England got their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign off to the best possible start with a 5-0 win over Czech Republic.
Raheem Sterling opened the scoring midway through the first half completing a good team move before Harry Kane doubled England’s lead from the penalty spot just before half-time.
Sterling got his second after an hour to put England in firm control and completed his hat-trick moments later before a Tomas Kalas own goal wrapped up the scoring.
But how did the players rate?
Jordan Pickford – 6 – Had very little to do throughout.
Kyle Walker – 7 – Back in his favoured position for England, the full-back got forward a lot without truly worrying the Czech defence.
Michael Keane – 7 – Had his work cut out for him up against Schick, with the Roma forward a constant pain, but did well after a slow start.
Harry Maguire – 7 – Dubbed England’s weakness before the game by Matej Vydra, the Leicester City centre-back was strong and showed why Southgate does still trust him.
Ben Chilwell – 7 – Got forward well quite a lot but also brought defensive solidity. Looks set to enjoy a long spell as England’s number one left-back.
Dele Alli – 8 – Looked solid in midfield, rarely standing still throughout the match, finding space wherever it was needed.
Eric Dier – 6 – The Tottenham midfielder started promisingly but had to be taken off after 17 minutes due to injury.
Jordan Henderson – 8 – Had looked impressive going forward but reverted to a more defensive role after Dier’s substitution. This slightly curtailed his attacking input but the Liverpool man still found time to test the away defence. A really good performance from an often-critiqued man.
Jadon Sancho – 7 – Didn’t have the best start as he often looked to be over-thinking his moves. Cut inside quite a bit to try and take the game to Czech Republic but his telling moment in the first half came from out wide as his cross was tapped in by Sterling. Unlucky not to score after half-time as his effort was blocked.
138 – England featured two players aged 18 or younger (Hudson-Odoi and Sancho) in an international match for the first time in 138 years, since doing so on February 26th 1881 vs Wales (Thurston Rostron and Jimmy Brown). Cubs. #ENGCZE pic.twitter.com/hRn77yEAkT
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 22, 2019
Harry Kane – 8 – Dropped deeper again and provided a great ball to Sancho for Sterling’s opener. Doubled the scoring with a powerful penalty just before half-time.
Raheem Sterling – 10 – Opened the scoring with his trademark Manchester City finish, working well to get into the right area for a tap-in. Won a penalty just before half-time with a wonderful dribble into the penalty area, being blocked by two defenders. Put England in the clear after half-time with a well-taken finish before completing his hat-trick. What a year Sterling is having.
Raheem Sterling’s game by numbers vs. Czech Republic:
96% passing accuracy
3 shots on target
hE cAnT FiNisH. pic.twitter.com/VaHdvU3e4b
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 22, 2019
Ross Barkley (for Dier 17) – 7 – Improved England immediately after coming on, looking to push the midfield forward and join the attack. Set up Sterling’s third with a good driving run to cap off an impressive performance.
Declan Rice (for Alli 63) – 7 – Looked good after coming on for his debut, sitting well in front of the England defence.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (for Sterling 70) – 7 – Another debutant. Added excitement after coming on and played a big part in Kalas’ own goal as his shot was initially saved.
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Jiri Pavlenka – 5 – Couldn’t do anything about opening goal and beaten by powerful Kane penalty despite getting hand on the Englishman’s effort. Had to show good reactions to prevent Novak scoring an own goal. Helpless as his defence was overrun.
Pavel Kaderabek – 4 – Had the tougher game of the two full-backs with Chilwell and Sterling dangerous. It was his foul on Sterling which resulted in England’s second goal and he was not let off with Hudson-Odoi looking to get the better of him too.
Ondrej Celustka – 6 – Was fairly good defensively, helping frustrate England when the home side had the ball on the edge of his area. But he could do nothing as England stepped up after half-time with Sterling running the show.
Tomas Kalas – 3 – Dragged around the pitch by Kane and played his part in conceding the first-half penalty, joining Kaderabek in fouling Sterling. His night was summed up by a late own goal.
Filip Novak – 6 – Up against Sancho, Novak did fairly well at times, stopping the English tyro. Produced a brilliant block to stop Sancho from scoring in the second-half, but he was also beatable when things worked out for the teenager.
Tomas Soucek – 5 – Went closest in the second-half with a good diving header but his effort was just wide of the left post.
David Pavelka – 6 – Had a couple of chances to pull one back for the away side after half-time, but his shots were easily saved by Pickford. Did his part defensively, sitting just in front of his back line back.
Theodor Gebre Selassie – 6 – A full-back by trade, Selassie started well in keeping Sterling quiet but as the game went on his ability to stop England waned.
Vladimir Darida – 5 – Had the first effort of the night but his shot did not bother Pickford. Proceeded to get forward more, without really worrying England.
Jakub Jankto – 4 – Could not get into the game as Czech Republic sat back and was taken off at half-time when his side needed something different.
Patrik Schick – 5 – Gave Michael Keane a tough time in the first half, using his strength and on-the-ball ability. But he was quiet after half-time before eventually being taken off.
Matej Vydra (for Jankto 45) – 5 – Brought on to try and pull the away side back into the game, but the Burnley man had little meaningful effect aside from a late shot.
Lukas Masopust (for Darida 68) – 4 – Looked to bring something different with the game slipping away, but couldn’t.
Milan Skoda (for Schick 82) – N/A – A late sub.