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England player ratings vs Kosovo: Sterling the stand-out in dramatic Three Lions win | Football | Sport

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England made it four wins out of four as they marched on towards qualification for Euro 2020 – but they were given an almighty scare at St Mary’s.

Gareth Southgate’s men found themselves a goal down after 35 seconds – but thanks to the brilliance of Raheem Sterling, who scored one goal and set up three, they edged home in a chaotic game.

Jadon Sancho notched his first two goals for England thanks to Sterling’s two assists – but Southgate will know that defending like this in the finals against better teams will cost his men dear.

Michael Keane’s dreadful error in the first few seconds, passing the ball straight to Vedat Muriqi who set up Valon Berisha for the first of his two goals, set the tone for a night when both defences had nightmares.  

England levelled when Sterling nodded home from Keane’s header, and went ahead when Harry Kane slotted home after his lovely tutn and pass.

England went 3-1 up thanks to a  bizzare own goal from Mergim Vojvoda – with Kosovo furious because Fidan Aliti was on the floor injured.

But within minutes Sterling had torn them apart again to set up Sancho for England’s fourth, and on the stroke of half time did it again for the 19 year old’s second goal.

Kosovo though were never finished. Declan Rice gave the ball away in midfield and Berisha grabbed his second goal. And six minutes later Harry Maguire lost the ball in the area and brought down Muriqi – who got up to slam home the penalty.

England should have settled it when Ross Barkley was brought down – but Kane for only the second time in an England shirt saw his penalty saved.

The chances kept coming as Sterling tormented the Kosovans – the Manchester City man hitting the post and then blazing a golden chance over the bar.

Here’s how Express Sport rated England’s performers.

England player ratings vs Kosovo

Jordan Pickford – Had no chance with Kosovo’s goal, had some wobbly moments. Got his hands to the penalty but could not stop it. 6

Trent Alexander-Arnold – Safe and steady. Speed got him out of trouble a couple of times. Crunching tackle set up third goal. Best of England’s defenders. 7

Michael Keane – Horror error in first minute with awful pass that let in Kosovo. Redeemed himself with header for Sterling’s goal. Shaky. 6

Harry Maguire – Much tougher test than against Bulgaria. Looked uncertain at times. Lost control and gave away penalty. 6

Ben Chilwell – Couple of shaky moments. Poor control almost let in Kosovo once. Got forward well but crossing erratic. 6

Declan Rice – Not his best performance. Shaky start and gave the ball away several times – at fault for Kosovo’s second goal. 6

Jordan Henderson – Some good touches. Worked hard in more advanced role and was always lively. 7

Jadon Sancho – Seventh cap for the 19 year old – good, tricky feet. Set up third goal well. Took his first goal for England well. Second a tap in. 7

Ross Barkley – Slow start. But then good corner set up leveller. Got better as game went on. Earned penalty with mazy run. 7

Raheem Sterling – Unstoppable. Nodded in his second goal in three days – and eighth in last seven games for club and country. Then brilliantly sets up Kane for second, and Sancho twice. On fire. 9

Harry Kane – Set up by Sterling and took his goal – no 26 for England – with typical calm. But for once saw penalty saved. 6

Substitutes

Mason Mount – Came on after 83 minutes. N/A

Marcus Rashford – Came on after 85 minutes. N/A

Unused subs: Heaton, Pope, Trippier, Rose, Gomez, Mings, Winks, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Maddison, Wilson.



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