Football Features

“I should have done better” – Player ratings as England slump to dour draw with Italy

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:26, 11 June 2022

England and Italy played out a 0-0 draw in the Nations League to leave the Three Lions bottom of their group.

Here’s how the players rated at Molineux:



England

Aaron Ramsdale – 7 – Had one of his good days, making some big saves including one superb stop from Tonali.

Reece James – 7 – Played solidly enough at right-back, producing a lovely cross that put the ball on a plate for Raheem Sterling.

Fikayo Tomori – 7 – Confident. Composed. Didn’t really put a foot wrong.

Harry Maguire – 7 – Looked a bit shaky early on but rebounded to have his typically solid England outing..

Kieran Trippier – 4 – Is just never a left-back. There are so many options here it continues to be baffling that Gareth Southgate’s response to Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell being injured is to reach for a right-back.

Declan Rice – 7 – Overworked in midfield, but did well enough to cover for his team-mates as he chased Italian players back.

James Ward-Prowse – 5 – Didn’t help with set-pieces and really struggled tracking the Italian midfield.

Mason Mount – 4 – Some bright pressing (he forced an error from Donnarumma early) and smart movement but missed a sitter in the first-half, slamming the ball against the bar when he had the whole goal to aim at.

“I probably should have done better with my chance,” he said after the match, before adding “I need to look for the corners,” which is true, but also the kind of thing you see six year-olds get taught. Mount forgetting that basic tenet of shooting is strange for such a potent player.

“It’s more or less four attacking players and seven defensive players.” – Owen

Raheem Sterling – 4 – Set up Mount’s chance with a delightful pass, and had some lovely movement but didn’t do enough with the ball. Missed the best chance of game, shooting over from six yards out.

Jack Grealish – 6 – Pushed Italy back with powerful runs, but didn’t use the ball well.

Tammy Abraham – 6 – Had a great chance early on after some pressing robbed the ball from Donnarumma. He worked his heart out but did struggle as England weren’t used to playing with a 9 like him and kept trying to find him short like he were Harry Kane.

England Substitutes:

Jarrod Bowen (for Mount 65′) – 5 – Had some chances to hurt Italy on the break but didn’t use the ball smartly.

Harry Kane (for Abraham 65′) – 5 – Was he on the pitch?

Kalvin Phillips (for Rice 65′) – 6 – Got stuck in.

Bukayo Saka (for Sterling 78′) – 5 – Didn’t see the ball.

Marc Guehi (for Tomori 88′) – 6 – A storming clearance was his first-touch.

After the match England manager Gareth Southgate chose to focus on the positive: “there were things that we did really well in Germany and things we needed to improve on, and I think we improved them today. Getting the ball through their midfield press and into the next line, we were much better at that.”

On England’s wastefulness, the boss said: “we’ve had two or three really good chances that we need to score and we just lack that little bit of sharpness in the final third.”

Southgate also brought up the lack of a crowd (England were playing behind closed doors as part of their punishment after the chaos at the Euro 2020 final): “you can’t ignore the fact that when you’re really pushing. and I thought second-half we were much the better team, you don’t have any crowd to help you or put the opposition under pressure and it makes a massive difference to the team.”

When asked if his side were too conservative. Southgate defended his team: “I don’t see how you can [say that] really, because we’re trying to move the ball through against a very good, well-organised team.”

“We’ve got the ball into our forward players, we’ve given all of them a go and tried to refresh it because we know the state of the season that we’re at. So I think at the moment that little bit of sharpness in the final third isn’t quite there, but I was pleased with the general performance.”


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Italy

Gianluigi Donnarumma – 6 – A confident shot-stopper but remained ropey with the ball at his feet. You do wonder how he will cope as Italy transition to being more of a positive attacking team in the post-Chiellini and Bonucci era.

Gianluigi Di Lorenzo – 7 – Defended well and raided forward superbly. So consistent. The Italian Gary Neville.

Federico Gatti – 8 – Probably the best player on the pitch. Very combative and gave England very little space.

Francesco Acerbi – 7 – Another solid display for the veteran.

Federico Di Marco – 7 – Solid. Didn’t give away much.

Manuel Locatelli – 7 – Some great recovery defending to stop Tammy Abraham getting a clean shot right at the start of the game.

Sandro Tonali – 6 – Missed a great chance after a superb Ramsdale save. Never stopped running and battling, however.

Domenico Frattesi – 6 – Missed an incredible chance two minutes in after a great run into space left him 1-v-1 with Ramsdale. Offered a lot of energy in the press, however.

Matteo Pessina – 5 – Didn’t have much of an impact.

Lorenzo Pellegrini – 6 – Couldn’t keep his scoring streak alive in a game where he got mostly smothered out.

Gianluca Scamacca – 6 – Didn’t get the better of England’s centre-backs.

Italy Substitutes:

Salvatore Esposito (for Pellegrini 64′) – 5 – Didn’t really improve the game.

Wilfried Gnonto (for Locatelli 64′) – 7 – Added thrust, sent a tasty cross into the box. Is a real livewire off the bench.

Giacomo Raspadori (for Scamacca 74′) – 5 – Joined his team-mate getting smothered by the England defenders.

Alessandro Florenzi (for Dimarco 87′) – n/a – Came on late.

Bryan Cristante (for Pessina 88′) – n/a – Came on late.

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