Football Features

England 1-2 France: Every player rated as costly errors undo Phil Foden magic in U21 Euro opener

By CJ Smith

Published: 22:07, 18 June 2019

Mistakes cost England as Aidy Boothroyd’s side lost their Uefa European U21 Championship opener 2-1 to France.

The Young Lions had taken the lead via some Phil Foden magic but with Hamza Choudhury being sent off, France made their numerical advantage pay with two goals in the final few minutes as England became masters of their own downfall.

Here is how every player rated as England and France kicked off their campaigns in Italy.


Dean Henderson – 9 – Made two fantastic saves from Moussa Dembele, including a 25th-minute penalty, as well as denying Ikone on a number of occasions. The rest of his work was quite routine and the Man Utd youngster looked in total control. Nothing he could do about France’s late goals, which were very harsh on him.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 4 – His game was littered with a number of misplaced passes before slicing a clearance into his own net to hand France the win at the end. Tarnished what was a decent defensive performance, making a match-high six tackles.

Fikayo Tomori – 6 – Carried out his defensive duties well enough but his misplaced pass put England right in trouble in the build-up to France’s second penalty, which also led to Choudhury’s red card.

Jake Clarke-Salter – 6 –  A solid enough performance from the Chelsea man, who has a lot of expectation on his shoulders after being given the captaincy. Somewhat unfortunate to be penalised for handball for the first penalty.

Jay Dasilva – 4 – Struggled all night with the pace and unpredictability of Ikone, who took him inside and outside at will.

Hamza Choudhury – 5 – Was providing a solid platform in England’s midfield before almost slicing Bamba in half to give away the second penalty. Cannot argue with the red card given by VAR.

Phil Foden – 9 – Controlled the game for as long as England had 11 men on the pitch. Ghosted through most of the French team to bag the opening goal in style. Completed more dribbles (4) than any other player on the pitch.

James Maddison – 7 – Not quite as influential as he has been for Leicester but still came up with some good passes and crosses.

Ryan Sessegnon – 7 – Whether he was on the right or left, his pace was a real threat for England and a timely reminder of what he’s really capable of after a tough season for Fulham.

Demarai Gray – 7 – Just like Sessegnon, caused problems on both wings. Would have had a higher rating if not for some wastefulness in front of goal.

Dominic Solanke – 4 – Good movement to create space for his wingers but incredibly wasteful in front of goal. Sliced a number of chances and struggled to control the ball when he had the French net at his mercy.


Mason Mount (71 mins, for Solanke) – 5 – Miscontrolled a nice Wan-Bissaka delivery in the box but was otherwise quiet.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (75 mins for Sessegnon) – 5 – Brought on for his work rate after the red card but couldn’t hold back the French tide.

Tammy Abraham (75 mins for Gray) – 5 – Like Calvert-Lewin, was brought on to work and didn’t see much of the ball going forward.

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Paul Bernardoni – 6 – Positioned himself well to cut out crosses but his handling was often left wanting.

Colin Dagba – 6 – Had his work cut out against Sessegnon and Gray but didn’t disgrace himself in defence. Looked a threat going forward.

Ibrahima Konate – 5 – Lucky not to score an own goal in the first half and struggled with Solanke’s movement. Had the Bournemouth striker been more clinical, Konate would have been made to pay.

Dayot Upamecano – 6 – Still struggled at times but coped much better than Konate.

Fode Ballo-Toure – 7 – Made four tackles, more than any other French player, and give as good as he got against Gray and Sessegnon.

Lucas Tousart – 7 – Offered a little bit of everything in France’s midfield, mixing astute passing with a bit of nasty fouling. Was subbed as France chased the game – and possibly to prevent him overstepping the mark.

Houssem Aouar – 6 – Some good passing and kept himself central to France’s build-up play. However, stepped up to take France’s second penalty following Dembele’s miss and struck the post.

Jeff Reine-Adelaide – 7 – Had to fill a number of tactical roles across France’s midfield, slotting in through the middle and out wide. Carried out each task with real authority.

Nanitamo Ikone – 9 – Pace, trickery and directness. Took 89 minutes to finally get his goal, thanks to the efforts of Henderson in net, but it was well deserved when it came. Jay Dasilva won’t want to see him again for a while.

Moussa Dembele – 4 – Like Solanke for England, was incredibly wasteful up front but with much better chances than his counterpart. A 20-goal haul for Lyon means we expect far better from Dembele now.

Jonathan Bamba – 7 – His pace and trickery had the English defence guessing throughout and he was quick to pounce when Tomori gave away possession in the second half. Took a terrible challenge from Choudhury which ended his night early.


Olivier Ntcham (66 mins, for Bamba) – 6 – Added a nice edge to the French midfield as their numerical advantage took over.

Jean-Philippe Mateta (73 mins, for Tousart) – 7 – Produced a fine flick towards the England net which resulted in Wan-Bissaka’s late own goal. Can’t ask for much more than that from a sub.

Marcus Thuram (82 mins, for Aouar) – 6 – Caused problems for the short time he was on the pitch.