England player ratings as Phil Foden a rare bright spark in mundane Italy defeat

England suffered another blow ahead of the World Cup as they fell to a 1-0 defeat in Italy which saw them relegated from the top echelon of the Nations League.

During a mundane affair at Milan’s San Siro on Friday night, on-loan Napoli forward Giacomo Raspadori scored the only goal in the 68th minute by rifling into the far corner after being allowed too much time in the Three Lions’ penalty area. England had failed to muster a clear-cut chance up to that point but falling behind prompted some marginal improvement from the visitors.

However, their increased attacking intent did not bring an equaliser, with Harry Kane going closest as he forced a double save from Gianluigi Donnarumma. At the other end, Italy had chances to double their lead in the closing stages as Federico Dimarco hit the post following a Nick Pope save.

The result sees England relegated to Nations League B and raises further questions of their credentials heading into the World Cup in Qatar, which is less than two months away. An encounter with Germany at Wembley on Monday gives Gareth Southgate’s side the chance to restore some pride in their final fixture before the winter tournament.

Here are the player ratings from a bland affair on the continent.

England (3-4-3)

Pope – 7

Good early save helped his confidence. He’d be contender to be No.1 with better kicking.

Walker – 6

Was exposed on the goal when Raspadori got past him.

Dier – 7

He has deserved this recall, looks assured in the middle of the back three.

Maguire – 6

The fans chanted his name before kick-off but did little to lift him as he looked shaky.

James – 7

Powerful runs forward down the right, he looks favourite to start in the World Cup.

Rice – 6

Was solid enough but is certainly not in the form of last season for club or country.

Bellingham – 8

He will only get better – and is already outstanding. Staked his World Cup claim.

Saka – 6

Got isolated down the left at times, but really is wasted as a left wing-back.

Foden – 8

The in-form Manchester City forward glided across the pitch, the most dangerous player.

Phil Foden of England is challenged by Francesco Acerbi

Phil Foden was a rare bright spark for England
Getty Images)

Sterling – 6

Struggled to hold onto the ball and connect with team mates.

Kane – 7

Took a nasty blow to his head but never gives up. Too greedy at times.


Trippier, Ramsdale, Shaw, Grealish, Coady, Ward-Prowse, Tomori, Mount, Bowen, Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Abraham

What needs to change for England before they begin their World Cup campaign in Qatar? Have your say in the comments…

Italy (3-5-2)

Giacomo Raspadori of Italy

Giacomo Raspadori scored the only goal of the game in the 68th minute
Getty Images)

Donnarumma 6; Bonucci 7, Acerbi 6, Toloi 7; Di Lorenzo 7, Jorginho 7, Cristante 7, Barella 6 (Pobega, 63 mins, 6), Dimarco 6, Raspadori 8, Scamacca 6 (Gnonto, 63 mins, 6)


Ramos Marchi, Frattesi, Meret, Emerson, Zerbin, Grifo, Gabbiadini, Vicario, Esposito, Bastoni


Jesus Gil Manzano – 6

Man of the match

Raspadori produced the moment of the match to clinch victory for Italy

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