england-player-ratings-vs-france:-saka-impresses-as-three-lions-suffer-quarter-final-heartbreak

England suffered quarter-final heartbreak at the 2022 World Cup as Olivier Giroud and Aurelien Tchouameni scored in a 2-1 win for France.

The Three Lions went behind early following Tchouameni’s long range drive – although there were protestations from England players over a perceived foul on Bukayo Saka by Dayot Upamecano in the build-up.

Gareth Southgate’s side struggled to exert their dominance on the first half, although Harry Kane forced two fine saves from Hugo Lloris.

England started the second half in far more positive fashion, and were rewarded with a penalty when Saka was brought down by Tchouameni.

Captain Kane made no mistake from the spot, firing his penalty kick into the top left corner.

France retook the lead on 78 minutes, Giroud getting ahead of Harry Maguire before powering his header into the back of the net.

Then Kane had opportunity number two to score from the spot, post-VAR review, after Theo Hernandez barged over Mason Mount in the box. But the Spurs man hit his penalty over the bar.

England continued to probe late on, but couldn’t find the equaliser to send the game to extra time.

Here is how we rated the players:

Jordan Pickford – 7

Could do little to stop either of France’s goals. Made a great save to deny Rabiot after England’s equaliser, and a close-range stop to deny Giroud shortly before his goal.

Kyle Walker – 7

The pre-match build up centred around his battle with Mbappe, and Walker did a good job throughout. Drove forward on numerous occasions as well.

John Stones – 7

Didn’t have too much to do in the first half but, as ever, looked composed and confident on the ball. Good passing through the lines. Wasn’t directly involved with either goal.

Harry Maguire – 7

Similar display to Stones in the first half. Went on more of his typical marauding runs in the second half to push England forward. Directed a header off the post in the second half, then narrowly beaten to the ball by Giroud for France’s second goal.

Luke Shaw – 7

Didn’t do too much wrong in the first half during his battle with Dembele, but it limited his runs forward. Solid delivery on most occasions in the second half.

Declan Rice – 8

Broke up French attacks from deep and pressing high when needed. A solid first half display. Appeared to be given more responsibility to track Griezmann after the break and did a good job.

Jordan Henderson – 7

Comfortable in retaining and circulating possession in the centre of England’s midfield. Pushed further up more often in the second half and his excellent free-kick headed wide by Maguire on 69 minutes.

Jude Bellingham – 7

Another energetic first-half display and consistently pressed the French defence high up the pitch. Rushed out to block Tchouameni’s goal and was unlucky. Superb long-range volley in the second half well saved by Lloris, and then an excellent combination with Saka for the first penalty.

Bukayo Saka – 8 (POTM)

Caused the French defence plenty of problems as one of England’s main outlets. A bright spark in attack, as well as drawing fouls on a number of occasions. Great work to win the first penalty on 51 minutes.

Phil Foden – 7

England struggled to find him early on and he began to drift into central areas more often. Showed his quality with the ball at feet on numerous occasions in the second half with driving runs forward.

Harry Kane – 8

Looked strong against Upamecano and perhaps unfortunate not to win a penalty of his own in the first half. Forced two fine saves out of Lloris early on. Fired the first penalty home with aplomb. Hit his second spot kick over the bar, but otherwise excellent.

Substitutes

Raheem Sterling – 6 (on 78 mins)

Gave Walker defensive support when he came on and saw a looping cross claimed by Lloris.

Mason Mount – 6 (on 78 mins)

Won the penalty after getting in front of Theo Hernandez. Fired a late effort well over.

Marcus Rashford – 6 (on 85 minutes)

Found the top of the net with a late free kick but had little time to make an impact on the game otherwise.

Jack Grealish – N/A (on 98 minutes)

Only on the pitch for a matter of minutes late on.