Who starred in the Nations League semi-final – and who had a stinker…
After England shoot themselves in the foot to lose their Nations League semi-final with the Netherlands 3-1 after extra-time, we assess each player’s performance.
There were glaring individual errors in extra-time from England’s John Stones and Ross Barkley, while Matthijs De Ligt made up for giving away a first-half penalty by pulling the Dutch back level in the second period.
Jordan Pickford – 7
He was beaten three times but it is hard to be too critical of the England goalkeeper after he pulled off 10 saves, repeatedly keeping Memphis Depay at bay but being unable to prevent some awful decision making by team-mates in front of him. Could do little to prevent any of the goals.
Kyle Walker – 5
Sparked one early England counter with an interception but had a big let-off in the early stages of second half when he gave away possession deep in his own half for Depay to shoot. Ended up with an OG next to his name after losing his foot race with Quincy Promes in extra-time and seeing the winger’s shot deflect off him and over Pickford.
John Stones – 4
Oh dear. Forget the other 119 minutes of his performance, Stones’ brain fade in extra-time was a hammer blow for England’s hopes. Too casual, he, his team-mates and the travelling England fans will be ruing his decision not to roll a simple pass back to his goalkeeper but instead try to twist, turn and find a pass out that wasn’t on, which led to him being caught out by Depay. And worst of all, it had been coming.
Harry Maguire – 5
Repeatedly tried to run or pass neatly out from the back but gave it away in a dangerous position early on – a precursor for what was to follow for a couple of his colleagues later. Got a shoulder charge on Bergwijn all wrong in injury time which allowed him to tee up Depay but was let off when the striker fired wide.
Raheem Sterling – 6
Handed the captain’s armband before kick-off on his 50th appearance for his country – but after that it won’t be a match Sterling will spend too long dwelling on. He had just eight touches in the opening 45 minutes. Improved as the game wore on and clipped the bar with last kick of normal time.
Jadon Sancho – 6
Failed to really ignite for much of the first half. Swapping flanks with Sterling had an instant impact when he skipped away from De Jong and put Rashford through, but he really should have done better with a second-half close-range header which he sent straight at Cillessen. Subbed off with half an hour of normal time to play.
Ben Chilwell – 6
Steady if unspectacular from England’s left-back. There were six crosses from him in all, but only one found its target and then frustrated in extra-time when he pinged a corner straight at a Dutch player.
Declan Rice – 6
Looked after the ball well when he had it with a 96 per cent passing accuracy but only regained possession four times. Worked hard but struggled to break down the Dutch possession.
Fabian Delph – 6
Like Rice, spent much of his game chasing orange shirts without any joy and struggled to get on the ball to influence the game. His passing accuracy was up at 92 per cent – but he had far fewer touches (43) than you’d expect from a midfield playmaker.
Ross Barkley – 5
Responsible for England’s second howler of the night, scuffing a terrible back pass to Depay who teed up Promes to tuck in the Netherlands’ third deep into extra-time. Earlier, he had worked hard in the middle of the pitch to try to inspire England – without much success – and then faded out of the game as the Dutch dominated.
Marcus Rashford – 7
Barely had a sniff in the first half-hour but was alert and quick to react to De Ligt’s error, too fast for the defender in drawing the foul and so composed from the spot to put England ahead against the run of play. Hurt from a good last-ditch tackle by Dumfries when put through by Sancho soon after and was withdrawn at the break.
Harry Kane – 6
Reclaimed the captain’s armband and tried to lead form the front, clattering Daley Blind with a late challenge to pick up a yellow card, dragging a low shot wide and then twice clearing the ball from inside his own six-yard box in the latter stages.
Jesse Lingard – 6
So close to being the hero. He thought he’d won it for England with his cool finish but VAR showed he was fractionally offside when he was played through. He produced some nice flashes of skill to beat Dutch defenders but, like the rest of England’s attack, didn’t see enough of the ball.
Jordan Henderson – 6
Energetic and eager to make an impact, Henderson added more urgency to England’s midfield when he came on but couldn’t make the difference in the end.
Dele Alli – N/A
Cillessen – 6
Sent the wrong way by Rashford for the penalty but was sharp to save a close-range header from Sancho in the second half. Otherwise largely untroubled, having to make just one other save.
De Ligt – 7
Had a nightmare moment of his own for the opening goal when he saw the ball slip away from him, brought down Rashford in the box, picked up a yellow card and then watched the striker convert from the spot against the run of play. But responded in style powering in a near-post header from a corner to equalise and cap an otherwise impressive defensive display with a key block on Kane as he was about to pull the trigger.
Van Dijk – 7
Cool, calm, collected, rarely in trouble… it was almost a standard Van Dijk performance from the Dutch Rolls Royce. While England rested their Champions League finalists, Van Dijk showed no hangover from Liverpool’s win over Tottenham and helped his side probe in possession.
Bergwijn – 6
The tricky winger is a reported target for Tottenham and he showed off some tricks when he was teasing Walker down the left flank. He then got the better of Maguire late on to tee up Depay but was subbed off at the end of normal time.
Wijnaldum – 7
Along with De Jong, Wijnaldum helped the Netherlands exert control in the centre of the park. He tried to run beyond the attack a couple of times in the first half and one driving counter-attack almost saw Depay score. Fired off a weak effort from outside the box just after the hour mark but did his job well.
Babel – 6
A quiet performance form the former Liverpool and Fulham man. Given how much the Netherlands had the ball in England’s final third, he’d have liked to have had more of a cutting edge before being subbed off on 67 minutes.
Depay – 7
It didn’t quite happen for the former Manchester United man on Thursday night – but that wasn’t through a want of trying. He had 10 shots in all but repeatedly found Jordan Pickford in good form between the England sticks. Should have capitalised on a Kyle Walker error at the start of the second half and should have converted when teed up by Bergwijn in second-half injury-time.
De Roon – 7
Not as heralded as some of his midfield colleagues but had time and space in the centre of the park and used the ball well, while also being alert to break up several England counter-attacks. Replaced on 67 minutes.
Blind – 6
Failed to find his target with all five of his first-half crosses but marshalled England’s attack well and wasn’t exposed by the pacey opposition.
De Jong – 8
With 105 passes to his name, De Jong was at the heart of the Dutch play, probing from side to side. Alongside Wijnaldum and De Roon, he completely dominated the midfield battle.
Dumfries – 6
Made a crucial last-ditch tackle on Rashford as he lined up a shot in the Dutch box but was booked for an aerial collision with Chilwell and was more careless than his colleagues with the ball at his feet.
Promes – 7
Profited from a couple of gifts in extra-time. Beat Walker to the loose ball to turn in the rebound off the defender and put the Netherlands 2-1 up before making it 3-1 with a simple finish after Barkley’s error.
Van de Beek – 6
Missed a glorious chance to put the Dutch 2-1 up, volleying over from close range and was booked for a late challenge on Barkley. Didn’t have much time to show the brilliant form he’s been in for Ajax.