Football Features

“He just looks like a man mountain” – Player ratings as England demolish Ukraine 4-0 to reach Euro 2020 semi-finals

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:12, 3 July 2021

In a dominant night of football, England blew Ukraine away 4-0 to make the semi-finals of Euro 2020.

The Three Lions played their first game away from Wembley but showed no signs of slowing down as they massacred Ukraine with a blitz at the start of the second-half.

Here’s how the players rated at Stadio Olimpico:

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Ukraine

Georgiy Buschan – 5 – Could do little about any of the England goals. Not helped at all by his defence.

Ilia Zabarnyi – 5 – Poor.

Sergey Kryvtsov – 4 – Bizarrely stepped up to try and play Kane onside for the opening goal. Left the field injured later.

Mykola Matvienko – 5 – Allowed Kane to run across him and score the opening goal. Beyond that offered little resistence.

Oleksandr Karavaev – 4 – Could not handle Sterling or Shaw at all. England brutally exposed him time and again.

Mykola Shaparenko – 6 – Was really impressive in terms of defensive contribution. Put himself about but was also blitzed 1-v-1 by Sterling for the opening goal which takes him down a point.

Sergey Sydorchuk – 4 – Offered absolutely no resistance to England.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – 7 – Ukraine’s best player on the night and their excellent period in the second half of the first-half all came from him taking control of midfield. Couldn’t quite recreate his heroics from the round of 16.

Vitalii Mykolenko – 7 – Whether at wing-back or left-back, was Ukraine’s best defender with a team-high 4 interceptions. Worked hard to protect his flank and was let down by his team-mates.

Andriy Yarmolenko – 5 – Disappointing.

Roman Yaremchuk – 4 – Never got into the game.

Substitutes:

Viktor Tsygankov (for 36′) – 7 – Added so much thrust down the left for Ukraine when he came on, completely shifted the game to Ukraine’s way. Massacred Walker and Stones with his movement in behind.

Yevhenii Makarenko (for Sydorchuk 64′) – 5 – Worked hard.


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England

Jordan Pickford – 7 – Made the saves he had to make comfortably. Had one dodgy moment second-half when he came out and ballooned the ball into the air, but was mostly solid.

Kyle Walker – 6 – A poor backpass almost set Ukraine away in the first-half and he really struggled to hold back the Ukrainian movement behind him in the first half.

John Stones – 6 – Also struggled to handle Ukraine’s runs in behind him in a frightening relapse of Germany’s two best chances. Better sides might be taking note at how much space he affords opponents. Fortunately for him, wasn’t really tested second-half.

Harry Maguire – 8 – A rock at the back, constantly covering for his Man City compatriots and organising his back-line. Drove England forward with his progressive passing and second the second goal of the night with a sublime header.

“He just looks like a man mountain for me,” said Rio Ferdinand post-match before focusing on Maguire’s passing, “he picks the right passes […] first game back he was spreading the ball through the lines. Some players just want to pass the ball free and easy, he wants to commit someone.” Gary Lineker then added “he’s a leader, isn’t he? You feel safer with him in the team.”

Luke Shaw – 9 – Pushed the tempo down the left all game long. England’s driving force. Made a superb run off the ball to create the space for Sterling to set-up the opening goal. Then later on set-up the second and third goals with booming crosses of such unimaginable quality that the forwards barely had to move to get there. Created more chances besides that and made several key defensive interventions.

Has been England’s best player in the two knockout rounds so far. “Fabulous performance from Luke Shaw,” said Gary Lineker afterwards, adding that the left-back is “realising the potential we all saw in him.”

“Something seems to have really clicked for him,” said Frank Lampard, with Rio Ferdinand opining that “it’s all just come together in perfect timing for him.” The ShawShank Redemption is taking over the Euros!

Declan Rice – 8 – A battling display from England’s holding midfielder. Withdrawn to protect him from suspension.

Kalvin Phillips – 7 – Really hard-working performance in midfield.

Mason Mount – 7 – An impressive shuttling display on his return to the field. Moved up and down the pitch well. Bagged an assist for Henderson’s goal but more importantly made a critical block to stop Yarmolenko getting a clean shot at goal when Ukraine were dominant.

Jadon Sancho – 7 – Showed England what they’ve been missing with some utterly ridiculous dribbles and runs off the ball. The quality he possesses is palpable and he poses so much different problems to opponents.

Raheem Sterling – 8 – Lively from the off. Pressed mercilessly and, along with Shaw, drove England forward. Created the opening goal with a delightful reverse pass through the Ukraine defence and got a delightful pre-assist for the third with a neat flick through for Shaw. The Man City man is really making a case to be player of the tournament.

Harry Kane – 8 – A nice finish to give England the lead. Another nice finish to make it 3-0 and almost bagged a hat-trick with a superb long-range stinger. He was as immobile as ever but England simply gave him goalscoring chances where he didn’t have to move and let his genius take over. “Goalscoring is an obsession for Harry Kane […] you feel so much better about yourself [when you score]” said Alan Shearer post-match.

Substitutes:

Jordan Henderson (for Rice 57′) – 7 – Finally scored his first England goal in his 62nd cap!

Kieran Trippier (for Shaw 65′) – 6 – Worked hard.

Marcus Rashford (for Sterling 65′) – 6 – Made some good runs.

Jude Bellingham (for Phillips 65′) – 6 – Got stuck in.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (for Kane 73′) – 6 – Defended his near-post well for set-pieces.