Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored twice while the likes of Mason Mount, Reece James impressed as England thrashed San Marino 5-0 on Thursday night.
England kicked off their 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers campaign in style as they put minnows, San Marino, to the sword at Wembley. As one would’ve expected, it was pretty much one-way traffic from the start with the Three Lions opening the scoring just 14 minutes in through James Ward-Prowse.
Seven minutes later Dominic Calvert-Lewin doubled England’s advantage before Raheem Sterling made it 3-0 just past the half-hour mark to put the result beyond any doubt. Calvert-Lewin then went on to score another goal early in the second half before Ollie Watkins marked his debut for the national team with a goal in the 83rd minute to complete the rout.
The scoreline could have been much worse for San Marino who hardly mounted an attack all night, while Gareth Southgate’s men had 15 shots on target. The result sends the Three Lions to the top of Group I and here’s how we rated their performances on Thursday.
Nick Pope: 6/10
A mere spectator on the night. San Marino did not have a single shot on goal, which meant he pretty much stood watching the game from the back. Had just five touches all game and not a single save to make. One of the easiest clean sheets he will ever keep in his career.
Reece James: 8/10
That Reece James assist ? pic.twitter.com/cvBEuFVAdx
— ✈️ (@Arrizabalager) March 25, 2021
A constant outlet on the right flank, the Chelsea full-back got forward with verve and hit in some inviting passes into the box, setting up Calvert-Lewin’s first goal. Could have had another assist if the Everton man had finished better. Taken off at half-time with 92% pass success rate and three key passes completed. Effective.
John Stones: 6/10
Marked his return to the national team with a comfortable display. Hardly asked any serious questions defensively, the centre-back often found himself stepping up into the midfield region. Should have scored in the 11th minute though when he sent an effort over. Taken off at half-time.
Conor Coady: 6/10
Much like Stones, was untested throughout the night. Handed the captaincy after the wave of changes at half-time and ensured there were no mishaps.
Ben Chilwell: 8/10
Ben Chilwell’s assist for England! Mason Mount heavily involved, also.
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) March 25, 2021
The Chelsea full-back duo was on fire on Thursday night. Much like James, Chilwell too got forward at will and created chances in plenty. Involved in almost everything positive England conjured up as he made five key passes – the joint second-highest in the game and got the assist for Ward-Prowse’s opening goal. A much-needed performance with Luke Shaw waiting in the wings.
James Ward-Prowse: 8/10
Kicked off the scoring spree on the night with a very well-taken goal early in the game. Offered a proper creative influence from the middle as he played in five key passes on the night. Could have had another from a free-kick, but it was diverted on to the post by the San Marino goalkeeper.
Kalvin Phillips: 7/10
Sat back and allowed the more attack-minded teammates to do their bit. Neat and tidy on the ball for the most part, the Leeds United midfielder also managed a couple of key chances. Won five aerial duels as well. Solid, if not spectacular.
Mason Mount: 8/10
Mason Mount’s first half vs. San Marino by numbers:
89% pass accuracy
8 chances created
Enjoying himself. ? pic.twitter.com/h7Gi54TPr9
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 25, 2021
Looked like he was enjoying himself from the off, as the Chelsea midfielder went on to create as many as eight chances despite playing for just the first 45 minutes. Got the assist for Sterling’s goal and was at the centre of everything good England did in the first half. Hooked off at half-time, indicating that he will start against Albania in the next game.
Jesse Lingard: 7/10
Returning to the international scenes due to his stunning form for West Ham United, Lingard looked up for it on the night. Was lively, linked up well with those around him and showed good involvement throughout. Played in three key passes, one of which set Calvert-Lewin up for his second goal. But, he could not find the target himself even though he had the most shots on target on the night (5).
Dominic Calvert-Lewin: 8/10
Four goals in four starts now. https://t.co/itdiyYwkdi
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 25, 2021
Should have scored from a straightforward chance very early in the game. But, he made amends by turning in James’ pass to make it 2-0 in the 14th minute. Troubled the defence throughout his time on the pitch and got his second of the night in the second half before making way for Ollie Watkins. Will invariably end up playing second-fiddle to Harry Kane but what an asset for Southgate to have at his disposal when on this kind of form.
Raheem Sterling: 7.5/10
Donning the captain’s armband in the first half, Sterling looked in his elements as he skimmed past opponents with extreme ease, making a game-high six dribbles even though he played for just one half. Took his goal well to make it 3-0 and played one key pass. There was a moment when he could have set Lingard up for instead of going for goal himself, though.
Jude Bellingham: 7/10
On for Mount at half-time. Made people stand up and notice with his nimble foot-work and nifty touches. Had a couple of opportunities to find the back of the net but couldn’t hit the target.
Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham both competed four take-ons for England vs. San Marino in their 45 minutes on pitch.
Mainstays of the England team for years to come. pic.twitter.com/sbGklHvk1g
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 25, 2021
Phil Foden: 7/10
Replaced Sterling at half-time. Looked very bright even as England slowly took the foot off the pedal in the second period. Set up Watkins for his goal.
Kieran Trippier: 6/10
Came on for James at half-time. Failed to offer the same attacking vigour and intent as the Chelsea youngster, though.
Tyrone Mings: 6/10
Sent on in place of Stones at half-time. Not tested one bit defensively. Passed well when he was on the ball.
Ollie Watkins: 7/10
Came on to replace Calvert-Lewin in the 63rd minute to make his debut for the England national team. A memorable night turned sweeter when he found the back of the net with a neat finish late in the game.