England player ratings vs Austria: Saka, Bellingham and Grealish make strong case for Euros roles

·4-min read
 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

England got their preparations for Euro 2020 off to a solid start with a 1-0 win over Austria at the Riverside Stadium, clinched by Bukayo Saka’s first international goal.

The friendly was overshadowed by sections of the home support booing the players taking the knee pre-match and by a late injury to Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was helped off by medical staff in the final few minutes.

Dan Kilpatrick was at the Riverside Stadium to run the rule over the England players...

Jordan Pickford 7

Came good when it mattered, including with a fine finger-tip save to touch Marcel Sabitzer’s curler onto the crossbar. Also alert to prevent a Ben Godfrey own goal in a display that will have tightened his grip on the No.1 jersey, despite a late flappy punch.

Trent Alexander-Arnold 7

Could have staked a major claim for the highly-contested right-back spot by scoring an early chance from Kane’s pass. Got forward well but a couple of Austria openings came down his flank, including a cute cross from David Alaba. Walked off towards the end, injured – a concern.

Conor Coady 6

Nearly allowed Christoph Baumgartner to bundle his way to goal in the first half in an otherwise solid display. Looks like the first change behind Harry Maguire and John Stones.

Tyrone Mings 6

The defender was lucky to get away with a bizarre off-the-ball body-check on Marco Friedl which might have been costly in a competitive match. His left foot adds balance to the back four but he did not always looked switched on, which will concern Southgate in the absence of Maguire.

Kieran Trippier 6

Showed his versatility again by slotting in at left-back. Offered limited threat down the flank on his wrong foot but did not look out of place. Set up a Bellingham chance with a corner.

Declan Rice 7

A typically solid if unspectacular performance from the West Ham man, who broke up play and kept the ball moving to provide a platform for the attacking four.

Jude Bellingham 8

The teenager oozes class and use the ball superbly in the middle of the park. With Jordan Henderson’s fitness still a question mark, Bellingham may just have played himself into the starting XI for Croatia. The 17-year-old also proved a surprising threat at set-pieces, getting his head on the end of a Trippier corner.

Jesse Lingard 7

In what could be his final contribution before heading home, Lingard set-up the goal with a fine pass with which nicked from Grealish’s toes into Saka’s path. He looked lively and committed in difficult circumstances but ultimately did not shine like Saka and Grealish, helping to justify Southgate’s decision to leave him out.

Jack Grealish 8

Gliding across the front line, the Aston Villa playmaker was repeatedly kicked by the Austrian players but kept getting to his feet. Front of centre of England’s best chances, including the goal and a pass for Kane’s great chance in the first half.

Bukayo Saka 8

The teenager went some way to justifying his selection in the squad with a lively performance and his first international goal. Showed perseverance to slot home minutes after being scythed down by Stefan Lainer.

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Harry Kane 8

The England captain was responsible for the two best chances of a goalless first half, setting up Alexander-Arnold with a trademark switch before testing Austrian goalkeeper David Bachmann from close range when he should have done better. He was full of clever movement and touches, including a pass in the build-up to Saka’s goal.

 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Substitutes

James Ward-Prowse (Rice 61’) 6

A busy 30 minutes and a calming presence when the game had become stretched.

Ben Godfrey (Mings 61’) 5

With almost his first touch, nearly scored an embarrassing own goal after forcing Pickford to clear off his line and allowed Michael Gregoritsch a free header at the death. A nervy debut.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Kane 61’) 7

Showed off his remarkable leap and fired a good opening across the face of goal in a lively cameo.

Ollie Watkins (Lingard 61’) 5

Did not have a chance to add to his goal against San Marino in a relatively quiet showing from the bench.

Ben White (Grealish 71’) 6

Nearly scored on debut, firing wide of the post shortly after his introduction. Likely

Subs not used: Johnstone, Phillips, Henderson, Sancho, Ramsdale.

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