England player ratings: Kane winner masks Dier and Henderson’s failings
England have booked their place at next summer’s World Cup following a last-gasp 1-0 win over Slovenia at Wembley on Thursday night.
In truth, the Three Lions were far from their best. It took until the 94th minute for one of European football’s most in-form centre-forwards to break the deadlock and there was a huge sigh of relief around the national stadium.
So which players stood out, and who didn’t?
Check out our player ratings….
Joe Hart – 7/10
Very fortunate not to have conceded a penalty in the first-half as he came rushing off his line but more than made up for that moment of rashness with a double save right at the end – including a brave block.
Kyle Walker – 7/10
His game would have been summed up with a free-kick effort which went way over the bar. Hopefully that’s the last time he wins the battle to take a set-piece in a dangerous area. But delivered a fine cross from which Harry Kane netted the winner in the 94th minute.
John Stones – 6/10
Not overly troubled as the hosts controlled proceedings.
Gary Cahill – 6/10
Much like his defensive partner for the evening, didn’t have much to do.
Ryan Bertrand – 5/10
Didn’t provide the attacking threat that Danny Rose usually does down the left-hand side.
Eric Dier – 4/10
Why Southgate persists with two defensive midfielders in a game which his side are going to dominate the ball remains a mystery. Dier is very good at sitting in front of the back four and providing protection, sadly he doesn’t possess the creative spark to unlock a packed defence.
Jordan Henderson – 4/10
Similar to Dier, the Liverpool midfielder does a decent job as a defensive midfielder but his services as a screener wasn’t needed. For games like this, Southgate needs to go with one of Henderson or the Spurs ace – not both.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 4/10
A surprise inclusion in the XI following his struggles at Liverpool so far this season, started on the right but drifted in search of the ball and still couldn’t manage to make any impact on the game. Kicked the water bottle in frustration as he was replaced by Jesse Lingard in the second half. Pure frustration.
Raheem Sterling – 7/10
Had been in electric form coming into the game with five goals this season for Manchester City and was easily one of England’s brightest sparks going forward – in particular in the second half. Looked to run with the ball and had a couple of efforts deflected wide.
Marcus Rashford – 7.5/10
Just like Sterling, the Man Utd forward was one of few players willing to take the game to Slovenia. Skipped past his marker on numerous occasions, but was let down by his finishing in the second half when he attempted to chip Jan Oblak when clean through.
Harry Kane – 8/10
Did he have the best of games? No. But Harry Kane proved why he is in that world class category with the all-important goal right at the death. Excellent movement to get in front of his marker and get a vital touch to nudge the ball past Oblak.
Jesse Lingard – 6/10
Michael Keane – 6/10
Funnily enough when the Everton defender replaced Raheem Sterling there was some confusion. Why did Gareth Southgate replace an attacker with a defender? Well it turned out to be a masterstroke as England went three at the back, pushing Walker into a wingback role and that’s where the goal came from.