England in easy street against Czech Republic: Player ratings reflect dominant display
Gareth Southgate’s men cruised to an emphatic 5-0 victory over the Czech Republic in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier, with Raheem Sterling helping himself to a fine hat-trick. Here we assess the performances of the 14 men involved in the rout.
Jordan Pickford: 6
Czech attacks were a little more frequent after the interval and was finally forced to break sweat. Almost beaten by a glancing header from Tomas Soucek and a curler from Patrik Schick. Saved a close range effort from David Pavelka. A welcome clean sheet following recent Premier League wobbles in Everton colours.
Kyle Walker: 7
Constantly involved with great surges down the right flank during the first 45 minutes in particular – a menacing extra line of attack. His pace and energy impressed,
Michael Keane: 6
You hardly noticed him. He went about his business well, for the most part, and left most of the heavy-lifting to Maguire, such as it was.
Harry Maguire: 7
Made a couple of good robust blocks to snuff out a few moments of danger but was not severely tested. Some good interceptions and forward breaks to set up fresh attacks.
Ben Chilwell: 6
An undemanding night for the Leicester City left-back, who remained disciplined by not venturing too far forward.
Dele Alli: 7
Some tidy passes in and around the box from the Tottenham man. Played within himself but was often a great link between defence and attack. Made way for debutant Declan Rice after 63 minutes.
Eric Dier: 6
Forced off after only 15 minutes after being clattered by Soucek. Had no time to play any significant part in proceedings. He missed a fun night for the hosts.
Jordan Henderson: 6
Dropped deeper after Dier went off. Patrolled diligently. Unfussy contribution to a highly effective and dominant England display.
Jadon Sancho: 8
Another eye-catching performance from the Bundesliga starlet. Full of great skills and darts into space. An assist for Sterling’s first goal and almost opened his England account, having a close-range effort blocked.
Harry Kane: 7
His perfect pass inside a defender allowed Sancho the time and space he needed to deliver the low cross from which Sterling opened the scoring. Hammered home a penalty just before the break with Sheareresque forcefulness for his 21st international goal. Made keeper stretch with another effort late on.
Raheem Sterling: 9
Bagged only the fifth, sixth and seventh goals of his England career with a fine treble – the third coming with the aid of a deflection off Ondrej Celustka. Stretched at the far post to turn in Sancho’s cross on 23 minutes, then won the penalty from which Kane doubled the lead before a smart turn and left-foot finish inside the box. Richly applauded when taken off after 70 minutes.
Ross Barkley: 7
The Chelsea midfielder was given an early chance to get involved – coming on for the injured Dier with barely a quarter of an hour played. Was always busy and looking to break forward. Unnerved the Czechs with his strength and speed on the ball.
Declan Rice: 6
The West Ham midfielder received a warm reception when introduced in the 63rd minute – his historic social media indiscretions seemingly not outweighing the delight at his decision to opt for England rather than the Republic of Ireland. Not too many touches.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 6
The Chelsea winger was given a 20-minute run-out, thanks to England having already got he job done. Enjoyed himself at a time when England were totally on top. Fired one near-post effort at the keeper and had the satisfaction of seeing his saved shot rebound into the net off the luckless Tomas Kalas for 5-0.