Football Features

England 7-0 North Macedonia: Player ratings as Saka hat-trick inspires Old Trafford win

By Harry Edwards

Published: 21:39, 19 June 2023

England thrashed North Macedonia 7-0 on Monday night to continue their perfect start to Euro 2024 qualifying.

Harry Kane gave England the lead after what had been an intense first half hour but things then opened up with Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford adding to the score before half time.

Within five minutes of the restart, Saka had completed his hat-trick and England were in cruise control with Kalvin Phillips and Kane rounding off the scoring to make it four wins from four for the Three Lions.

Here’s how the players rated at Old Trafford:


Jordan Pickford – 6 – A spectator alongside 70,708 others a Old Trafford.

Kyle Walker -8 – Spent a lot of time in the North Macedonia half looking to combine with Saka and played a great pass into the forward to set up the second goal.

John Stones – 7 – Pep Guardiola’s midfielder looked as though he’d been playing centre-back all his life, though he was relatively untested.

Harry Maguire – 7 – Had almost nothing to do defensively and could have got an assist after neat link up with Rashford inside the opposition box.

Luke Shaw – 8 – Produced a great overlapping run to set up Kane’s goal, ghosting into the box with good awareness to cut back rather than drill the ball across the face of the goal.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8 – Perhaps slightly less influential in the first half, Alexander-Arnold was still a good presence in midfield and combined well with Walker and Saka for the latter’s first-half goal. Then got an assist with an excellent ball over the top for Saka’s rocket, growing a bigger part of the game. This is his role.

Declan Rice – 7 – Quietly marshalled the midfield.

Jordan Henderson – 8 – Pushing forward quite a lot and did well to set up the third goal. His best England performance for a while.

Bukayo Saka – 10 – Had England’s first opportunity inside the opening minutes with a good touch and shot following a throw in. Caused problems down England’s right and made it 2-0 with a wonderful finish, powering his shot into the roof of the net at the near post. His second goal was even better, taking down Alexander-Arnold’s long ball before rifling a shot into the top corner. Completed his hat-trick, timing his run perfectly to beat the offside trap.

Harry Kane – 9 – Was in the place at right time for opener, scoring with his first touch in the North Macedonian penalty area. Won the ball back for Rashford’s goal and produced a great pass to set up Saka’s hat-trick strike from a deeper position, showing why he is such a valuable player for club and country. Scored from the spot with his last kick of the game.

Marcus Rashford – 9 – Looked really fresh in front of his home crowd, causing the North Macedonian defence serious problems with his footwork and dribbling. Waited perfectly and then put perfect weight on his pass to Shaw in the build up to Kane’s goal, playing the ball through the legs of the defender. Will have expected to score after linking up with Maguire but did get his goal moments later, tapping in from close range. Unstoppable.


Conor Gallagher (for Henderson 58) – 6 – Probably the one Englishman who would’ve been disappointed with his performance. It just wasn’t working for the substitute when he got himself into dangerous positions. That’s not to say he was bad, but on another day he could’ve got himself a goal or an assist.

Jack Grealish (for Rashford 58) – 7 – Continued the torment on North Macedonia’s right flank.

Phil Foden (for Saka 59) – 7 – Looked like he wanted to add to North Macedonia’s pain with some neat play.

Kalvin Phillips (for Rice 59) – 7 – Came off the bench to get his first England goal, tapping in from close range

Callum Wilson (for Kane 74) – 6 – Desparate for a goal but it didn’t come.

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North Macedonia

Stole Dimitrievksi – 4 – Produced a couple of good saves including one on Rashford just before he scored. Couldn’t really do anything about the goals he did concede.

Stefan Ristovski – 2 – Played more as a right-back than a right centre-back as first thought, Ristovski was up against it trying to defend Rashford. Bandaged after a clash of heads with Kane and he didn’t really recover, first being nutmegged by Rashford in the build up to the opening goal before his poor pass started the move for the third.

Gjoko Zajkov – 4 – Although he didn’t directly hinder North Macedonia’s defensive effort, the centre-back must take some of the collective blame for shipping five before he was taken off.

Darko Velkovski – 3 – Played his part in England’s third goal, not being ready to receive the ball from Ashkovski. Was pushed higher up the pitch in the build up to the fifth with an unfortunate rebound off him falling to Kane.

Stefan Ashkovski – 4 – Made a good run down the flank early on but couldn’t fashion a chance. Struggled defensively, particularly against Rashford and was unaware of Shaw’s run inside for the first goal.

Eljif Elmas – 3 – Completely taken out of the game in the midfield.

Arijan Ademi – 3 – Good pass down the line to set off Ashkovski early on but was otherwise ineffective in the midfield.

Enis Bardhi – 2 – Very sloppy, misplacing a couple of passes that could have been his side in danger. Did not look at the races at all.

Ezgjan Alioski – 3 – The man tasked with defending against Saka, he didn’t track the Englishman’s run for the hat-trick-completing goal and looked overwhelmed when England turned up the heat in the second half.

Aleksandar Trajkovski – 3 – Largely ineffective up front, with his side under the cosh.

Ilija Nestorovski – 3 – Offered no real presence, though he was up against it given the way North Macedonia were set up. Did a stint at full-back while Ashkovski was receiving treatment and didn’t do any better there.


Egzon Bejtulai (for Ristovski 45) – 4 – Conceded a penalty for hugging Stones from a corner, though the contact did start outside the box.

Dorian Babunski (for Trajkovski 57) – 3 – Just as ineffective as the man he replaced with North Macedonia offering virtually nothing in terms of attacking threat.

Nikola Serafimov (for Zajkov 57) – 3 – Diverted ball into Phillips for sixth.

Jani Atanasov (for Ademi 58) – 4 – Completely overrun like those before him though it was slightly easier as England took their foot off the gas just a bit.

David Babunski (for Bardhi 67) – 4 – Tried to sit just in front of the defence but sill couldn’t stop England’s control.