International Soccer

Player ratings as Three Lions humiliated in Euro 2024 send-off

England will head into Euro 2024 off the back of an embarrassing 1-0 defeat at home to Iceland.

An early goal at Wembley was all that separated the two sides on Friday night, with Iceland reopening the Three Lions’ wounds of their Euro 2016 exit.

Gareth Southgate will have plenty of questions to answer after such an uninspiring display as his side were booed off at full-time.

How the game unfolded

Inside 12 minutes, Iceland took their shock lead. The visitors did well to beat the England press and caught Kyle Walker caught out of position with a swift attack down the left. Jon Thorsteinsson fired his side in front, lashing a fierce shot under Aaron Ramsdale at the near post.

England nearly found a leveller soon after going behind when Declan Rice pressed goalkeeper Hakon Rafn Valdimarsson into a poor clearance, with Cole Palmer intercepting and firing at goal, only for retreating defender Daniel Gretarsson to block his effort off the line.

Palmer then turned provider for Harry Kane with a teasing cross in from the right, but the Three Lions captain fluffed his lines and his volley from six yards whistled over.

After the break, Phil Foden was next to try his luck, dragging a cutback from Anthony Gordon narrowly wide of the far post.

Another chance went begging when Palmer tried to round Valdimarsson, but the Chelsea star took the ball too wide and his eventual shot was deflected behind.

Iceland should have doubled their on the counter when Andri Gudjohnsen was able to skip in behind a sleeping England backline and roll the ball in for Thorsteinsson, who this time slipped when shooting and the hosts were mercifully let off the hook.

Southgate made several substitutions as England went in search of a leveller, and two of them combined to create their next opening – Trent Alexander-Arnold got to the byline and pulled the ball back for Ivan Toney, whose effort bounced over.

Deep into stoppage time, Alexander-Arnold had a low cross clipped past the far post, but that was as close as England came to an equaliser.

John Stones, Aaron Ramsdale, Marc Guehi, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Kobbie Mainoo, Anthony Gordon, Harry Kane, Declan Rice, Phil Foden, Cole Palmer

England’s starters didn’t exude confidence on the night / Nigel French/Allstar/GettyImages

GK: Aaron Ramsdale – 5/10 – Hard to lay all the criticism at his door for the goal at his near post. Did well to save a vicious half-volley during the second half.

RB: Kyle Walker – 3/10 – Caught completely out of position for Thorsteinsson’s opener. Didn’t provide anything in attack either. Could in danger of losing his spot to Alexander-Arnold if he’s going to be this efficient at both ends of the pitch.

CB: John Stones – 4/10 – Played the first half before being withdrawn at the interval having twisted his ankle early on. Backed away from Thorsteinsson leading to his goal.

CB: Marc Guehi – 6/10 – England’s most reliable players on the night, coming up with a series of blocks and tackles.

LB: Kieran Trippier – 4/10 – Killed attacks with his insistence on coming inside onto his stronger right foot. England desperately miss Luke Shaw.

CM: Kobbie Mainoo – 5/10 – Popped up in opportune spaces between the lines but found it hard to pick the lock of Iceland’s deep block.

CM: Declan Rice – 4/10 – Often guilty of taking one or two touches too many when looking to run at Iceland. Not careful enough with possession and Iceland looked to counter when he gave the ball away.

RW: Cole Palmer – 5/10 – England’s protagonist for better or worse when he was on the pitch. Unfortunate to have been denied an assist by Kane in the first half but ought to have scored himself in the second when trying and failing to round the goalkeeper.

AM: Phil Foden – 4/10 – Played the full 90 but failed to make any sort of meaningful impact on the game.

LW: Anthony Gordon – 5/10 – Knew his role and played it well, bursting forward down the flank to create width. End product was lacking but the same could be said in that regard to his teammates as well.

CF: Harry Kane – 5/10 – The captain’s class was obvious when he dropped deep to spread play but his side desperately needed his scoring prowess more, firing his only clear-cut chance of the evening over from a few yards out.

Substitutes

SUB: Ezri Konsa (46′ for Stones) – 5/10 – Wasn’t a downgrade on Stones but still failed to provide the commanding presence England needed at the back.

SUB: Trent Alexander-Arnold (64′ for Walker) – 6/10 – Immediately created a great chance after coming on. Has a real case to start at right-back ahead of Walker considering their difference in form in an England shirt.

SUB: Joe Gomez (64′ for Trippier) – 5/10 – Looked more at ease than Trippier but that wasn’t a particularly high bar to clear.

SUB: Ivan Toney (64′ for Kane) – 5/10 – Put himself about and was evidently eager to make life tough for Iceland’s defenders.

SUB: Bukayo Saka (64′ for Gordon) – 5/10 – A little rusty on his return from injury, which is understandable. England’s problem is most of their players were out there acting like they too were only just resuming action after injury.

SUB: Ebere Eze (77′ for Palmer) – 5/10 – Dribbled the ball into the final third under little pressure on a couple of occasions.

Subs not used: Jordan Pickford (GK), Dean Henderson (GK), James Trafford (GK), Jarell Quansah, Adam Wharton, Conor Gallagher, Jarrod Bowen, Ollie Watkins

Manager

Gareth Southgate – 3/10 – England at their very worst. Slow, predictable and without defensive resilience.

Player of the match – Jon Thorsteinsson (Iceland)

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