In a much-welcomed change from the England norm, Gareth Southgate’s side progressed to the semi-finals of the World Cup with surprisingly minimal fuss on Saturday, dispensing of an inferior Sweden team that always looked second-best in a measured, patient and professional fashion.
While England once again showed their formidable balance, organisation and togetherness as a collective, there were plenty of individual performances to be impressed with too. With that in mind, we asked Three Lions fans to give performance ratings for each of those involved – so here’s a rundown of the three players who picked up the highest average scores, including the winner of the fans’ Man of the Match award…
Kieran Trippier – 7.4: Few players at this World Cup have performed beyond expectations to the same extent as the Tottenham defender who has proved a revelation in a more advanced wide role, his whips from the right – whether from set pieces or open play – becoming a defining feature of England’s efforts going forward. The 27-year-old attempted ten crosses against Sweden and weighed in defensively with two tackles and two interceptions.
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Harry Maguire – 7.4: What a monolithic defender he’s become over the course of this tournament. Imperious at the back yet courageous on the ball and an absolute nightmare in the opposition box. Against Sweden, the Leicester City star won ten aerial duels – the most of any player on the pitch – alongside the header for England’s opener.
Jordan Pickford – 8.5: No prizes for guessing Pickford would walk away with the Man of the Match award from Saturday’s game. For all of England’s control and dominance during Saturday’s 2-0 win, it could have been a lot hairier if not for a hat-trick of world-class saves from the Everton No.1. It’s crazy to think that only 58% of England fans were content with starting him against Colombia when we polled them last week.
View the results in full below…