Jesse Lingard scored the only goal of the game as England held on to record a 1-0 win over Netherlands at the Amsterdam Arena on Friday.
A revamped and resurgent England side met a Netherlands side that had just initiated their rebuilding phase after their failure to qualify for the World Cup and the subsequent appointment of Ronald Koeman. The match though, was a tightly contested affair.
For long, both teams tried to break the deadlock. But, it was England who managed to score around the hour mark as Jesse Lingard latched on to a rebound at the edge of the box before applying a calm finish to send the ball past goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet and into the bottom corner.
The match ended 1-0 in favour of the visitors. The Hard Tackle now takes a closer look at how the starters fared for Netherlands and England.
Jeroen Zoet – 7
The player was handed a start ahead of Barcelona keeper Jasper Cillessen. Vindicated his manager’s decision, pulling out one save after another to deny England. Managed to get a touch to Jesse Lingard’s shot but could not power it away from goal. A decent outing and one to build upon.
Virgil van Dijk – 6
Went about his duties nicely. Was largely quiet though, and did not do much of notice. Decent.
Matthijs de Ligt – 6.5
De Ligt showed the hunger that was perhaps lacking in some of the more experienced campaigners on the pitch. Was almost through on goal at the end, if not for the offside flag. A good outing and one which would have definitely piqued the interest in him.
Stefan de Vrij – 6
Like van Dijk, the player went about his duties well, but did not do much of note. His spot could be in question if Koeman decides to shift to a back four.
Hans Hateboer – 6.5
An average outing. Had a chance to equalize for Netherlands, but saw his shot blocked en route to Pickford, who gathered it with ease.
Kevin Strootman – 5.5
The midfield battle was won by England on Friday, which meant Strootman’s influence was minimalized. Did not see as much of the ball as he would have liked.
Georginino Wijnaldum – 6.5
The Liverpool man did justice to his role in the middle of the park. Was adventurous as well and looked to be able to find teammates with ease.
Patrick Van Aanholt – 6
Another player who was largely quiet during the game, very much unlike his usual self. Chances are, Koeman picked him mainly because of his attacking ability. Could be one of the few who lose their spot for the next friendly.
Quincy Promes – 6.5
Promes did scupper an easy-looking chance to score early in the first half. But, the speedster looks to be making the right runs and occupying the right space. However, he was outshined by Depay and could lose his spot to Justin Kluivert if Koeman opts to hand the youngster his debut.
Bas Dost – 7
One of the players who worked the hardest to ensure England’s defence did not have it easy. Pressed hard on to the defenders and Pickford as well and almost got the goalkeeper to commit an error. Had a chance from a Depay corner but skied the ball. Easily, Netherlands’ best option upfront.
Memphis Depay – 7.5
Depay gave it his all at the Amsterdam Arena on Friday. From taking free-kicks to trying to set up teammates, trying long-ranged efforts to teeing up others in the box, the former Manchester United winger was in his elements. Looks set to be one of the stars Koeman will build his Netherlands side around.
Jordan Pickford – 7
Pickford was good, if not great, in goal for England. Had one nervy moment when pressed by Bas Dost, otherwise handled everything brilliantly. Looks the best option for Southgate’s England at the moment.
Kyle Walker – 6.5
While Walker did not put much of a foot wrong, it was surprising to see the right-back be a part of the back three. Going forward, Southgate would rather deploy him further ahead in Trippier’s place to extract the best out of Walker.
Joe Gomez – N/A
Gomez suffered an injury early on and had to be brought off. Disappointing for the Liverpool lad.
John Stones – 7
Stones was a rock at the back. Netherlands did not muster up several chances but the ones they attempted were swept away by the English defence. Good outing.
Jordan Henderson – 7.5
An inspired display by Henderson, who exuded the confidence and charisma on the pitch that a leader should. His long balls almost always found a teammate and he dominated the midfield well.
Kieran Trippier – 7
Trippier was a nuisance for Netherlands’ defence, with his overlapping runs from the right. Was handed the responsibility of free-kicks and did not disappoint.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7.5
One of the players who were on song on Friday. Had several attempts on goal and pulled many strings in his preferred role in central midfield. Looks to be owning up to the central role. Brilliant outing.
Jesse Lingard – 7.5
If Oxlade-Chamberlain was on song, Lingard was not far behind. His movement was troublesome for Netherlands, who were unable to cope with the Manchester United academy graduate. Lingard was tipped to be a late bloomer and the way he is, only bodes well for United and England.
Danny Rose – 6.5
A quiet, but solid outing. Did not do much of notice but was decent throughout and provided a good outlet everytime.
Marcus Rashford – 7.5
Another player who seemed to have a spring in his steps. Rashford exuded confidence upfront and continuously troubled the Dutch backline. Could have been awarded a penalty in the second half, but the referee thought otherwise. All in all, a display to build upon and one with no negatives.
Raheem Sterling – 7
Sterling was a threat with his pace and often looked to get past the last defender, playing on the shoulders of the backline. More effective out wide, though.