Jesse Lingard and Bukayo Saka were exceptional as England cruised to a 4-0 win over Andorra in a FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying fixture.
England dominated the contest from the onset and the opener was a long time coming when Jesse Lingard scored from close range in the 18th minute. Shortly after, the Manchester United ace could have doubled his and the Three Lions’ tally only to narrowly miss the target. Thereafter, though, Andorra somehow held on, with England having some close misses as well till half-time.
Post the interval, the hosts kept probing before the floodgates finally opened in the 72nd minute, when Harry Kane converted from the spot after Mason Mount was brought down by Christian Garcia. Three minutes later, Lingard made it 3-0 with an even better finish than the one for his first goal.
Lingard then turned provider as the win was finally rounded off in the 82nd minute, with Bukayo Saka getting on the scoresheet. The 4-0 win means England retain their perfect record in the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers, consolidating their place atop Group I. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Gareth Southgate’s men.
Well played, lads! 👏 pic.twitter.com/s5ZCMsmDrP
— England (@England) September 5, 2021
Sam Johnstone: 6/10
Just like Jordan Pickford against Hungary earlier in the week, Johnstone had precious little to do in the game. In fact, he did not even touch the ball nearly as many times as Pickford last time out, although like the man he replaced, he made one regulation save while completing each of his 10 attempted passes. Easy as you like.
Reece James: 7/10
An interesting outing for James, who started off as a right-back and looked solid enough in the first half before being moved into a midfield role post the break. A surprise deployment by Southgate was nearly a masterstroke as the no. 8 role seemed to suit James’s abilities well, with the youngster even coming close to scoring, only to be denied by the crossbar. Promising signs.
Conor Coady: 6/10
Given a rare start, Coady enjoyed probably the easiest game of his career, as he almost exclusively had to just focus on getting his passes right instead of doing his primary job, with Andorra barely threatening. The Wolverhampton Wanderers captain did win four duels while completing 95 percent of his passes. Nearly scored with an acrobatic effort only to miss the target by whiskers.
Tyrone Mings: 6/10
Much like Coady, Mings coasted through the entire game without ever being troubled, although he did get booked for an unnecessary challenge. Won seven duels while completing 94 percent of the passes he attempted, and even provided an imposing presence in the opposition box during set-piece situations.
Kieran Trippier: 7/10
A surprise starter at left-back, Trippier’s selection was a rather conservative decision by Southgate, although it did afford Luke Shaw some well deserved rest. As for Trippier himself, he was a constant outlet down the left flank and even played a couple of key passes while winning a whopping ten duels. Job well done in the end.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 6/10
For quite some time now, both Jurgen Klopp and Gareth Southgate have been urged to try Trent Alexander-Arnold as a midfielder. The moment finally came on Sunday, with the game against Andorra providing Southgate the perfect opportunity for the experiment. However, the youngster flitted in and out of the game before returning to the right-back spot where he was more influential.
Jordan Henderson: 7/10
With Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips rested, Jordan Henderson returned to the side to provide a controlling presence in the middle. That is exactly what the England skipper for the day did, as he controlled the tempo of the game smartly while completing 92 percent of the 117 passes he played. Solid as ever defensively, winning each of his five duels.
Jude Bellingham: 7/10
Bellingham was the other midfielder called up in the absence of Rice and Phillips, and the teenage prodigy was quite impressive. With Henderson controlling the proceedings from the deep lying position, the 18-year-old had the freedom to charge forward. And he ended up being the creative force for England, playing a game-high three key passes while retaining a 96 percent passing rate. Going from strength to strength.
Jesse Lingard: 9/10
Two goals. One assist. 🔥
— England (@England) September 5, 2021
A stunning performance by Lingard wherein he has also given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer some food for thought. Rampant all throughout in the final third, the 28-year-old ended the game with two goals and an assist, with the finish for each of the goals being quite exquisite. Showed fine chemistry with Bukayo Saka as well while playing two key passes. Earning his place in the side.
Patrick Bamford: 6/10
Making his England debut on his 28th birthday, Bamford did not have the most memorable of outings despite the hosts’ dominance over Andorra. The Leeds United front-man, in fact, struggled to get into the game, managing just 17 touches while mustering only a couple of shots. Back to the drawing board for him.
Bukayo Saka: 9/10
Another birthday boy in the starting lineup, Saka proved to be a far more influential performer for England than Bamford. Like Lingard on the right flank, the 20-year-old produced an all-action display, having been involved in each of Lingard’s goals before being set up by the Manchester United man late on. This performance, in a way, brings Saka closure for the Euro 2020 final, said Southgate.
"This is the perfect way to celebrate my birthday!" 🤩
England fans sang happy birthday to Bukayo Saka who scored a goal to celebrate turning 20-years-old in a 4-0 win over Andorra. 🎂pic.twitter.com/nxk3a5D6xy
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) September 5, 2021
Harry Kane: 7/10
This man just cannot stop scoring in qualifying fixtures, can he? Off the bench with half an hour to go, the England captain scored off the spot for his second goal in as many games this international break. Kane could have really had a brace in this game, as he inexplicably smashed the upright from a cross by Jack Grealish.
Harry Kane has now scored the same amount of goals for England as Michael Owen (40).
And he's played 26 fewer games. 🏴 pic.twitter.com/HaQdY3mzxc
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 5, 2021
Mason Mount: 7/10
On for Bellingham, Mount settled in the midfield and showed some nice awareness to win the penalty which was converted by Kane. Completed all but one pass late on and pulled the strings well.
Jack Grealish: 7/10
Much like Mount, Grealish also did enough to continue England’s stronghold on the game. Should have been rewarded with an assist, only for Kane to miss the target.