England player ratings vs Ukraine: James Maddison shows he belongs as Bukayo Saka wows Wembley
Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka made it a perfect start for England after they dominated Ukraine to secure six points from their first two Euro 2024 qualifiers.
The Three Lions captain tapped home the opener after claiming his country’s all-time scoring record in midweek away to Italy.
Saka then doubled the lead with a stunning strike against Ruslan Rotan’s visitors, allowing Gareth Southgate’s side to beat his two biggest rivals for qualification over a crucial four days.
It was a wholly positive evening despite Phil Foden needing an operation on his appendix the morning of the game, giving James Maddison a chance to earn his first start. Ivan Toney also made his debut in comfortable circumstances.
Nizaar Kinsella was at Wembley witnessing another impressive display in Group C...
Jordan Pickford - 6
Didn’t need to make a single save during an exceptional England display, an easier night than expected for the Everton goalkeeper.
Kyle Walker - 7
Ventured further forward than usual and won his duel with Chelsea and Ukraine’s pacy winger Mykhailo Mudryk, who was substituted in the 60th minute.
John Stones - 6
Stones dropped in well to block a Heorhii Sudakov shot in the fourth minute, then had little to do but keep possession moving.
Harry Maguire - 6
Caught in possession early in the second half and had his moments of poor positioning but he was good enough overall. He had two dangerous late headers to highlight his set-piece threat.
Ben Chilwell - 7
The Chelsea wing-back was given licence to attack and link with James Maddison despite playing a deeper role than he does for his club. Put in several crosses and got involved in set pieces, not bad for a first international appearance in over 12 months.
Jordan Henderson - 7
A solid midfield display, stopping counter-attacks and linking up with the forwards and particularly the excellent Saka.
Declan Rice - 7
Made one brilliant tackle early in the second half as Ukraine tried to rally while two goals down but didn’t seem to need to exert himself against inferior opposition.
Jude Bellingham - 6
The 19-year-old looked a bit leggy but remains a fan favourite, drawing shouts of ‘Juuuuude’ while in possession. A brilliant dribble and counter-attack at the start of the second half was his best moment after a quiet first half.
Bukayo Saka - 9
Had the beating of Everton’s Vitaliy Mykolenko all evening, crossing in an early warning for Maddison before setting up Kane’s opener. He then spun his marker in midfield and scored a stunning goal past Anatoliy Trubin, drawing gasps when the replay was played on the monitor in west London such was the quality of his goal.
Harry Kane - 8
Kane extended his lead as England’s all-time top scorer shortly after collecting a commemorative golden boot at Wembley. From 54 to 55, it is now about how much of a lead this striker can establish in the goal scoring charts before the next group of forwards come through. Excellent in setting up his goal through a crossfield pass before then scoring it.
AND HARRY KANE DOES IT AGAIN 🔥 #C4Football | #ThreeLions | #ENGUKR pic.twitter.com/RpCcXZ6UP2
— Channel 4 Sport (@C4Sport) March 26, 2023
James Maddison - 8
Sharp to a loose ball and almost scored on his first start. Some good set-piece delivery throughout and produced some entertaining moments of skill. On his first international start, he showed he belonged at that level.
Ivan Toney - N/A
The Brentford striker made his debut in the 80th minute for England, becoming the first Brentford player to run out for the Three Lions since 1939. Only made three touches of the ball in his 10-minute cameo.
Jack Grealish - 7
Immediately created a chance for Gallagher after big cheers from the Wembley faithful who regard the Manchester City winger as a favourite. He then almost scored in the last minute of the match.
Conor Gallagher - 6
Almost scored with his first touch of the game.
Unused subs: Aaron Ramsdale, Fraser Forster; Kieran Tripper, Marc Guehi; Eric Dier, Kalvin Phillips