England Under-21s player ratings vs Andorra: Cole Palmer and Emile Smith Rowe saviours in shoddy performance

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

Emile Smith Rowe’s goal saw England Under-21s scrape to victory over Andorra on an edgy and nervy night.

Lee Carsley’s side were struggling to create against the minnows and were reduced to ten men when Rhian Brewster was sent off before Smith Rowe scored the winner on the break.

The Young Lions made very hard work of things for themselves throughout the first half. Cole Palmer saw a shot saved and linked well with Tino Livramento down the right but everyone else in while appeared to be playing in slow motion.

Andorra were sitting tight and defending well but were hardly ever dragged out of position.

England picked up the pace after the break as Palmer saw an effort cleared off the line before Brewster and Marc Guehi sent efforts wide and high respectively.

Things though went from bad to worse when Brewster, who was about to be replaced by Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun, was shown a red card after a second yellow for a very harsh alleged elbow.

There would have been quite the cry of relief from the England bench as, from an Andorran corner, substitutes Curtis Jones broke and carried the ball well before a perfectly timed pass to Smith Rowe. His finish was composed and guided low into the bottom corner.

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Here is how Jack Rosser rated the Young Lions...

Etienne Green 6/10

The goalkeeper was a spectator all night long. 

Tino Livramento 7

Was one of the only players to show some intent in the first half, linked well with Palmer.

Taylor Harwood-Bellis 6

Completely untroubled all night long.

Marc Guehi 6

Was not tested at the back once but could have done better with a header in the other box at a corner.

Luke Thomas 5

Didn’t offer enough going forward and picked up a silly booking.

Conor Gallagher 5

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Didn’t bring his usual energy and directness on the ball, a couple of nice runs into the box off the ball.

James Garner 5

Put in a good cross for Brewster just before his sending off but offered little else before then.

Tommy Doyle 6

Some nice passing but didn’t have too much of an impact on the game.

Cole Palmer 8

England’s best player and bizarrely replaced when they needed a goal. A joy to watch and very confident on the ball.

Emile Smith Rowe 8

Emile Smith Rowe scores England’s winner (The FA via Getty Images)
Emile Smith Rowe scores England’s winner (The FA via Getty Images)

Not up to his usual standards in the first half but a good run and fine finish for the winning goal and was England’s biggest threat after Palmer was withdrawn.

Rhian Brewster 3

Desperately lacking in confidence and not making the runs a striker should do in and around the box. Almost hard to watch at times and things got worse when he was sent off for a second yellow before the hour mark.

Substitutes

Curtis Jones 7

Added some energy and quick feet when coming on with England at ten men and drove well on the ball to set up the winner.

Angel Gomes n/a

Folarin Balogun n/a

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