Harry Kane was once again sub-par while Billy Gilmour impressed on full debut as England played out a goalless draw with Scotland at Wembley on Friday.
The first half was a cagey affair, with chances coming few and far between as the two teams looked to negate each other. Scotland were marginally better than hosts England, managing the only shot on target in the opening 45 minutes, with Jordan Pickford making a big save to deny Stephen O’Donnell.
Post the interval, it was more of the same, with both sides managing just the one shot on target each, as the game petered out to a goalless draw. The result means Scotland remain alive in the competition while England are still second behind Czech Republic, who drew 1-1 with Croatia earlier in the day. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over both the sets of players at Wembley.
Jordan Pickford: 7/10
Pickford was the busier of the two goalkeepers, even if marginally so. The England no. 1, though, did extremely well to keep out a rasping effort by Stephen O’Donnell and made another save later in the game to preserve his clean sheet. Just on a different level for England.
Reece James: 5/10
A surprise pick ahead of Kieran Trippier, this was James’ chance to impress. That is exactly what he did not do as apart from one clearance off the line, James just could not do enough and was rather passive at times with his forward movements. Could well lose his spot in the final group game.
John Stones: 7/10
Given a tough time by Che Adams for large portions of the game, Stones had to work hard to ensure Pickford did not have many saves to make. Did get played around at times, but denied his marker with three blocks. However, he spurned a good chance on the other end and ought to have done better to hand England the lead.
Tyrone Mings: 7/10
For a second successive game, Mings produced a domineering display of his best qualities. The 28-year-old was particularly imperious in the air, winning five aerial duels while also making a block and three clearances. Has proven to be an admirable backup option for Harry Maguire.
Luke Shaw: 7/10
Back in the starting lineup, Shaw proved to be one of England’s better players, despite taking a heavy knock early in the game. Adorned the left flank all game long, winning seven duels while also playing a joint-game-high two key passes. Did his best and should be retained against Czech Republic.
Kalvin Phillips: 5/10
After a brilliant performance against Croatia, Phillips came crashing down back to earth, in what was a sub-par display. While he did put in the hard yards, the verve from the opener was nowhere to be seen and he could not push England forward with the right tempo all game long while also losing possession 13 times.
Declan Rice: 5/10
After a rock-solid performance, this was a display in which Rice let the initiative slip. Along with Phillips, England’s midfield general failed to put in a commanding showing in the middle of the park which meant the Three Lions hardly dominated the midfield battle. And so, his 95 percent pass completion rate meant nothing, as he was hardly efficient with ball usage.
Phil Foden: 5/10
Once again preferred over Marcus Rashford, Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho, Foden failed to impress. Cannot be faulted for a lack of effort, but the prodigious attacker just did not seem to be cut out to make any sort of an impact, with Kieran Tierney containing him quite well. Needs to step up, although he could well make way for Grealish next time out.
Mason Mount: 6/10
One of the better players for England, Mount produced the only shot on target for his side in the game and was generally the only source of creativity at times. However, his best is still some way off and he will need to find those levels to inspire England to top the standings in their final group game.
Raheem Sterling: 5/10
Sterling was the liveliest player on the pitch for England, but that only lasted the first half-hour or so, as he struggled to get on top of a makeshift centre-back in Scott McTominay. Did see a lot of the ball and even played a key pass, but just could not pull the trigger in and around the Scotland box. Has to improve.
Harry Kane: 4/10
10 – Harry Kane had just 10 touches in the first half; the fewest of any player in the match, while just one was in Scotland's box and the England forward completed just two of five passes attempted. Isolated. #ENG #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/hDwf3F7wGf
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 18, 2021
Once again, Kane was a shell of his best and just could not manage to get out of second gear. The England captain was simply dreadful, managing just 19 touches while only completing 64 percent of his attempted passes. Something has got to give, with England now in a precarious position.
Jack Grealish: 6/10
One of England’s better players after coming on for Foden, Grealish pushed forward with purpose and engineered a couple of half-chances. However, he could not produce a game-defining chance, which proved to be England’s undoing all through the game.
Marcus Rashford: N/A
On for Kane, Rashford was an upgrade on the England captain, although that did not really take much doing on Friday. Did not get a chance to take aim at goal, though.
David Marshall: 6/10
After what was a busy outing in Scotland’s opener, Marshall had a much easier game versus England, who forced him into just the one save all game. Did well to save Mason Mount’s effort, though.
Scott McTominay: 7/10
Deployed in the three-man central defensive unit, McTominay took a little time to get going and find his feet. Once he did so, there was no way past the 24-year-old, who held his own and kept a check on Raheem Sterling superbly.
Grant Hanley: 8/10
After a wobbly display against Czech Republic, Hanley was top notch in ensuring the powerhouse that is Harry Kane just did not manage to get into the game. The veteran was especially imperious in the air, winning each of his five aerial duels while making a couple of big blocks as well. Has to carry this form forward against Croatia now.
Kieran Tierney: 7/10
Back in the starting lineup after recovering sufficiently from a calf injury, Tierney showed just how important he is for Scotland, with a solid performance at the back. Such was the impact he made for his side that Phil Foden was rendered to be ineffective. Linked up beautifully with Andrew Robertson as well.
Stephen O’Donnell: 7/10
Interestingly, it was O’Donnell who came the closest to scoring in the game, with the wing-back pushing forward with intent. Made to work hard defensively in the final quarter of the game and did so admirably. Solid outlet on the right-wing.
John McGinn: 7/10
After a bit of a struggle against Czech Republic, McGinn produced a performance closer to his best levels. Put in the hard yards to win seven duels while misplacing just two passes all game. Even made a couple of clearances and three tackles. Top effort.
Billy Gilmour: 8/10
??????? Congrats, Billy Gilmour! Star of the Match on his first Scotland start ???#EUROSOTM | @Heineken | #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/jNTdIah8iN
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 18, 2021
Making his full debut for Scotland, Gilmour was presented on the biggest stage in a derby – perhaps the biggest pressure situation for a youngster. The Chelsea prodigy, though, passed his test with flying colours, completing 91 percent of his attempted passes while using the ball beautifully with long passes. Most importantly, he was solid off the ball after a few hiccups early on. What a find.
Callum McGregor: 7/10
Replacing Scott Armstrong in the starting lineup, McGregor was just the kind of player needed to pluck Scotland out from tricky situations and frustrate England to no end. Completed just about every pass that he attempted while winning a couple of duels and even playing a key pass.
Andrew Robertson: 7/10
Once again, the Scotland captain was a bundle of energy on the left flank, even if he was not as creative as he was last time out against Czech Republic. Had the measure of Reece James on his side of the pitch in what was a job well done.
Che Adams: 6/10
Drafted back into the starting lineup in place of Ryan Christie, Adams made quite an impression on Friday with a tireless performance in the final third. However, he failed to convert a couple of good chances, which pulls his rating down a little.
Lyndon Dykes: 7/10
Much improved from the showing against Czech Republic, Dykes was a thorn on the sides for the England defenders and nearly grabbed a goal for himself, only to be denied by Reece James with a clearance off the line.
Stuart Armstrong: N/A
On for the final 15 minutes or so, Armstrong worked hard to see the game out.
Kevin Nisbet: N/A
A late introduction, Nisbet did not play enough to warrant a rating.
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