Football Features

Ukraine 1-1 England: Player ratings as Three Lions fail to inspire against resolute defence

By Harry Edwards

Published: 19:00, 9 September 2023

England’s perfect start to Euro 2024 qualifying came to an end as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Ukraine.

Ukraine took the lead through Oleksandr Zinchenko, just the second goal England had conceded in the current qualifying campaign. But England were level before half time thanks to Kyle Walker’s equaliser.

England remain top of Group C, six points clear of second-placed Ukraine but have played more matches than all the other teams — Italy have three games in hand.

Here’s how the players rated at Stadion Miejski Wroclaw:


Heorhiy Bushchan – 6 – Didn’t really put a foot wrong despite conceding. Pulled off a great save to deny Saka in the second half.

Yukhym Konoplya – 8 – Set up the opener with a great overlapping run, making the most of England’s lack of cover on the left. Made the right decision with the pass into the box too, pulling the ball back into space rather than going across goal. Looked great defensively too.

Illya Zabarnyi – 8 – Looked solid, helping to frustrate and shut out the England attack.

Mykola Matviyenko – 7 – Defended pretty well in the first half, looking tough to beat. Taken off at half time, leading to some worries about injury, or illness.

Vitalii Mykolenko – 6 – Didn’t have the best first half and was caught napping for Walker’s goal. Did step up after the break to keep Saka relatively quiet.

Taras Stepanenko – 7 – Produced a good block on an early shot but was booked for a bad tackle on Maddison. Led by example as Ukraine looked to hold onto their deserved point.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – 8 – Put Ukraine ahead after a great late run into the box and first-time finishing, utilising the space left by the England midfield. Class in the middle of the pitch, dictating the play.

Viktor Tsygankov – 5 – Had a few moments but a lot of Ukraine’s wing play came through their overlapping full-backs.

Heorhiy Sudakov – 6 – Looked dangerous at times, trying to get things going.

Mykhailo Mudryk – 5 – Pretty quiet in the first half, still not fully fit. Livened up a bit after half time but was on the receiving end of a tough tackle.

Roman Yaremchuk – 6 – In the early stages he wasn’t giving Rice a moment’s rest with his pressing, and he was a good outlet for Ukraine.


Serhiy Kryvstov (for Matviyenko 45) – 7 – Just as solid as the man he replaced at the back.

Serhiy Sydorchuk (for Sudakov 65) – 6 – His role was a more reserved, defensive one, but he looked in control.

Artem Dovbyk (for Yaremchuk 65) – 6 – Quite quiet after coming on but he wasn’t there to score the goals, he was there to help defend.

Vitaliy Buyalskyi (for Zinchenko 76) – 6 – Helped preserve the point.

Lehor Nazaryna (for Mudryk 89) – N/A – A late sub.

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Jordan Pickford – 5 – Couldn’t really do anything about goal. Picking the ball out of his net was pretty much the only action Pickford had.

Kyle Walker – 7 – Equalised for England with his first-ever goal for his country, a great first touch and finish from the right-back.

Marc Guehi – 6 – Looked pretty comfortable although he didn’t have too much to do.

Harry Maguire – 5 – His inclusion from the start raised eyebrows and he was a bit too close to Guehi for Ukraine’s goal. Wasteful in the opposition box too.

Ben Chilwell – 5 – The less impactful of the two full-backs, Ukraine’s opening goal came as he was outmanned on the left. Got caught out a couple of times throughout the game.

Jude Bellingham – 7 – Involved in everything for England while he was on the pitch, but he was let down by his midfield teammates and the tactics.

Declan Rice – 6 – Kept things ticking in midfield, which was hard at times with things packed very tightly.

Jordan Henderson – 4 – Seemed to be everywhere for England but not in the best way, as he was often making the wrong decisions. Too tight to Rice at times when England needed space, and was making the runs into the box that you’d have wanted from Bellingham. You can put it down to tactics, but Henderson was the wrong man in the right places. Was also slow in getting back for Ukraine’s goal.

Bukayo Saka – 6 – England’s brightest attacking spark and rattled the bar with an effort from the edge of the box in the second half. But there was still something missing.

Harry Kane – 5 – Pulled out a brilliant assist from deep for Walker’s equaliser with a quality pass. However, apart from that he was pretty much non-existent in attack, which is where England need him to be.

James Maddison – 5 – Cut a frustrated figure, not really able to weave his magic or get involved.


Marcus Rashford (for Bellingham 65) – 5 – Had a couple of moments but really didn’t provide the spark England needed.

Phil Foden (for Maddison 66) – 5 – Didn’t really get involved after coming on.

Conor Gallagher (for Saka 87) – N/A – A late sub.