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England player ratings: Saka, Grealish provide spark, Maguire assured

E

ngland secured top spot in Group D and booked a potentially daunting last-16 tie back at Wembley – likely against one of France, Germany or Portugal – with a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic.

As in their first match against Croatia, Raheem Sterling scored the only goal but it was Gareth Southgate’s additions to the team in Harry Maguire, Jack Grealish and Bukayo Saka who shone brightest.

Dan Kilpatrick was at Wembley to rate the England players…

Had to be at full stretch to deny Tomas Holes midway through the first half and commanded his area well. His kicking was also impressive.

Always in the right place to mop up defensively, where his pace is an enormous advantage. Occasionally linked up well with Saka but rarely a threat going forward.

Made his presence felt in the air in both boxes in another assured display at the back. Replaced for the final ten minutes, possibly after taking a knock.

As much as anything, his return gave England another dimension going forward and he created a fine chance for Kane with a defence-splitting pass. Defended robustly, too.

Was a threat going forward in the first half and created an early chance which Sterling turned onto the post from the left-back’s fine pass. More conservative after the interval.

Gave the ball away a few times in the early exchanges and perhaps feeling the strain, although caught the eye with one confident dribble on the counter. Hooked for Henderson at half-time.

Important in transition and provided a platform for England’s players to build from. Henderson’s return leaves his place under threat for the last-16.

A surprise starter, the Arsenal youngster brought England’s attack to life with a vibrant and menacing display on the right flank. Started the move which led to the goal by taking a risk and beating his man.


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