England

England 3-0 Ivory Coast: Player ratings as Three Lions ease to victory

Sean Walsh
Sterling captained England to a comfortable win
Sterling captained England to a comfortable win / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages
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England extended their unbeaten run to nine games with a 3-0 win against ten-man Ivory Coast at Wembley on Tuesday.

Gareth Southgate's rotated side were well in control even prior to Serge Aurier's dismissal, making light work of a side that caused world champions France plenty of problems last Friday.

England's first real chances came a quarter of an hour in when Jude Bellingham played a neat one-two with Raheem Sterling to set himself through on goal, but his strike was tipped onto the post by goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare. The ball then fell to Tyrick Mitchell and his cross right through the six-yard box just evaded Ollie Watkins.

Jack Grealish - whose excellent wing play helped set up Bellingham's effort - was next to have a shot saved by Sangare, while Sterling had a volley blocked by Simon Deli after a neat clipped ball over the top from Ben White.

And England took the lead after 30 minutes when Sterling beat Serge Aurier with a couple of step-overs, rolling the ball across goal for Watkins to tap in.

Declan Rice's free header from a James Ward-Prowse free-kick went straight down Sangare's throat, while Bellingham had a curling shot sail just wide.

Just before half-time, Ivory Coast captain Aurier received a second booking for dissent after not having a foul called in the lead up to Bellingham's effort (remember, this was an international friendly) and the visitors were reduced to ten men. Surprisingly, despite playing plenty of games there with Tottenham, this was Aurier's first red card at Wembley.

Sterling doubled England's advantage at the end of the first 45, meeting Grealish's cut-back after the Three Lions skipper's initial shot was acrobatically denied by Sangare.

Southgate's side were awarded a penalty immediately following the restart when substitute Fousseny Koulibaly tripped Bellingham, but after a lengthy VAR check (yes, in an international friendly), the decision was overturned as he took the ball before the man.

England continued to look for a third goal with Ward-Prowse skimming the top of the crossbar, while Deli skied Ivory Coast's best chance of the evening when he volleyed over from a free-kick deep into the penalty area.

Tyrone Mings rounded off the scoring with a header deep into stoppage time to seal a rather simple win.


England player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Tyrick Mitchell, Jean Michael Seri
Mitchell was impressive / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Nick Pope (GK) - 5/10 - Nothing to do. Would have hoped to have been more involved to boost his chances of going to the World Cup.

Ben White (RB) - 6/10 - Looked very comfortable at right-back. His versatility will be useful to England going forward. Brought off at the break.

Harry Maguire (CB) - 7/10 - Booed by sections of the Wembley crowd but looked very comfortable in the Three Lions' backline as usual. Broke forward into midfield on several occasions, notably in the build up to Watkins' opener.

Tyrone Mings (CB) - 7/10 - Only really troubled on one occasion. Was otherwise solid and kept Sebastien Haller quiet all night.

Tyrick Mitchell (LB) - 7/10 - Completely shut down the threat of Nicolas Pepe, who had spent last week terrorising France's backline.

2. Midfielders

Jude Bellingham, Fousseny Coulibaly
Bellingham caused some real problems in midfield / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Declan Rice (CM) - 8/10 - Dominated the midfield battle and pressed the Ivory Coast when needed.

James Ward-Prowse (CM) - 6/10 - His set piece delivery was excellent and he played some searching balls in behind but was a weaker link in the middle.

Jude Bellingham (AM) - 8/10 - Almost played as a second striker at times. Relished finding space between the lines and pressing high.

3. Forwards

Ollie Watkins
Watkins probed with intent / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Raheem Sterling (RW) - 9/10 - A real captain's performance with a goal and an assist. His movement was exemplary

Ollie Watkins (ST) - 8/10 - Started the game erratically and seemed to have no peripheral vision when dribbling or passing. However, he kept chipping away and made himself a nuisance. Good value for his goal.

Jack Grealish (LW) - 8/10 - Was having such a good time up against Aurier that he appealed for the Ivorian not be sent off. Genuinely.

4. Substitutes

Kyle Walker-Peters (46', RB for White) - 6/10 - Played with such confidence again.

Luke Shaw (62' LB for Mitchell) - 6/10 - Similarly played with the shackles off after a tough season at club level.

Harry Kane (62', CF for Watkins) - 4/10 - Very quiet when you would have assumed he would have been eager to get closer to Wayne Rooney's record tally.

Emile Smith Rowe (62', LW for Grealish) - 6/10 - Tried getting on the ball as much as possible.

Phil Foden (62', RW for Sterling) - 5/10 - Played on the periphery but grabbed a very late assist.

Conor Gallagher (80', CM for Ward-Prowse) - N/A.


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