Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi was excellent for England U21s as they scraped past Andorra in their Group G European Championship qualifier.
A well-taken goal from Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe was all that separated the two sides at the final whistle after an underwhelming display from Lee Carsley’s Young Lions saw them win 1-0.
The attacking midfielder raced on to Curtis Jones’ pass to slot the ball into the bottom-left corner, finishing off a counter-attack following an Andorran corner on the 67-minute mark.
Smith Rowe’s finish secured all three points, keeping England in third position in the group, but it was a tougher night than expected.
Sheffield United’s Rhian Brewster was harshly sent off after collecting a second yellow card ten minutes into the second half, leaving the likes of Guehi with more defending to do than he had perhaps planned for.
The 21-year-old stood up to the test well, though, denying Andorra a single shot during the game as he captained them to victory.
As per SofaScore, Guehi received a match of 7.5 out of 10, the joint-second highest total awarded to any player on the pitch.
And when looking at his underlying numbers, it’s easy to understand why. The stocky centre-back dominated his striker throughout the 90 minutes, winning three of his four duels (75%) to deny the opposition attack on multiple occasions.
But Guehi was equally as impressive with the ball at his feet. He constantly kickstarted England attacks from the heart of his defence, having 96 touches and achieving a passing accuracy of 90% after finding a teammate with 17 of his attempted 19 long balls.
With the tricky trip to Arsenal coming up next at club level for Guehi, Palace manager Patrick Vieira will be hoping his summer signing can replicate this sort of form at the Emirates Stadium, inspiring the Eagles to a memorable result.