England 2 - 0 Malta player ratings
England run out a 2-0 win in their first game since Sam Allardyce's unceremonious departure.
Jordan Henderson set-up both Daniel Sturridge and Dele Alli as England coasted to an easy 2-0 victory against Malta at home. England started the game brightly, moving the ball about quickly and purposefully. In addition their movement off the ball at times was a joy to behold in the first half with all forward players combining well, which will no doubt give Southgate confidence going into Tuesday’s game against Slovenia. However, he may have been disappointed in their performance after the break as the pace of the game slowed. With Eric Dier fit for the game on Tuesday, the big question for Southgate will be whom will he replace in midfield?
J. Hart – 6 – Was virtually a spectator throughout the evening and with Malta’s struggles going forward he was never tested.
K. Walker – 7 – He constantly ran up and down the right flank and often found himself in dangerous positions and linked up well with his teammates.
G. Cahill – 6 – He mostly watched the action in front of him but when called upon handled the threats of Effiong and Mifsud.
J. Stones – 7 – Was rarely tested defensively by the Maltese attack allowing him to venture forward regularly.
R. Bertrand – N/A – Started well and looked lively and was unfortunate to come off injured.
J. Henderson – 8 – Was allowed time on the ball by Malta and he punished them duly with excellent distribution and played a hand in both England goals.
W. Rooney – 6 – Had a decent game but will be disappointed that he didn’t have the impact on the proceedings, as he would have wanted. With Eric Dier expected to return against Slovenia on Tuesday, Rooney might find himself on the England bench.
T. Walcott – 6 – Was lively in the first half but struggled to get into the game after the break when the pace of the game slowed down significantly.
D. Alli – 8 – Could and probably should have had a hat-trick but nonetheless Alli proved he is England’s best No.10 combines athleticism with outstanding technical ability.
J. Lingard – 7 – It is hard to believe that Lingard produced this sort of display on his debut. Despite not making it onto the scoresheet, the consummate ease he linked up with his teammates bodes well for his international future.
D. Sturridge – 7 – Came deep far too often to get onto the ball but took his goal exceptionally well.
D. Rose – 7 – Came on for the injured Bertrand; he looked assured in possession and got forward very well.
M. Rashford – 7 – looked lively as soon as he came on, played a brilliant pull back for Dele Alli who should have finished.
Jamie Vardy – 6 – Vardy didn’t see as much of the ball as he would have wanted due to the slow pace of the game and a deep Maltese defence.
A. Hogg – 8 – Was his side’s outstanding player and made a number of outstanding saves to help keep the score a respectable one.
A. Aguis – 6 – Struggled in the first half when England was causing havoc but performed better after the break.
R. Camilleri – 3– Found it difficult to cope with England but performed slightly better after the pace of the game dropped.
Z. Muscat – 3 – Got caught out on many occasions due to England’s slick movement.
A. Muscat – 4 - Like most of Malta’s players faired better after the break.
S. Borg - 3 – The right wing back had a difficult night coping against Rose and Lingard.
G. Sciberras – 2 – Sat in front of Malta’s defence was unable to fulfil the role successfully as he could not get close Alli.
P. Fenech – 3 – Fenech made good moments in advanced positions but was unable to get onto the ball enough.
A. Schembri – 3 – The captain was unable to assert his dominance on the game due to the quality of the opposition. Did start some neat counter-attacking moves.
B. Kristensen – 3 – Played on the right-hand side of the midfield but was unable to offer any protection for Borg.
A. Effiong – 4 – Battled well despite being isolated for most of the match, when given the opportunity to away from defenders didn’t manage to do so.
R. Muscat – N/A – Came on too late to make an impact.
M. Mifsud – 5 – Came on late for Effiong and looked sharp, it’s surprising the change did not occur earlier.