How you rated the players in England's win

Posted by on September 12th, 2019

It may seem somewhat spoilsport to focus in on this negative after another important victory but to ignore it would be delusion. Southgate will not be letting it escape his attention.

For all the class and potency of England's attack, their current defensive condition suggests they will need to rack up at least three goals against those teams mentioned previously to stand a chance of victory because there is no way they will not concede goals.

This task will not be as easy as it was here against a Kosovo side committed to an all-out attacking strategy that occasionally left them wide open at the back.

England are horribly fallible in defence - but they are superbly irresistible in attack.

They have scored 14 goals in their three home games, more than any other nation in Euros qualifying so far.

And at the heart of it all was the brilliant Sterling, who produced a 45-minute performance against Kosovo that was simply on another level from anyone else.

Sterling ended a barren 27-game sequence stretching back three years when he scored twice in England's 3-2 win in Spain almost a year ago - now he is irreplaceable, a talent reaching full maturity.

Since that game in Spain he has played seven games, scoring six goals in England's qualifying games so far and producing four assists.

He simply could not be stopped in the first 45 minutes and his partnership with Kane is now reaching telepathic proportions as he set up England's captain for his 26th goal in 41 appearances, level with Bryan Robson and one behind David Platt.

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