Football Features

“When are FIFA going to take racism seriously?” – Player ratings as England steamroller a hostile home crowd to flatten Hungary

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:03, 2 September 2021 | Updated: 17:50, 10 September 2021

In a one-sided night of football, England smashed Hungary 0-4 in World Cup qualification.

The win puts the Three Lions five points clear of Poland at the top of their group and takes them one-step closer to qualifying for next year’s World Cup.

Here’s how the players rated at the Puskas Arena:

England player ratings

Jordan Pickford – 7 – Had almost nothing to do, but was calm throughout.

Kyle Walker – 7 – Solid in defence. Played one brilliant through-ball that Kane failed to put away.

John Stones – 7 – Some sloppy moments early on but found his footing as the game went on.

Harry Maguire – 8 – A colossus at the back, repelling all Hungary attacks. Scored the third goal.

Luke Shaw – 7 – Solid. Good width. Nice assist for the third goal.

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Kalvin Phillips – 8 – Really impressive in the middle of the park. Dominated the Hungarian playmakers. Made a brilliant interception and pass in the build-up to Kane’s second goal.

Declan Rice – 9 – The best player on the park. Absolutely nullified the magical Dominik Szoboszlai for pretty much the whole game and even got involved in attack in a way that shows his ever-expanding skill-set.

The West Ham man picked up a booking at the start of the second-half but rather than be cowed by this, he got even better. It was Rice’s interception and pass forward got the ball rolling for the move that led to England’s opener, and he didn’t stop there.

Rice continued to dominate the Hungarian midfield, showing no fear in spite of a hostile home crowd. He won it back and passed it forward to the playmakers, and on one occasion even drifted forward after one such pass only for Jack Grealish to lay it back into his path when he promptly lashed the ball home, Toni Kroos-style (albeit Peter Gulasci should have saved it).

A truly dominant display from Declan Rice, and one that bodes extremely well for England’s ability to take their game to the next level in the lead-up to the 2022 World Cup. From a frustrating handbrake to England’s new midfield general, 2021 has been the year of Rice!

Mason Mount – 8 – England’s ultimate glue guy. Never the chief playmaker but once others instigate the play he invariably appears to link things, doing whatever has to be done to push the ball into dangerous areas. A lovely overlapping run and assist for the first goal and an unbelievably deft flick pre-assist on the second goal. Always expoiting space and keeping things moving; England’s Thomas Muller.

Raheem Sterling – 8 – The Summer of Sterling is now rolling on into the Autumn as the England winger was yet again in supreme form. Dancing away from Hungarian defenders, driving England forward, and of course scoring the opening goal of the game with a well-timed run and a neat finish. Was subjected to horrific racist abuse but never let it effect his game, showing mental strength he shouldn’t have to.

Hungary’s fans are under a UEFA ban for their racist and homophobic behaviour at Euro 2020, but they could attend this match and abuse England’s players because this was a FIFA match? Is this some sort of joke? When are FIFA going to take racism seriously?

Jack Grealish – 8 – So often the catalyst to kick England into gear and the only player who really looked at it in the first-half. His delicious pass for Mount made the first goal possible, bagged an assist for the fourth and could have had more with some passes through to Kane.

Harry Kane – 7 – Scored the second with a neat header, but honestly should have bagged four goals as he missed a hat-trick of chances in the second half. His movement was great, his finishing is still warming up after his long, weary summer.


Jesse Lingard (for Mount 84′) – n/a – Came on late.

Jordan Henderson (for Rice 88′) – n/a – Came on late.

Bukayo Saka (for Grealish 88′) – n/a – Came on late.