Championship final on Sunday – kick-off at 8pm; Xavi Simons scored the first goal for the Netherlands but Harry Kane equalised from the penalty spot; Ollie Watkins scored a dramatic 90th-minute goal to give them a 2-1 win

With Joe Shrew, @JoeShreadSky


23:07, England, Wednesday 10 July 2024

England performed poorly in the group stages and were seconds away from making it to the last 16, but now find themselves in a second consecutive European Championship final.

Gareth Southgate and his team have put in their best performance of the tournament since Saturday’s win over Switzerland, beating the Netherlands and advancing to the final with Spain on Sunday.

It wasn’t perfect – but it was certainly better than before. Are England peaking at just the right time?

Jordan Pickford – 6



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Jordan Pickford couldn’t stop Xavi Simons’ early goal

Pickford’s first job of the evening was to clear the ball out of the back of his net after Xavi Simons’ shot had gone past him. Could he have done better? It’s not his fault, but a goalkeeper with greater reach could have saved. He made a powerful save from Virgil van Dijk in the second half.

Kyle Walker- 6



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Kyle Walker made two crucial last-minute tackles but lacked precision on the ball

Asked to overlap Bukayo Saka when England gained possession, Walker carried out his task with care but lacked precision in the final third. The Manchester City defender used his pace to create a few last-ditch tackles but is not the reassuring presence he once was in defence.

John Stones – 7



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John Stones commanded the defence of England

Stones led England’s defensive trio with aplomb, completing almost 98% of his passes. He avoided a repeat of his disastrous performance against the Netherlands in the 2019 Nations League semi-final – but a meandering run through his own defensive line tested the nerves of England fans.

Marc Guehi-7



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Marc Guehi feels at home in England defence

Guehi has vindicated Gareth Southgate’s decision to bring him back into the team. Like Stones, he was almost faultless with the ball, making a vital tackle on Wout Weghorst late in the match. Guehi’s place in England’s defence should be secure beyond Euro 2024.

Bukayo Saka-7



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Bukayo Saka was impressive in defence and attack

Saka has adapted impressively to his role in Southgate’s new formation, handling defensive duties as a right-back and making dangerous runs through the Dutch defence when England pushed forward in the first half. Like most of England’s players, he faded in the second period.

Kobbie Mainoo-8

Mainoo’s performance was one that makes one wonder why Southgate waited until midway through England’s third match in Germany to pair him with Declan Rice. The 19-year-old’s excellent run almost produced an assist for Phil Foden, while his defensive work was stronger than at any point this tournament.

Declan Rice- 6



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Declan Rice has not been in good shape this summer

Rice has not been at his best this tournament and things didn’t improve against Holland. He was picked off by Simons for a pass from the Dutch midfielder and was regularly thrashed down England’s left. He may have misplaced just six passes but the statistics don’t tell the whole story – he’s not at his best.

Kieran Trippier-5



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Kieran Trippier could be replaced by Luke Shaw in final

Southgate put Trippier out of his misery at half-time. The impressive performances from England’s players in the first half made the Newcastle defender’s struggles all the more apparent. To be fair to Trippier, he is being played out of position – but he should be benched for Luke Shaw on Sunday.

Phil Foden-8



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Phil Foden back to his best for England

Foden is a completely different player to the one who has been on the sidelines for England’s first four games – hardly surprising given he was eventually slotted into his favourite position. Foden, Mainoo and Saka ran the show in the first half, with the Man City midfielder seeing a shot cleared off the line and over the post. He is finding form at the right time.

Jude Bellingham-6



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Jude Bellingham lacklustre in second half

Bellingham was dangerous as ever, carrying the ball from deep, while the switch to a 3-4-3 formation successfully prevented him and Foden from invading each other’s space. Like many of his teammates, he appeared to tire in the second half, his touch failing him on several occasions. He was dominated in the air by Denzel Dumfries from Holland’s set pieces.

Harry Kane-7



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Harry Kane equalises for England from penalty spot

This was arguably Kane’s best performance of Euro 2024 – though still far from his best. He won a soft penalty after Dumfries’ tackle and was unnerving from the spot to equalise immediately after Simons’ goal. But he was almost motionless when balls bounced off him in the second half and lacked the stamina to get into the penalty area when England’s wide players broke through the line. Watkins’ run in behind the Dutch defence to score the winner only highlighted Kane’s lack of movement.

Backups

Luke Shaw (replaced by Kieran Trippier) – 7



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Luke Shaw improved England’s left side as he came on at half-time

Shaw’s lack of sharpness is understandable but he provides much more than Trippier as a left-back and if his fitness is right he should start in the first 11 against Spain.

Cole Palmer (replacing Phil Foden) – 7



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Cole Palmer assisted Ollie Watkins’ winning goal

With less than 15 minutes to play, Palmer still had time to assist Watkins’ stunning winning goal. The Chelsea star could have come on earlier as Bellingham, Foden and Saka were tiring. He will have a role to play in the final.

Ollie Watkins (replaced by Harry Kane) – 8



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Ollie Watkins leads England to stunning win over Netherlands

Watkins produced a moment he and England fans will remember forever – a 90th-minute winner that sent his country to a major final. His run in behind Holland’s defence and then his stunning finish provided everything England were missing in the second half.

Conor Gallagher (replacing Kobbie Mainoo) – absent

Gallagher came on in the 93rd minute but still managed to make one of his trademark flying tackles.

Ezri Konsa (replacing Bukayo Saka) – none

Konsa was unfortunate enough to lose his place to Guehi against the Netherlands and was only able to enter the game in injury time.

Manager – Gareth Southgate – 8



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Gareth Southgate signals ‘one more game’ to fans after England’s semi-final win over Netherlands

Southgate, like his team, did his best work of the summer in England’s biggest match so far. The manager deserves credit for recognising the need to switch to a new formation and helping his players play so freely on such a big stage. Oft-criticised for his in-game management, two of Southgate’s substitutes – Palmer and Watkins – combined for the winner. England’s midfield is still wide open and his loyalty to Trippier must end – but Southgate has guided his country to another final.

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