Football Features

England 2-1 Slovakia: Player ratings as Three Lions leave it late to keep Euro 2024 dreams alive

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 19:30, 30 June 2024

England are bound for the Euro 2024 quarterfinals but needed extra time to emerge 2-1 winners over Slovakia this evening.

Gareth Southgate’s men will face Switzerland for a semi-final place and came into this Round of 16 knockout match with many questioning their credentials as pre-tournament favourites.

Those questions have not dissipated as they needed an extra 30 minutes to overcome Slovakia, with Jude Bellingham cancelling out Ivan Schranz’s opener in the 95th minute, and 52 seconds into additional time Harry Kane put Francesco Calzona’s men out of their misery.

Pressure was on Southgate to shake things up. Following an impressive cameo against Slovenia in their goalless final group match, teenage rising star Kobbie Mainoo was handed a start alongside Declan Rice, and the Manchester United youngster provided much-needed calmness as a passing conduit in England’s midfield.

As the dust begins to settle in Gelsenkirchen, here is how the England players fared:

Jordan Pickford – 6.5 – Failed to keep a third clean sheet of the championship and could have been embarrassingly caught out by a Slovakian effort from beyond distance.

Kieran Trippier – 6 – Had a nightmarish start and makes England so predictable. Foden and Bellingham already occupy that space near the left flank, and Trippier, being predominantly right-footed, does the same. When the Newcastle defender has the ball, there should be an England player down the line to pass to, or at least to stretch the back line. Foden goes inside every time the play is narrowed.

Marc Guéhi – 6.5 – Booked inside the opening three minutes after committing a tactical foul, though Trippier did him no favours with an under-hit pass, which David Strelec intercepted before he was brought down. Guéhi will now miss England’s next game and could have done better for Slovakia’s opener.

John Stones – 7.5 – Still not the Stones we’ve come to admire in a Manchester City jersey, with his role for England being completely different. His wealth of experience proved crucial at certain intervals.

Kyle Walker – 6 – Caught out too often, no doubt, for his manager’s liking, with Lukás Haraslín occasionally coming out on top in their duel on England’s right flank. Walker’s positioning was questionable, yet his exceptional pace consistently bailed him out.

Declan Rice – 7.5 – As usual, tasked with keeping things nice and tidy in front of England’s backline while being instructed to start England’s attack, Rice was seemingly everywhere and came in for some unwanted aggressive play, given his importance to Southgate’s cause.

Kobbie Mainoo – 7 – His inclusion was the only change from England’s last starting eleven. Mainoo has a calm and assured manner as a young player beyond his years, although he was cautioned early on for a late challenge.

Phil Foden – 6.5 – Had plenty of time on the ball and was even tasked with set-piece duties, including from corners, but the Premier League Player of the Year lacked that end product and was hauled off before full-time.

Jude Bellingham – 8 – Frustratingly, he was shown a yellow card for fouling Haraslin in the middle of the pitch. Bellingham didn’t allow the moment to faze him, even netting a last-minute bicycle kick — England’s first shot on target (and contender for goal of the tournament)— forcing extra time. It was also England’s latest goal scored in normal time at the European Championship (94:34).

Bukayo Saka – 7 – Enjoyed an enthralling duel with Dávid Hancko on England’s left wing and consistently drew fouls to earn crucial free kicks, but the Arsenal forward has yet to find that dynamism which made him a Premier League standout last season. He ended up playing at left-back.

Harry Kane – 7 – Unlucky not to have scored in regular time, but England’s all-time leading scorer came alive early in extra time to net the winning goal. Kane was not at his best, but this served as a reminder that form is temporary and class is permanent. He’s now registered 14 goals at major tournaments (World Cup/Euros), with only four European players netting more than him – Cristiano Ronaldo (22), Miroslav Klose (19), Gerd Müller (18) and Jürgen Klinsmann (16).

Substitutes:

Cole Palmer (for Trippier 66) – 6.5 – England’s attacking play transformed when the Chelsea youngster entered the game. Following two strong performances, there are growing demands for him to start next time.

Eberechi Eze (for Mainoo 84) – 6.5 – Made an important intervention with Slovakia chasing the equaliser in extra time.

Ivan Toney (for Foden 90+4) – 7 – Produced the vital ball forward to Kane completely turning the game upside down.

Ezri Konsa (for Bellingham 105) – 6 – Given a 15-minute run out with him likely to partner Stones against Switzerland.

Conor Gallagher (for Kane 105) – 6 – Dropped to the England bench after starting against Slovenia last time out. It didn’t take long for him to draw another foul at these championships.

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