England’s World Cup dream came to an unceremonious end last night as they crashed out of the semi finals courtesy of an extra time goal from Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic.
It was all going so well for the Three Lions, with Kieran Trippier netting a fifth-minute free kick, but the match seemed to slip away from them and eventually, Gareth Southgate’s team just didn’t have enough energy to respond after going 2-1 down with eleven minutes left on the clock.
Nobody can fault the level of commitment shown, but it was by no means England’s strongest performance at this World Cup either, with certain key players struggling to really assert themselves on the game.
After the semi final defeat, we asked England fans to issue performance ratings for each of those involved – here’s a rundown of the three men who disappointed them the most, picking up the lowest average scores…
Jesse Lingard – 5.3: He’s been one of England’s most dependable players at this tournament, in terms of both industry and creativity, but Lingard struggled to make much of a mark against Croatia. The Manchester United midfielder created just two chances in 120 minutes and none of his attempts at goal – including a glorious opportunity from the edge of the box – managed to test the goalkeeper. By no means a disgraceful performance, but one where nothing quite came off for him.
Dele Alli – 5.1: Alli found it even harder to make an impact against Croatia, during a game in which he always seemed to be a few yards too deep trying to protect Jordan Henderson rather than giving the likes of Luca Modric and Ivan Rakitic problems going the other way. The Tottenham star failed to take a single effort at goal, which pretty much sums up his evening.
Harry Kane – 4.8: Was Kane fully fit? He certainly didn’t look quite right during the second half and seemed to be suffering from mental fatigue. Wednesday night was the kind of occasion in which England’s most valuable asset should be stepping up, but the Spurs talisman just couldn’t do it – his hold-up play wasn’t as effective as it was against Sweden, and he scuppered his best chance of finding the net by hitting the post from a yard out.
View the results in full below…