England player ratings vs Serbia: Jude Bellingham and Marc Guehi shine but jury out on Trent Alexander-Arnold

England player ratings vs Serbia: Jude Bellingham and Marc Guehi shine but jury out on Trent Alexander-Arnold

England began Euro 2024 with an unconvincing 1-0 win over Serbia here in Gelsenkirchen.

Jude Bellingham scored the game’s only goal, charging into the box to head home Bukayo Saka’s deflected cross in the 14th minute.

England looked well placed to add to their lead before the interval, with Bellingham and Saka particularly sharp, but they lost control of the game for long periods of the second half.

Euros 2024: England vs Serbia

<p></p> (Martin Rickett/PA Wire)
(Martin Rickett/PA Wire)
<p></p> (AP)
<p></p> (AP)
<p></p> (Bradley Collyer/PA Wire)
(Bradley Collyer/PA Wire)
<p></p> (AP)
<p></p> (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
<p></p> (AP)
<p></p> (Martin Rickett/PA Wire)
(Martin Rickett/PA Wire)
<p></p> (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
<p></p> (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
<p></p> (REUTERS)

Gareth Southgate’s side went the closest to scoring again, when captain Harry Kane’s header was turned onto the crossbar by the Serbian goalkeeper.

Dan Kilpatrick rated the England players…

Jordan Pickford 7

Made an acrobatic, one-handed save to deny Dusan Vlahovic in the final 10 minutes and was composed with the ball at his feet.

Kyle Walker 7

Made the winning goal with an eye-of-the-needle pass for Saka and composed defensively. Even at 34, his recovery pass remains a huge asset for England.

John Stones 6

Looked jittery in the first 10 minutes (perhaps understandable after a build-up disrupted by illness and injury scares) but grew into the game, and was solid defensively.

Marc Guehi 8

Excellent on his first appearance at a major tournament, confidently filling the Harry Maguire-shaped hole at centre-half. Repeatedly stepped out of defence to snuff out signs of danger and played out crisply.

Kieran Trippier 5

A square peg at left-back. Always looked to come inside on his right foot, leaving England looking unbalanced. That said, he did his job at the back.

Declan Rice 6

Mopped up well in front of the back four and recycled the ball smartly. Plainly going to have a less all-action role than he does with Arsenal.

Trent Alexander-Arnold 6

The jury remains out on Southgate’s big experiment. The Liverpool man’s range of passing caught the eye and he stung the goalkeeper’s palms with a long-range effort. But it is not clear if he has the positional discipline for a midfield role and Serbia’s best chance of the first half - a shot flashed wide by Aleksandar Mitrovic - came from his loose touch.

Bukayo Saka 7

The Arsenal winger looked refreshed and had his marker on toast on in the first half. He set up the winning goal for Bellingham with a deflected cross but faded in the second half.

Jude Bellingham 8

Took his goal brilliantly in an outstanding, all-action first-half display, in which he ran the game. He was less influential in the second half and appeared frustrated at England’s reactive approach.

Phil Foden 5

Neat and tidy but nowhere near as influential as he is for Manchester City. There will inevitably be questions about whether Southgate can best the best from Bellingham and Foden after this game.

Harry Kane 6

Remarkably, the England captain finished the first half with just one touch, as Bellingham ran the show. He was more involved after the break, when his hold-up play was excellent, and he was unlucky not to double England’s lead when his close-range header was turned onto the bar by the goalkeeper.


Conor Gallagher (Alexander-Arnold 69’) 7

Added bite and energy to England’s midfield, helping them to wrestle back an element of control in the final 20 minutes.

Jarrod Bowen (Saka 76’) 7

Nearly created a goal for Kane within seconds of his introduction, bursting down the right flank and crossing for the captain.

Kobbie Mainoo (Bellingham 86’) 6

Helped England see out the game in his first appearance at a major finals.