This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
England at one stage looked to be cruising to another comprehensive victory in the Euro 2020 qualifiers on Tuesday evening.
Gareth Southgate’s men hit back at Kosovo with five goals after the visitors took a shock lead in the first minute of the game at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium.
A brace from Jadon Sancho as well as goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane meant the home nation went into the break 5-1 up but the visitors had England nervous after two goals in the space of six second-half minutes.
Kane then missed a penalty, but the Spurs striker and his teammates managed to cling on to sit three points clear in Group A.
Nottingham Forest had an unlikely hand in helping the Three Lions to victory but not in the way you’d expect.
Their goalkeeper Aro Muric started in goal for Kosovo and put in a rather ponderous display which ultimately contributed to Southgate’s men picking up all three points.
The 20-year-old, who is on loan from Premier League champions Manchester City, was the man that saved Kane’s spot-kick but aside from that he still leaked five goals which ended their unbeaten run in the competition.
However, his distribution wasn’t great as he managed only 26 accurate passes which was 74% of his total amount, per SofaScore – considering he’s a goalkeeper and is most likely passing out to his defence that should be a lot closer to the maximum percentage.
The Reds colossus was also off the mark with long balls, recording an accuracy rate of just 35%, meaning he likely invited the pressure back on his country as he wasn’t able to find a Kosovar player on a regular basis.
His performance certainly won’t be boosting his claims for the number one spot upon return to the east Midlands and after this showing, he is unlikely to weave his way back into the thoughts of Sabri Lamouchi.
This could have been a big chance for him to stake a claim against high-class opposition but besides the penalty save, he didn’t do too much right.