England vs Malta Player Ratings: Southgate’s Lions roar four in Ta’Qali 

  • England continue their faultless start in their qualifying campaign with a resounding 4-0 win against Malta. 
  • Harry Kane’s penalty marks the occasion with a record-breaking 50th competitive goal for England. 
  • Eberechi Eze becomes the latest Englishman to receive his first England cap. 

England Player Ratings: Alexander-Arnold stars in midfield role for the Three Lions 

Jordan Pickford 6/10 – Was quiet throughout as expected. Didn’t have to make a save but was accurate with his passing.  

Luke Shaw 8/10 – Hardly ever in his own half but was involved much more up the pitch. Combined smartly with Maddison and caused Mbong a lot of trouble. Taken off just before the hour mark.  

Harry Maguire 8/10 – Aerially dominant, assured on the ball and kept things tight at the back. Kept his concentration levels high and showed why he’s deserving of his place.  

Marc Guehi 7/10 – Looked nervous to begin with but grew into the game. Proved why Southgate should take more of a punt on him. Shunted to left-back but performed well.  

Kieran Trippier 8/10 – Fairly reserved to allow Trent and Saka to thrive and slotted into a back three. Contested well in the air with a few misplaced passes in between. 

Declan Rice  8/10 – Shielded the back line well to ensure Malta had little luck going forward. Composed in possession and would often drop deep between the centre-backs to dictate play.  

Trent Alexander-Arnold  9/10 – Started in midfield and made the most of his license to roam. Made an inch-perfect ball for Saka for England’s first of the night. A perfect feature in the engine room.  

Jordan Henderson 7/10 – Kept things ticking over and was brilliant out of possession. Very unselfish in his play, but that’s standard for Henderson.  

James Maddison 5/10 – Won many fouls in good areas but had a tame free-kick saved. Played some frustrating passes and was not as good as he usually is.   

Bukayo Saka 7/10 – Got the better of the Malta defence and was often the out ball for England in the first half. Picked up a knock and was replaced at the interval.  

Harry Kane 8/10 – Dropped deep often but became frustrated with lack of service in the first half. Worked tirelessly and converted his penalty as cool as you like. Unable to bag his second before being taken off.  


Phil Foden 7/10 – Came on as a substitute at half-time. Played in the central hub and was lively.  

Callum Wilson 7/10 – Given a chance to lead the line and had a shot blocked but was selfless in his attacking play. Had his controversial penalty claim given. Scored. 

Tyrone Mings 6/10 – Back in the England fold but only for half an hour. Looked steady in his cameo. 

Marcus Rashford 6/10 – Given little time to assert any real influence on the game. Tidy footwork on the occasion and had an effort blocked. 

Eberechi Eze 6/ 10 England’s new debutant getting his reward for his club form. Looked relatively busy. Much more confident than Maddison.  

Malta Player Ratings: Marcolini’s men struggle on home soil  

Henry Bonello 4/10 – Helpless for the first two goals. Equal to a fair share of England’s chances but was no match for the majority of his opponent’s chances.  

Fernandinho Apap 2/10 – Scored the own goal for England’s opener and was caught out of possession way too often. A night to forget. 

Steve Borg 3/10 – Failed to command the back line as England disjointed them way too easily. As captain, he failed to command any sort of solidity at the back. Gave away a penalty, but it was a harsh decision. 

Zach Muscat 3/10 – Looked Malta’s most effective passer but to no avail but struggled with the fresh legs of England’s substitutes.  

Cain Attard 3/10 – Lost almost every duel he contended in and had little desire to progress further up the pitch. Came off with just minutes to play.  

Teddy Teuma 4/10 – Could see he was trying to make things happen but had little luck throughout. Looked brighter in the second half.  

Matthew Guillaumier 2/10 – Gave away the penalty for England’s third of the evening. Allowed Alexander-Arnold way too much time to pick out his pass. Hooked at half-time.  

Bjorn Kristensen 2/10 – Found it difficult to contain the tenacious England press. Picked up the first yellow card of the affair and made way with 30 minutes to spare. 

Joseph Mbong 3/10 – His attacking output was restricted by Malta’s need to defend in numbers and was often left chasing Maddison’s shadow in an attempt to regain possession.  

Jodi Jones 5/10 – The Notts County man was Malta’s brightest spark but was largely ineffective. Understandably frustrated by his lack of support 

Kryian Nwoko 3/10 – Was relatively anonymous in the first half and provided little help to Jones. Wasn’t working in unison with his strike partner Jones and it showed.  


Yankam Yannick 2/10 – Made no impact whatsoever.   

Nikolai Muscat 3/10 – Minimal touches and struggled to get a foot in the game.   

Alexander Satariano 2/10 – Little influence. 

Jurgen Degabriele 1/10 – Had 15 minutes to make a difference but was extremely quiet.   

Juan Corbalan N/A – Didn’t touch the ball. 

England vs Malta Match Summary and Highlights  

Gareth Southgate’s men retain their spot at the top of Group C following a routine 4-0 win against Malta in the humid heat. A pristine three-goal rout in the first half allowed Southgate to experiment and make use of his substitutes, which saw Crystal Palace star Erebechi Eze make his international debut.  

England enjoyed large spells of possession from the off and their patience paid off as they found a goal within the opening eight minutes, albeit through an own goal. Alexander-Arnold set Saka free on the right as he notched an inviting cross which was inadvertently knocked in by Atap.  

Trent-Alexander Arnold then doubled the visitor’s lead with an audacious strike from outside the box, created by James Maddison’s clever drop of the shoulder just moments prior. England skipper Harry Kane’s tenacity off the ball as he won his nation a penalty just moments after Alexander-Arnold’s thumping effort. In fine Kane fashion, his comfortable spot kick put England three goals to the good. 

A quieter second half played out, though England remained heavily in control. Following a passage on no goals, Callum Wilson argued for a penalty which was given following a monitor review. In Kane’s absence, Wilson notched one home from the spot to make it four. 

England continues their perfect start to their Euro 2024 qualifiers as they look hope put things right after their stumbling at the final hurdle in the 2021 final against Italy.  

Player of the Match: Trent Alexander-Arnold  

Southgate trusted Alexander-Arnold to operate in a midfield role in the absence of Jude Bellingham, and it paid dividends. The right-back by trade was influential throughout and produced a performance for the ages, clipping a pinpoint lofted ball for England’s first and then smashing one home past the hapless Bonello.  

Picked up lovely positions, though he largely operated in the right half-space and was often found. The majority of England’s joy came through the Liverpudlian as he effortlessly controlled the middle, picking out textbook Alexander-Arnold passes, while also remaining defensively astute. He was less proactive in the second half, as were the rest of the squad, but proved a worthy choice in the centre of the park for Southgate and his entourage. 

Maybe Jurgen Klopp’s experiment will continue to spill over into the 24-year-old’s international duties.  

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