After a hard-fought encounter in Guimaraes, England have placed third in the inaugural Nations League after a penalty shoot-out win over Switzerland.
Regulation time failed to separate the European nations, and so the match headed for a penalty shoot-out, with the Three Lions channelling their inner World Cup spirit to produce another spot-kick triumph, winning 5-6 on the day.
With that considered, how did the players rate in Portugal?
Jordan Pickford – 8 – Had little to do between the sticks, but rushed out well when required and looked assured when Switzerland asked questions of the Everton shot-stopper. But he really came to life in the shootout after scoring, and then producing a brilliant save to win England the match.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 9 – A consistent threat down the right – and later left – bylines, the Champions League winner never shied away from surging down the flanks, delivering sumptuous delivery after sumptuous delivery. An imperious performance from a player who seems to be getting better every game he plays.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has created 6 chances so far vs. Switzerland, more than twice as many as any other player on the pitch.
So difficult to handle. 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/AVeRuShWlV
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) June 9, 2019
Joe Gomez – 8 – Held his own alongside Maguire, the Liverpool centre-back was scarcely tested by the Swiss attack, but looked far more composed playing out from the back than his defensive counterpart on Thursday.
Harry Maguire – 8 – Alongside Gomez the duo proved a far more formidable and convincing partnership than the defensive performance at the Estadio D. Afonso Henriques last week.
Danny Rose – 7 – Much like Alexander-Arnold, the Spurs full-back was an ever present in the final third when buccaneering forward. Had the difficult task of handling Mbabu, but stood up to the challenge well.
Fabian Delph – 5 – Produced some tidy touches and tried to get the ball ticking for England, but the Man City utility man ultimately had a tough time trying to provide the spearheading and penetrative midfield performance Gareth Southgate needed of him.
Eric Dier – 6 – Sat in front of the back four and provided a useful outlet, often picking the ball up at the base of midfield and trying to kick start attacks, making more passes (80) than any England player this afternoon without producing anything too spectacular.
Dele Alli – 6 – Sat at the tip of the diamond but didn’t really stamp his mark on the match until the second-half, often over hitting passes in key areas of the pitch, while wasting a number of fantastic opportunities to break the deadlock, though the Spurs man did manage to get himself into some dangerous areas, and got better as the match went on.
Raheem Sterling – 6 – A very atypical performance from the City star, Sterling was notably off pace this afternoon in front of goal, lacking a sharpness and edge that has followed him in recent years, though still produced glimmers of his undoubted quality and ended up being England’s biggest threat.
Jesse Lingard – 5 – Tried to bring a more creative edge to England’s play but lacked the requisite fluidity to add a verve and rhythm to the Three Lions’ build-up play in the final third.
Harry Kane – 6 – Looked more like the Kane of old, holding the ball up well, bringing his attacking teammates into the game with some neat touches and precise passes, though he ultimately failed to find the back of the net.
Kyle Walker (for Rose 70) – 4 – Added an energy to the flank but had a few hairy moments and produced some wayward crosses.
Callum Wilson (for Kane 75) – 6 – Looked lively when he came on and nearly nicked a winner in the opening 90 minutes.
Jadon Sancho (for Lingard 105) – 5 – Didn’t really have enough time to influence proceedings but scored from the spot.
Ross Barkley (for Delph 105) – 5 – Like Sancho, the pair only had 15 minutes to produce a moment of quality but kept his head int the shootout.
Yann Sommer – 9 – Made a number of sensational fingertip saves, first denying Kane in the opening minutes after the Spurs marksman tried to chip him, before getting a brilliant hand to Schar’s wayward clearance. And that form carried on throughout the match as he kept England at bay for 120 minutes.
Kevin Mbabu – 7 – The biggest threats in this game came from the full-backs, and Mbabu was no exception, charging down the right, looking to get in behind Rose, and he succeeded on a couple of occasions, but his final product was not as refined as it usually is.
Fabian Schar – 7 – Had a nervy moment when his attempted clearance nearly found the back of his own net, though his blushes were spared courtesy of Sommer. The Newcastle centre-back was a solid cog in Switzerland’s five-man back-line, but the less influential of the centre-back trident.
Manuel Akanji – 8 – Brought the ball out from the back well and made a number of excellently timed defensive challenges, not to mention winning a number of aerial duels.
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Nico Elvedi – 7 – Like Akanji, made some brilliant tackles at times as he looked to keep the England frontline quiet. The Borussia Monchengladbach defender was pulled out of place at times but looked a solid centre-back on the whole.
Ricardo Rodriguez – 7 – Never a stranger to get forward at any opportunity, the Milan defender is the archetypal modern full-back, and it showed this afternoon.
Granit Xhaka – 6 – Looked composed and orderly in the middle of the park, the Arsenal midfielder was Switzerland’s metronome, picking the ball up deep and looking to create a rhythm. Tired as the match went on and as England started to find their groove.
Edimilson Fernandes – 6 – Demonstrated some very clean touches, jinks and shimmies, the former West Ham midfielder was a neat and nimble member of Petkovic’s XI. Switzerland’s midfield waned when Fernandes left the field.
Remo Freuler – 5 – Slowed the game down for the Rossocrociati when his side needed to find a calming element, Atalanta’s combative midfielder was a busy runner on the pitch, but struggled going forward.
Xherdan Shaqiri – 6 – Switzerland’s fulcrum against Portugal last week, the diminutive forward certainly threatened to make something happen in the final third this afternoon but ultimately came up short.
Haris Seferovic – 4 – Had Switzerland’s best chances to break the deadlock but failed to take them, proving extremely wasteful in front of goal.
Denis Zakaria (for Fernandes 61) – 6 – Thrown straight into action and brought a bullishness to the turf upon his introduction.
Steven Zuber (for Shaqiri 65) – 5 – Came on for the Liverpool forward but couldn’t replicate his quality on a consistent basis.
Josip Drmic (for Rodriguez 87) – 5 – Added more depth to the Swiss attack but failed to really grab the game by the scruff of the neck.
Noah Okafor (for Seferovic 113) – N/A – Came on with only seven minutes left.