England cruise against lacklustre Ivory Coast: Our player ratings after a decidedly low-key evening
Gareth Southgate opted to give fringe players the chance to shine in Tuesday night’s 3-0 friendly win against the Ivory Coast at Wembley.
The team of mostly understudies had an easy night as a hugely disappointing Ivorian side seemed bereft of ambition or drive. And they had even less after losing skipper Serge Aurier to a second yellow just before the break as a tame fixture petered out..
But did any of them impress enough to stake a claim for that all-important World Cup finals squad? Capital Football gives its verdict following England’s cruise against the west Africans.
Nick Pope: 6
He can’t have imagined he would have so little to do. Hard to remember him getting any touches as the visitors, in spite of the talent in their ranks barely crossed halfway.
Ben White: 6
Given unfamiliar right-back detail, where he hardly featured and made way for Walker-Peters at the break.
Harry Maguire: 6
Has not had the best of seasons and was booed by a sizeable vocal element in the crowd. He did not seemed too fazed by the reception but then again, had little pressure to deal with from opponents who went through the motions.
Tyrone Mings: 6
Not exactly put through the mill. A stress-free evening which gave him no real opportunity to showcase international class but added late gloss with a downward header into the net from a corner.
Tyrick Mitchell: 6
Enjoyed plenty of possession in forward positions as he had very little defending to do. The Palace man fired a low cross shot that came within a whisker of making it an even more memorable first start.
Declan Rice: 7
His elegant, gliding presence was felt when he came on as a sub against Switzerland on Saturday and once again the West Ham midfielder was the fulcrum of many an attack. Had a firm header at goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare.
James Ward-Prowse: 7
Earned only his 10th cap. The Saints midfielder is such a dead-ball expert that there might be a case for including him in Qatar on that basis alone. Crisp passing. Sent one 25-yard fizzer just over the bar. Looked the part.
Jude Bellingham: 8
Hit the post after a smart one-two in the box with Sterling. Just wide of the far post with another curling effort. His bursts from midfield underlined his worth. The Borussia Dortmund star had a good night.
Raheem Sterling: 8
Laid goal on a plate for Ollie Watkins in the 30th minute and his skills gave Ivory plenty to fret about in the first half, when England virtually settled the outcome. Netted the second after his fine run ended in a save, but was teed up smartly by Grealish from the rebound.
Jack Grealish: 7
Had much more room to manoeuvre than he normally has in the Premier League and he had fun with his trademark side-steps, crossfield passes and darts in from the left. A fine first-time ball gave Sterling goal number two just before the break soon after the Aurier dismissal.
Ollie Watkins: 6
Bagged a goal in his first start for England. A simple tap-in it may have been but it was just what any striker worth his salt needs. Did Ok after taking studs to the knee early on. Faces stiff competition to make the cut for the World Cup, though. Feeling is he is still learning. Withdrawn after an hour.
Kyle Walker-Peters: 7
A half-time replacement for White and immediately set up Sterling for a chance which led to a penalty award which was cancelled. Some dynamic bursts showed confidence is high.
On 62 minutes: Luke Shaw on for Mitchell, Emile Smith Rowe for Grealish, Phil Foden for Sterling and Harry Kane for Watkins
On 79 minutes, Conor Gallagher came on for Ward-Prowse.
To read Paul Lagan's match report, click here