After a momentous win over a star-studded Belgium team, England welcomed a resolute Denmark side to Wembley on Wednesday. However, in stark contrast to their previous outing, Gareth Southgate’s men looked void of ideas against an organised Denmark defence.
Matters weren’t helped when Harry Maguire decided to recklessly get himself sent off after 31 minutes. Four minutes later, a handicapped Three Lions conceded a dubious penalty that Cristian Eriksen later converted. The scoreline would stay the same, gifting the Danes a precious three points, allowing them to leapfrog England in League A Group 2.
Here are the player ratings from England’s 1-0 defeat to Denmark.
GK: Jordan Pickford - 5.5/10
He may not have had much to do all night, but in the moments that mattered, Jordan Pickford failed. For the penalty England conceded, it was the commotion caused by him rushing off his line that put Kyle Walker under pressure. And once the penalty was given, there was always going to be no chance of the 26-year-old saving it.
RWB: Reece James - 6.5/10
Handed his first-ever senior start for England, the Chelsea full-back was one of the few bright sparks for Southgate tonight. His willingness to beat his opponent full-back and whip the ball into the box was England’s main source of chance creation for large parts of the game. His performance tonight may have solidified his place as the team’ first-choice right-wing-back.
RCB: Kyle Walker - 6/10
He started as a right-sided centre-back but had to switch to left-back in a tactical reshuffle. Apart from one moment where he lost his man on a cross, Walker had a solid game, despite being in an unfamiliar position. His insistence on switching play and willingness to overlap allowed England to trouble Denmark in the wide areas.
CB: Conor Coady - 6/10
As the central centre-back of a back three, Southgate placed a lot of trust in the Wolves defender, Conor Coady. In return, the 27-year-old hardly put a foot wrong, completing 47 passes, making four clearances, two interceptions and one tackle.
LCB: Harry Maguire - 1/10
It’s been torrid few weeks for the Manchester United captain. From serving jail time to a woeful league start, and now a red card at Wembley. Many questioned Gareth Southgate’s decision to even include him in this squad and now those questions will arise again. The 27-year-old’s 30-minute cameo was one of the worst you’ll see. He lost out on three duels, lost possession five times and committed two fouls in quick succession.
LWB: Ainsley Maitland-Niles - N/A
It’s fair to say the rise of Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been nothing short of meteoric. From being an unused midfielder for Arsenal to a starting left-wing-back for the national side. Unfortunately, his night was cut short as he was the man sacrificed in reaction to the red card.
RCM: Declan Rice - 6/10
Tasked with being the box-to-box midfielder of the pivot, Declan Rice used his physical attributes both defensively and in the final third. In a solid performance, Rice completed 92% of his passes, blocked two shots and intercepted two passes.
LCM: Kalvin Phillips - 6/10
As England’s holding midfielder, it was Kalvin Phillips’ job to dictate the team’s passing play. That became the case even more when England went down to 10-men and needed someone to retain possession as much as possible. Although he lost his cool near the end, the 24-year-old had 71 touches of the ball, completed 40 passes, won six duels and made three key passes.
RW: Mason Mount - 5/10
For the second consecutive match, Gareth Southgate shoehorned Mason Mount into the team by placing him in an unfamiliar right flank position. That’s why he could only manage 16 passes while losing the ball nine times.
LW: Marcus Rashford - 5/10
No disrespect to Marcus Rashford, but England really missed Raheem Sterling’s directness down the left-hand side. Sterling has often been the difference-maker for Gareth Southgate’s men through his mazy runs and intelligent final third movement. Rashford’s display was quite the opposite, as he was passive in his final third actions.
ST: Harry Kane - 5.5/10
Back in the starting XI, Harry Kane didn’t look anywhere near his best for England tonight. He was starved of service and when he did get the ball, his touches were sloppy. Overall, it was a frustrating night for the nation’s talisman as he could only attempt one shot on goal.
Tyrone Mings - 6/10
Brought in to fill the gaping hole left behind by Harry Maguire, Mings was a calming presence in a stormy situation. Across the game, Mings won five duels, made two clearances and completed 23 passes.
Jadon Sancho: N/A
The flashy winger didn’t have time or space to make an impact on the game.
Jordan Henderson: N/A
Apart from being yellow carded, Henderson added nothing to England’s performance in his short cameo.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin: N/A
The worst thing about Calvert-Lewin’s cameo is the fact Southgate thought it was acceptable to play him as a left-winger.Published 15 Oct 2020, 03:24 IST