Raheem Sterling produced a top-notch performance as England grabbed a hard-fought 4-0 win over Hungary at the Puskas Arena on Thursday.
England dominated the proceedings for the most part, although the first half was a frustrating period, as they could not manage a single shot on target despite having a stanglehold on the game. The match then burst into life as the Three Lions grabbed the lead with a well-worked move, with Raheem Sterling putting the finishing touches from close range.
Shortly after, England were two to the good, with Sterling turning provider this time around, as Harry Kane found the back of the net. It took England little time for the visitors to go 3-0 up, with Harry Maguire nodding in Luke Show’s delivery from a corner, although Peter Gulacsi made a meal of a simple save.
Gulacsi then produced another howler late on, failing to save a shot that was straight at him from Declan Rice, as England rounded off the win to extend their lead at the top of Group I. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Gareth Southgate’s men.
Jordan Pickford: 7/10
Easy as you like for Pickford, who had just one save to make all game, which he did with ease. The 27-year-old was also typically boisterous in his box while completing two thirds of his attempted passes.
Kyle Walker: 8/10
A top class showing by Walker, who was untroubled at the back, although he did complete four tackles. And while he lost possession 20 times, he still managed to retain a healthy passing rate of 87 percent. Created one fine chance for Harry Kane, only for the England captain to scuff his effort.
Harry Maguire: 8/10
Maguire provided a solid presence at the heart of England’s defence, winning six duels while also completing two clearances and interceptions each. Much like his central defensive partner, Maguire also proved to be reliable enough on the ball, facilitating efficient build-ups from the back. The cherry on top was his goal, as he headed in Luke Shaw’s cross to make it 3-0.
John Stones: 7/10
A decent enough performance by Stones, who, like Maguire, was not tested all that much but still managed to keep out the little danger that Hungary’s attackers presented. At the same time, he was reliable with the ball at his feet, completing 97 percent of his attempted passes.
Luke Shaw: 8/10
Shaw continues to be a tremendous asset for Gareth Southgate and on Thursday, he proved to be a constant outlet down the left flank while also carrying a threat from his set-piece deliveries. The 26-year-old played as many as three key passes while grabbing the assist for Maguire’s goal.
Declan Rice: 8/10
One booking. One drink. One goal. Sounds like a decent night tbf.
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) September 2, 2021
Rice was the facilitator of England’s dominance in the game, as he constantly disrupted Hungary’s moves in the early stages while initiating his own team’s moves. On one such occasion, he won the ball before sparking the move that ended with Raheem Sterling finding the back of the net. Ended up grabbing a goal himself, which made it 4-0 for England.
Kalvin Phillips: 7/10
As ever, Phillips put in a tireless performance while pressing relentlessly higher up the pitch, completing four tackles. At the same time, he kept things simple on the ball, allowing the likes of Mason Mount and Jack Grealish to strut their stuff. Continues to grow in his role in this side.
Raheem Sterling: 9/10
Sterling was as Sterling usually is in an England shit – a constant menace for the opposition defence while looking for scoring opportunities. And score he did, finding the back of the net for the 16th time in his last 24 international outings. Played a couple of key passes as well, with one of those getting him the assist for Kane’s goal. All this while keeping a passing rate of 91 percent. Top notch.
14/14 – England's record in the 14 games when Raheem Sterling has scored:
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 2, 2021
Mason Mount: 8/10
Mount, along with Grealish, was England’s creative hub, pulling the strings effortlessly while also roaming all across the Hungary half. This allowed him to link up effortlessly while also ghosting around without really being marked out. And such an outlook also helped him provide the assist to Sterling for the opener. Job well done.
Jack Grealish: 8/10
Handed a start ahead of Bukayo Saka, Grealish vindicated Southgate’s decision as he was here, there and everywhere while finding openings galore in the second half. Heavily involved in the move for the opener, the Manchester City playmaker strung together a game-high four key passes while grabbing an assist for Rice’s goal.
Harry Kane: 7/10
Kane, who was the Player to Watch in our preview, was not quite at his best as he continues to find his feet in what is sort of his pre-season. The lack of sharpness was evident when he fluffed his lines upon being provided a peach of a pass by Walker. Kane did grab his goal, though, heading in a cross by Sterling to make it 2-0. Should have really had a hat-trick.
13 – Harry Kane has now scored in each of his last 13 EUROs/World Cup qualifying matches for England, netting 17 goals overall. Reliable. pic.twitter.com/ONcmwnLLcU
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 2, 2021
Jesse Lingard: N/A
A late introduction, Lingard saw a fair bit of the ball in the dying embers of the game but did not have enough time to get on the scoresheet himself.
Jordan Henderson: N/A
On for the final few minutes, Henderson helped see the game out.
Bukayo Saka: N/A
A late introduction, Saka managed just five touches on the ball as England grabbed the big win over Hungary.