Player Ratings: England 2-0 Malta - Saka grabs an assist while VAR rules out Rice's superb strike

Find out how Arsenal's Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice performed during England's comfortable 2-0 victory over Malta at Wembley

Player Ratings: England 2-0 Malta - Saka grabs an assist while VAR rules out Rice's superb strike

Bukayo Saka of England warms up with his team mates. CREDIT: Charlotte Wilson / Offside

England 2-0 Malta: Player Ratings

An Enrico Pepe's own goal and a second half strike from Harry Kane was enough to ease past winless Malta in front of 81,388 at Wembley Stadium on Friday evening.

Find out who Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice performed with our Gooner Fanzine Player Ratings:

Jordan Pickford: 7/10 - There's only one Aaron Ramsdale. Why didn't Southgate make Aaron smile again and give him at least 45 minutes.

Fikayo Tomori: 7/10 - Hooked for Saka at the break. Should have played the full 90 to give Saka a rest

Harry Maguire: 4/10 - Dreadful pass to Mbong who rueed the fact he failed to test Jordan Pickford from 25 yards in the early stages. Will not receive such charity against a top side. Should be nowhere near this squad. That he is, is a sad indictment on the lack of decent English alternatives at centre-back - as well as making a mockery of Southgate's contradictory stance on only selecting players on form and playing regularly.

Marc Guehi: 7/10 - A massively underrated defender who should be in Southgate's squad for Germany

Kieron Trippier: 6.5/10 - Solid. But then so he should be against the 171st team in the world

Conor Gallagher: 7/10 - Not as lively as his recent appearances for Chelsea, but still worth his place in the side

Jordan Henderson: 5/10 - Surprisingly only given 61 minutes before Southgate forced Declan Rice to make an appearance. Given Henderson has made a thunderous 13 appearances for Al-Ettifaq, who are currently seventh in the Saudi Pro League perhaps 'Hendo' needed the full 90. Instead of a player who has far more important Premier League and Champions League dates later this month.

Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7/10 - Operated in the No10 position as Southgate undertook what in his cautious world was a revolutionary act

Marcus Rashford: 6/10 - Underwhelming before being replaced for the in-form Cole Palmer midway through the second half

Harry Kane: 7/10 - The former Spurs captain was booked for diving in the first half by Portuguese referee Liuis Godinho - who clearly hadn't read the memo

Phil Foden: 7/10 - Early driving run into the Maltese box saw his cross cannon off Paul Mbong and past keeper Henry Bonello and into the net for 1-0


Bukayo Saka: 8/10 - On for Tomori at the start of the second half.. In a busy season, on the back of a hectic few campaigns, surely the best thing for the 22-year-old Arsenal attacker would be for a short rest while dead rubbers are played out. Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate clearly feels otherwise. You could argue Southgate was vindicated after Saka grabbed an assist, teeing up Kane with 15 minutes remaining. Yet come Jiuly 14 - after what we all hope will be a fruitful season for club and country, will the needless 45 minutes Saka was forced to play her came back to haunt Southgate and the county.

Declan Rice: 8/10 - Replaced just after the hour mark. Was denied a cracking strike by the sheer and utter joylessness of VAR, The infernal technology ruling that Kane's armhair was offside, to rule out an uplifting long range goal.

Kyle Walker: 7/10 - Replaced Gallagher at the break

Cole Palmer: 7.5/10 - The in-form former Manchester City striker deservedly earned his first England cap - and perhaps should have started the match in favour of the underwhelming Rashford. Another reason to fear Southgate's inherent caution come next summer when the Three Lions face face bigger challenges.

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