England vs Croatia was the first big match of the European Championship and the Three Lions have finally picked up a win in their opening game of the Euros.
Gareth Southgate chose to put some unusual names in his starting line-up but in the end, it was Raheem Sterling who scored the only game of the match to help his side pick up three points.
The England vs Croatia game was supposed to be a scorcher and the way the English players started, it looked like they will blow away Croatia and wrap up all three points in no time. But as the game progressed, Luka Modric’s men took charge and nullified the England threat from all corners.
Overall, this was a very copybook game that had very little entertainment value but still, some England players managed to shine during the 90 minutes. And if Gareth Southgate is not ready to take gambles, then these four players are going to be in almost every team sheet for the remaining EURO 2020 matches.
Mason Mount – 7.5/10:
The Chelsea player worked his socks off hounding down the Croatian defence at every opportunity he got. Some pundits had argued that Jack Grealish should have gotten the nod to start ahead of Mount but the Champions League winners perfectly justified his selection.
Southgate had given him the No 10 role and the youngster came out with flying colours. As per Whoscored, Mount made a total of 28 passes with an accuracy of 93%.
Raheem Sterling – 8/10:
Sterling was a surprise inclusion into the side since he has not been a first-choice starter for Manchester City during the 2020/21 season.
But the winger repaid his manager’s faith by putting on one of the best performances amongst all the England players. It was only because to him that the England vs Croatia game did not end up in a boring stalemate.
He started on the left wing but would continuously make inward runs which caused havoc amongst the Croatian defenders. In fact, he got the goal because he had made a darting run into the penalty box from the wider area.
Tyrone Mings – 7.5/10:
With Harry Maguire out injured, Mings was given the responsibility to partner John Stones in central defence and it’s safe to say that the Aston Villa man was one of the standout players in the backline.
Particularly during the first half, Mings was stellar in defence, managing to win 100% of his duels and also making the most interceptions(2) and clearances(2).
📊 Tyrone Mings vs Croatia
— PGR (@pgr_analytics) June 13, 2021
Kalvin Phillips – MoM for the England vs Croatia game:
Everyone thought Jordan Henderson will partner Declan Rice in central midfield but Southgate chose not to risk the Liverpool man in the very first game of the tournament.
This is perhaps the only reason why Kalvin Phillips was named in the starting line-up. But, when the final whistle was blown, the Leeds United man had managed to give a Man of the Match performance in the England vs Croatia game.
He made the all-crucial pace via which helped Raheem Sterling put the ball into the back of the net.
After this stellar performance, the English media is buzzing with praise for the 25-year-old and now it will be immensely hard for any other midfielder to come in and knock Phillips out of his position in the starting line-up for the rest of the tournament.
Jordan Henderson should be fit by the time England play Scotland next week so it will interesting to see if Gareth Southgate puts his faith on Kalvin Phillips or does he recall the Liverpool man whom he considers one of his leaders(especially since Maguire will once again be absent).
100% long-ball accuracy
100% through-ball accuracy
94% passing accuracy
7 ball recoveries (most)
2 take-ons completed
1 chance created
1 shot on target
1 foul won
Take a bow. 👏 pic.twitter.com/5vPocBqMXR
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 13, 2021