England 2-0 Ukraine: Player ratings as Saka inspires comfortable win

Bukayo Saka’s goal and assist proved to the difference between England and Ukraine on Sunday evening in their Euro 2024 qualifying clash at Wembley Stadium.

Saka set up Harry Kane’s opener after the half hour mark, before he doubled his side’s lead with a stunning strike from the edge of the penalty area.

As expected, England dominated the opening exchanges of the game, pinning Ukraine back into their own defensive third by controlling possession. Despite their territorial dominance however, the Three Lions rarely looked like threatening the opposition goal.

England would have to wait until the half hour mark to create their first notable opening, with a quick James Maddison set piece delivery catching Ukraine on the hop and finding Kane unmarked in the box. The forward’s subsequent volleyed effort on the stretch flew over the crossbar.

Kane would make amends for that miss five minutes later when Saka curled the ball into his path at the back post. England’s all-time top scorer made no mistake this time with his volley, coolly side-footing into the back of the net.

Saka would then double England’s lead with a stunning strike just a few minutes later. The Arsenal star turned past his marker on the edge of the box before brilliantly side-footing into the top left corner.

It looked like England were set to push on and score a few more goals in the second half to secure a statement win, but they didn’t really try to.

Instead, the Three Lions simply kept the ball ticking over in and around the Ukraine box without ever looking bothered to have a pop at goal.

A few substitutions late on finally re-energised England’s attack a bit, with Jack Grealish and Conor Gallagher combining inside the box before the latter forced Anatoliy Trubin into a smart save.

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GK – Jordan Pickford – 5/10 – He had literally nothing to do.

RB – Kyle Walker – 6/10 – Covered well when Ukraine sporadically threatened.

CB – John Stones – 5/10 – Didn’t have much to do defensively.

CB – Harry Maguire – 5/10 – Basically played as a midfielder.

LB – Ben Chilwell – 6/10 – Got forward well but his final delivery was lacking for most of the game.

CM – Jude Bellingham – 7/10 – The best of the midfield three. Darted around the box with real intent throughout.

CM – Jordan Henderson – 5/10 – Kept things ticking over in midfield but slowed play down way too much at times in the second half.

CM – Declan Rice – 5/10 – England probably didn’t need to play two defensive midfielders in this game.

RW – Bukayo Saka – 8/10 – Bagged a stunning goal and an assist. The best player on the pitch.

ST – Harry Kane – 7/10 – Added to his record England goal tally in the first half.

LW – James Maddison – 6/10 – A few really nice touches on his first England start. Perhaps lacked a bit quality with his final delivery into the box at times.

Substitutes

SUB – Ivan Toney – N/A.

SUB – Conor Gallagher – N/A.

SUB – Jack Grealish – N/A.

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