Raheem Sterling’s 12th minute strike secured a 1-0 win for England over the Czech Republic in their final group stage fixture of UEFA Euro 2020. With the win, Gareth Southgate’s men secured top spot in Group D and progressed to the knockout stages of the tournament as proud group winners.
England continued their habit of making bright starts to their games on this occasion as well. Having hit the post inside the first two minutes, Sterling nodded his side into the lead in the 12th minute. Both sides fashioned presentable chances as the half drew to a close but it was the hosts that went into the half-time break a goal to the good.
With both sides already guaranteed to progress to the knockout stages, the intensity of the game dropped considerably in the second half. A disallowed goal from Jordan Henderson was the only notable piece of action as England secured a third consecutive clean sheet in the tournament.
The Three Lions now welcome the runners-up of Group F to Wembley next Tuesday, while the Czechs finish third in the group and still await their next opponents.
On that note, here are the England player ratings from the game.
England player ratings
Jordan Pickford: 5/10
Did not have much to do in the game but did not let his concentration levels drop and always stepped up on the odd occasion that he was tested.
Kyle Walker: 5/10
Returned to the England starting eleven with a much more calm and composed display as compared to his performance in the opening fixture.
The Manchester City man used his searing pace to good effect throughout, making himself a problem while attacking as well as defending.
John Stones: 5/10
Completing the City half of the all-Manchester back four, Stones looked extremely comfortable in the heart of the England defense and dealt quite well with the threat of Patrik Schick and Co.
Taken off for the final 10 minutes, with Mings taking his place on the pitch.
Harry Maguire: 5/10
Enjoyed a relatively easy introduction back to the pitch after a lengthy injury layoff as he was given little trouble by the opposition attackers.
Maguire’s excellent passing added a new dimension to the England attack as they built a few promising threats from the back with the help of his precise passes.
Luke Shaw: 6/10
The Manchester United man seems to have carried his excellent form for his club over to the international stage as he turned in a swashbuckling display from left-back.
Shaw was solid in defense and got forward with purpose, sending in a number of probing crosses. The understanding he seems to have struck up with Sterling bodes well for England going forward.
Kalvin Phillips: 5/10
A typically combative display from the Leeds United man, who seems to grow increasingly comfortable in his role as midfield enforcer for England with every appearance.
Declan Rice: 5/10
Acquitted himself well against a couple of his West Ham teammates with a characteristically tidy, no-nonsense performance.
He was given the second half off by Southgate, with Henderson taking his place on the pitch.
Bukayo Saka: 6/10
Any pre-match grumbles about Saka’s inclusion over Jadon Sancho in the starting lineup were quickly dismissed by his electric performance on the right flank.
The Arsenal man was full of pace and trickery, causing all sorts of problems for the Czech defense with his direct running.
Jack Grealish: 7/10
Showed exactly why there has been an incessant clamor for his inclusion in the starting eleven by turning in a masterful display. He pulled the strings from midfield and looking extremely dangerous every time he got on the ball.
Replaced by Bellingham with just over 20 minutes to go, having claimed an assist and made a real impression on his manager and the fans in attendance.
Raheem Sterling: 7/10
Intelligent runs were a highlight of Sterling’s excellent performance, perfectly illustrated by his goal as he popped up in exactly the right place at the right time to head home Grealish’s delicate cross.
Taken off midway through the second half to earn a well-deserved rest and replaced by Rashford.
Harry Kane: 5/10
Although he looked noticeably sharper in possession and registered his first couple of shots on target in the tournament, the England skipper’s performance was still largely underwhelming.
England will be hoping that Kane finds his shooting boots sooner rather than later as the knockout stages arrive soon.
Jordan Henderson: 5/10
Showed no signs of the injury that sidelined him for several months leading up to his return in this game. He kept the ball moving with a series of simple yet intelligent passes.
Marcus Rashford: 5/10
Took up Sterling’s position on the left flank but did not contribute much more than a few promising bursts down the wing that eventually came to nothing.
Jude Bellingham: 5/10
Put himself about after coming on in the 68th minute but failed to make a telling contribution.
Tyrone Mings: N.A.
Came on to partner Maguire in central defense for the final 10 minutes and helped his side see the game out with a clean sheet intact.
Jadon Sancho: N.A.
Made his first appearance of the tournament as he came on for the final few minutes of the game but hardly had enough time to make a real impact.