England 1-0 Australia Player Ratings: Watkins spares Southgate’s blushes

England 1-0 Australia Player Ratings – England edged victory over Australia tonight in their first-ever meeting at Wembley Stadium, with Ollie Watkins grabbing the winning goal. We predicted him to make a big impact, and he certainly did.

The hosts started with a second-string side with their Euro 2024 qualifier against Italy on Tuesday in mind, and were understandably not at their best, while the visitors put in a display they can take some positives from.

England team vs Australia
England’s starting XI was made up of fringe players – Photo by Icon sport

England 1-0 Australia Player Ratings

Match Timeline

8′ – Gallagher’s dangerous cross is missed by Maddison and Watkins.

22′ – Duke volleys just wide from inside the box.

29′ – Watkins rounds Ryan after being put through, but his tame shot hits the post.

44′ – Strain’s shot is brilliantly cleared off the line by Dunk.

57′ – (Goal) – Watkins taps in at the far post from Grealish’s drilled cross.

80′ – Metcalfe heads onto the post from a corner unmarked in the box.

Star Player – Ollie Watkins – 8.5/10

Watkins was a bright spark in an otherwise pretty uninspiring England performance. He was a constant threat, hitting the post in the first half after rounding the goalkeeper, and deservedly scoring the winning goal with a striker’s instinct to get to the back post.

Watkins deserved his call-up back into the squad for his form for Aston Villa at the start of the season, and is in pole position at the moment to be Harry Kane’s back-up for the Euros.

England Player Ratings

Sam Johnstone 7/10 – Didn’t have much to do but did the basics well.

Trent Alexander-Arnold 7/10 – Offered an attacking threat and was pushed into a right-midfield position at times.

Fikayo Tomori 7/10 – Solid defensively before being replaced on the hour mark.

Lewis Dunk 8/10 – Impressive defensive performance capped off by a wonderful goal-line clearance.

Levi Colwill 6/10 – Australia got down his side a couple of times and was booked in the first half.

Conor Gallagher 5/10 – Made a couple of rash tackles and was booked in the first half.

Jordan Henderson 6/10 – Solid enough and started as captain before being taken off.

Jarrod Bowen 6/10 – The quieter of the forward line but was kept on for the whole game.

James Maddison 7/10 – Lively in the final third but wayward with a first-half effort.

Jack Grealish 7/10 – Grabbed an assist and was a threat going forward.

Ollie Watkins 8/10 – Got his goal and hit the post in the first half after a piercing run.


Marcus Rashford 6/10 – Took on his man a couple of times but lacked an end product.

Kieran Trippier 6/10 – Solid as he could be, but didn’t get forward much.

Kalvin Phillips 6/10 – Went a bit unnoticed but did a job when he came on.

John Stones 6/10 – Decent cameo considering he’s just come back from injury.

Phil Foden 7/10 – Had some delightful touches and used his body well.

Eddie Nketiah 5/10 – Struggled a bit on his senior debut and got knocked off the ball too easily.

Ollie Watkins celebrates
Watkins celebrates with team-mates after scoring for England – Photo by Icon sport

Australia Player Ratings

Mathew Ryan 6/10 – Couldn’t do anything for the goal and wasn’t tested much.

Ryan Strain 6/10 – Should’ve scored in the first half when Dunk cleared off the line. Booked.

Harry Souttar 6/10 – Solid display and was a threat from set-pieces.

Cameron Burgess 6/10 –  Similar to Souttar, a decent performance considering the circumstances.

Kye Rowles 6/10 – Got stuck in and offered forward support at times.

Martin Boyle 6/10 – Solid enough when called upon.

Keanu Baccus 5/10 – A frustrated figure at times and was booked in the first half.

Jackson Irvine 5/10 – Wasn’t on the ball as much as he would’ve liked and was also booked.

Craig Goodwin 5/10 – Did not offer much in the final third and was subbed after the 70-min mark.

Connor Metcalfe 6/10 – Hit the post in the second half and did his best going forward.

Mitchell Duke 6/10 – Caused a few nervy moments and shot narrowly wide in the first half.


Brandon Borrello 5/10 – Didn’t offer too much of an attacking threat.

Jordan Bos 6/10 – Added some steel to the midfield.

Lewis Miller 5/10 – Struggled to make an impact.

Aziz Behich N/A – Didn’t have enough time to get a rating.

Awer Mabil N/A – Didn’t have enough time to get a rating.

Mohamed Traore N/A – Didn’t have enough time to get a rating.

Kevin Baccus Australia
Baccus was one of three Australians to get booked – Photo by Icon sport

England 1-0 Australia Player Ratings: The final word

England and Gareth Southgate will be pleased with the win, but not entirely convinced by the performance. They created few clear-cut chances, and Australia could’ve easily gotten a result on another night.

The Socceroos will take heart from keeping the score at 1-0, and the Three Lions will certainly have to be better against Italy.

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