Slovakia v England – How the players rated

England's starting line-up against Slovakia

England left it late to snatch a 1-0 win over Slovakia in Sam Allardyce’s first game in charge.

Allardyce, who has replaced Roy Hodgson as manager, picked eight of the side that lost embarrassingly to Iceland at Euro 2016 as they started their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Who impressed? Who struggled?

Joe Hart (goalkeeper) 5

Barely any work to do – although one poor clearance caused some excitement. Word travels fast about perceived weakness, as he was jeered by the Slovakia fans when the ball landed at his feet.

Kyle Walker (right-back) 6

Did plenty of attacking work but no serious end product. Quiet night in defence.

Gary Cahill (centre-back) 6

No serious work to do as England had a relatively easy night at the back.

John Stones (centre-back) 7

Untroubled in defence and showed a willingness to try to bring the ball out to act as a creative influence.

Danny Rose (left-back) 5

Unconvincing. Caught in possession in a moment that almost led to a Slovakia goal in the first half and caught out of position on occasion.

Jordan Henderson (midfielder) 5

Ineffective display and still looks way short of international class. Gave the ball away too often and his shooting was wayward when he got the opportunity.

Eric Dier (midfielder) 6

Solid enough presence in central midfield. Will emerge as the man to give Allardyce’s midfield a base.

Raheem Sterling (attacking midfielder) 6

Busy but could not produce the sparkling form he had shown for Manchester City this season. One shot just wide.

Wayne Rooney (attacking midfielder) 5

Frustrating night for England’s captain as he spent much time toiling ineffectively, and often too deep, in midfield.

Adam Lallana (attacking midfielder) 7

England’s most dangerous player, hitting the post, forcing a fine save from Slovakia keeper Matus Kozacik and also shooting narrowly off target. Deserved his first England goal for persistence alone.

Harry Kane (striker) 5

Miserable night for the Spurs striker – although starved of support and service. Suffered rough, often illegal, treatment from Skrtel before the defender’s red card and was eventually substituted.


Dele Alli (on for Henderson, 64 minutes) 6

Lively display that gave England an extra attacking edge.

Theo Walcott (on for Sterling, 70 minutes) 5

Had a goal contentiously ruled out for offside and put in one good cross that created a chance for Daniel Sturridge – but had other wasteful moments.

Daniel Sturridge (on for Kane, 81 minutes)

Barely time to make an impact. No rating.

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