Football Features

Player ratings as England beat Switzerland on penalties to reach Euro 2024 last four

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 19:50, 6 July 2024

England are bound for the Euro 2024 semifinals after overcoming Switzerland on penalties in Düsseldorf this afternoon.

Gareth Southgate’s men, who were beaten European Championship finalists three summers ago, now find themselves one victory away from reaching Berlin.

It hasn’t been a scintillating tournament regarding playing the kind of swashbuckling football supporters crave, but they’re getting the job done.

Today’s meeting with Murat Yakın’s side was always going to be challenging, and it proved to be so, with the match going to penalties after ending 1-1.

Bukayo Saka sensationally equalized after Breel Embolo gave the Swiss a lead. Nothing could separate the sides in extra time, necessitating the dreaded penalty shootout.

Manuel Akanji’s missed effort gave the Three Lions a 5-3 win on penalties. Jordan Pickford saved his attempt. England’s quintet of Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Ivan Toney, and Trent Alexander-Arnold all scored, while Fabian Schär, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Zeki Amdouni converted for the losing quarter-finalists.

As the dust begins to settle, here are our ratings for the England players:

Jordan Pickford – 7 – Frustrated not to keep a clean sheet given Switzerland’s limited opportunities.

Bukayo Saka – 8.5 – Expected to have started where he finished last time out, at left wing-back, but Saka remained on the right flank — albeit starting from deep — and was a constant threat. He brilliantly equalised, subsequently becoming the first Arsenal player to score for England at both the FIFA World Cup and the EURO’s.

Ezri Konsa- 7.5 – His inclusion was the only change from England’s previous starting eleven. Konsa replaced the suspended Marc Guéhi in a back-three and performed commendably.

John Stones- 7 – The glue holding England’s backline together, Stones’ experience was much-needed here. Although the ‘Barnsley Beckenbauer’ wasn’t his usual marauding self, it was a subdued performance that greatly helped Southgate’s side.

Kyle Walker- 6.5 – Tucked into a safe position at RCB, backing up Trippier, which is not where we’re used to seeing the flying right back.

Kieran Trippier – 6 – Having been predominantly used as a left-back, Trippier mimicked Saka on the opposite flank. Again, his preference to cut inside on his dominant foot often limited England’s endeavour down his wing. 

Declan Rice – 7 – He plays a pivotal role in England’s defence. Rice is often responsible for maintaining possession; today, he executed his task flawlessly.

Kobbie Mainoo – 7.5 – Became the second youngest England player (19 years, 78 days) to start a major tournament quarter-final match, behind Wayne Rooney at Euro 2004 vs Portugal (18y 244d). He further demonstrated his talent, enhancing those Clarence Seedorf comparisons, with gusty runs and clean passing into the Swiss half.

Phil Foden – 6 – Far more involved in the build-up, playing alongside Kane when England was in possession significantly helped the Manchester City forward, but is yet to find his groove at Euro 2024.

Jude Bellingham – 7.5 – There were glimpses of brilliance, including a tidy Zidane-like pirouette. Switzerland struggled to handle the Real Madrid man, who roamed across England’s attacking line, when at full speed.

Harry Kane- 6.5 – Too often, Kane would be near England’s penalty box rather than Switzerland’s. His presence forced respect from Yakın’s defenders, as he would not be alone whenever the Three Lions pushed forward.

Substitutes:

Luke Shaw (for Mainoo 78) – 6 – Restored balance to England’s team, seeing that he is a natural left-back.

Eberechi Eze (for Trippier 78) – 6 – Had a speculative effort go wide.

Cole Palmer (for Konsa 78) – 6 – Another outing coming off the bench, Palmer immediately made up for lost time with darting runs, intricate passing, and dangerous crosses.

Ivan Toney (for Kane 109) – N/A – Converted England’s penultimate spot-kick in the shootout.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (for Foden 115) – N/A – Netted the kick to send England into the semi-finals.

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