England player ratings: Jude Bellingham delivers masterful Euro 2024 performance but Phil Foden not at his sharpest

England player ratings: Jude Bellingham delivers masterful Euro 2024 performance but Phil Foden not at his sharpest

JUDE BELLINGHAM was England’s head boy as Gareth Southgate’s side made a winning start in Germany.

The Real Madrid superstar oozed class throughout and broke the deadlock with only 13 minutes played thanks to an excellent header, dispatching Bukayo Saka’s deflected cross.

EPAJude Bellingham was the star of the show for England[/caption]

GettyThe midfielder scored a brilliant headed winner[/caption]

PAPhil Foden was far from his best[/caption]

It was a repeat of the World Cup in Qatar, when Bellingham netted England’s first goal of the tournament – also with a header.

That match was against Iran and Southgate’s men ended up comfortably seeing them off 6-2.

But it was a bit nervier here in Gelsenkirchen as Serbia exerted significant pressure in the second half, with a few narrow escapes for Southgate’s men.

England dropped back deeper and deeper and lost the control they had had in the first half.

But ultimately they got the three points required – and just their third clean sheet in their last eight games.

Here is how SunSport rated England’s display in their opening game of the Euros.

Jordan Pickford – 7

Did not have too many saves to make, in truth, but then was alert to cracker of a strike from Dusan Vlahovic late on.

Marshalled his defence throughout with his usually vocal approach. His distribution, particularly with long balls, continues to be an asset.

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England were in control of the match throughout

Kyle Walker – 7

Delicious ball in behind from England’s vice captain released Saka in the build-up to our opener.

The Manchester City man probably should have had a goal of his own too when racing in behind, but he tried to tee up one of Harry Kane or Phil Foden instead and found neither.

John Stones – 6

OK display from England’s most experienced centre-back, who just about cleared a dangerous cross late deep into first-half stoppage time.

Had missed training on Wednesday due to a stomach bug, confessing he felt utterly dreadful, but this result will have perked him right up.

Marc Guehi – 7

Looked anything but the weak link in England’s defence that many had portrayed him to be in the build-up.

Crystal Palace man Guehi was sharp against two top strikers in Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic, fully justifying Gareth Southgate’s faith in him.

Kieran Trippier – 7

The Newcastle man may not be the tallest but he still won plenty of high balls with some brave headers. He offered real width at times, flying up the left-hand side, despite naturally being a right-back.

Declan Rice – 8

A mature and disciplined performance from one quarter of England’s leadership group that also includes Harry Kane, Walker and Bellingham.

Rice played in front of the defence, unlike the No8 role he has had of late for Arsenal, and was a calming presence when mopping up throughout.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7

An all-action display from Liverpool’s hybrid full-back, who started in the middle of midfield.

One particular first-half interception almost sparked a goal for Kyle Walker – though Trent was also a tad fortunate at one pont when his miscontol was not punished by Mitrovic who fired wide.

Jude Bellingham – 9

What a player and what a privilege it is that we get to call him ours.

Starting his third major tournament aged just 20, the Real Madrid superstar proved he belongs on this stage with a masterful performance which included a brilliantly brave header to give England the lead.

Bellingham is becoming England’s talisman

Bukayo Saka – 8

England’s best player on the night after Bellingham, Saka was electric down the right hand side, having his opposing defender on toast several times.

It was his deflected cross which assisted Bellingham’s opener. Was taken off with 15 minutes to go, having recently come back from a groin injury.

Harry Kane – 5

England’s captain – and darling of Germany after his incredible impact with Bayern Munich this season – had a quiet game.

He must have thought he had killed the game off when rising for a late header, but it was brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar.

Harry Kane was quiet but saw a header touched onto the crossbarGetty

Phil Foden – 5

Not at his sharpest. The Premier League footballer of the year had a few moments where if his touch and passing had been on point then it could have led to something, but they were not.

The curious case of how to translate his Manchester City form to England continues.

Subs

Conor Gallagher (for Alexander-Arnold, 69) – 6

Came on to try to shore things up after sustained Serbian pressure in the second half.

Jarrod Bowen (for Bukayo Saka, 76) – 7

Surprisingly it was the West Ham man given the nod when an impressive Saka was replaced. But Bowen made an instant impact teeing up Kane for a header, which was brilliantly tipped onto the bar.

Kobbie Mainoo (for Jude Bellingham, 86) – 6

Manchester United youngster, like Gallagher, came on to help see it out.

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