England Under-21 vs Portugal Under-21 Player Ratings: Three Lions 

  • England Under-21 enter the semi-finals of the Euros for the first time since 2017 with the hope of reaching their second ever final of the competition.  
  • A well-worked opener finished off by Newcastle United’s Anthony Gordon was the only difference between the two teams, though Portugal outshone England in chance creation. 
  • Lee Carsley’s side will now face Israel in the semi-finals on July 5 after beating them 2-0 in the group stage. 

England Under-21 Player Ratings: Midfield domination helps England progress 

James Trafford 6/10 – Attentive to Neto’s decent chance in the opening 15 minutes. Had a busier second half but was alert throughout. Booked.  

James Garner 5/10 – A few sloppy clearances put England under the cosh and sometimes looked nervous. Often out of position in second half.  

Levi Colwill 6/10 – Looked assured and even went on a lung-busting run up the left hand side on the 20 minute mark. 

Taylor Harwood-Bellis 6/10 – Tidy range of passing. Unbelievable block at the end of the first half. Did look shaky at times, though. 

Max Aarons 5/10 – Back in the starting XI and performed well in the first half. Picked up the first yellow of the game and his levels dropped once Portugal gained more control. 

Noni Madueke 4/10 – Was fairly inactive in the first half, much of the same in the second. Played his part in the goal. 

Angel Gomes 8/10 Happy to recycle possession and always in control. His recent performances will leave Manchester United wondering whether they let him go too early. 

Curtis Jones 7/10 – Effortlessly brilliant on the ball and combined well with Angel Gomes once again. What a pairing Lee Carsley has on his hands.  

Jacob Ramsey 7/10 – Was threatening on the left, but would often drift inside to his more natural position. Played a really clever pass for first goal. Got injured. 

Morgan Gibbs-White 6/10 – Picked up an assist and would often drop deep to make things happen. Not his best display in England white. 

Anthony Gordon 7/10 – England’s first scorer and deserved a goal in all honesty. Had pushed from the front from the off and didn’t allow the centre-backs a moment to think. 


Emile Smith Rowe 5/10 – Little joy. 

Ben Johnson 4/10 – Played 15 minutes and had a tough time. Picked up a yellow.  

Cole Palmer 5/10 – Replaced Madueke and did plenty of running. Expertly ran down the clock. 

Oliver Skipp 4/10 – Kept things fresh in the middle.  

Portugal Under-21 Player Ratings: Conciecao was Portugal’s main offensive dangerman  

Celton Biai 6/10 – No chance for England’s opener, played well overall. Quiet second half. 

Nuno Tavares 7/10 – Dealt with Madueke very well in the first half. Very progressive, but his defensive duties were still top notch. 

Andre Amaro 6/10 – Uncomfortable in possession, but did manage to cut out some dangerous passes. 

Alexandre Penetra 6/10 – Dealt well with the pressure. Not very busy in the second half.  

Ze Ferreira 5/10 – Had an audacious long-range strike blocked but was fairly quiet. Picked up a yellow late on. 

Samu 5/10 – Strong in duels and caused a few issues. Taken off at the interval. 

Tiago Dantas 7/10 – Dictated play well for his side and passed excellently throughout. Got forward on the occasion as Portugal looked for a goal. 

Joao Neves 7/10 – Quiet in the first half but sprung into life in the second as he loved to float and attack the box. Dangerous. 

Pedro Neto 6/10 – Quiet for his standards. Visibly frustrated at his own performance. Relied on teammates too much. 

Fabio Silva 5/10 – Certainly worked hard but to little avail. Hooked at 65 minutes. 

Francisco Conceicao 8/10 – Looked dangerous when running at players and picked up a few fouls. Easily Portugal’s brightest spark.  


Paulo Bernardo 7/10 – Heavily involved in the action from the off and caused issues. Maybe should’ve started. 

Henrique Araujo 7/10 – Had his early effort blocked, denied a penalty claim, and then hit the upright. Could have been Portugal’s hero.  

Diego Moreira 5/10 – Extremely bright start, but had minimal influence on proceedings.

Vitinha 3/10 – Little involvement. 

England Under-21 vs Portugal Under-21 Match Summary and Highlights  

England last progress from this stage in 2009 and made tough work of it, especially in the second half. Now they face their group stage opponents Israel in the penultimate stage of the tournament.  

An early chance from Curtis Jones was just whiskers away from giving England the lead but their dominance didn’t amount to much. Just after the half an hour mark, Portugal were undone by some sensational work by Lee Carsley’s outfit, who began the move in their own hall. To finish off the excellent passage of play, Morgan Gibbs-White squared the ball to Anthony Gordon, who notched his second of the tournament to give England the lead.  

Portugal began the second half the brighter, with a moment of madness between Colwill and Hardwood-Bellis nearly resulting in a goal. England survived a mini-scare as Portugal’s penalty claims were met with a VAR check, though the referee’s initial decision stood. As time seemed to go incredibly slow for those of an England persuasion, Portugal did anything but score as England were kept in their own half for the majority of the second stage. England did had a rare shot relatively late on, courtesy of the goal scorer Gordon, met by the idle Biai. 

The Three Lions were able to withstand the pressure of their opponents for the added six minutes of added time, but can consider themselves lucky that Portugal failed to find a way through. 

Player of the Match: Angel Gomes  

Safe in possession and hard working out of it, Gomes had a really impressive game in the middle. Jacob Ramsey, a central midfielder by trade, has been shunted over to the left to accommodate Gomes in the engine room and it’s clear to see why. Even when Portugal were on top in the second half, Gomes did not crumble under the pressure and offered his side an outlet when they felt they were in trouble. He was also not afraid to put in the defensive work, which his teammates would have appreciated when Portugal had a foothold in the game.  

They say games are won in the midfield and the former Manchester United’s man and Curtis Jones have harboured quite the telepathic connection. Lucky Lee Carsley.  

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