Netherlands 3-1 England
Goals: Mattijs de Ligt, Quincy Promes | Marcus Rashford
Own Goals: Kyle Walker
Assists: Memphis Depay x2
- Virgil van Dijk – 120 minutes
- Georginio Wijnaldum – 120 minutes
- Davy Pröpper – 30 minutes
- Jordan Pickford – 120 minutes
- Ben Chilwell – 120 minutes
- Harry Maguire – 120 minutes
- John Stones – 120 minutes
- Kyle Walker – 120 minutes
- Ross Barkley – 120 minutes
- Raheem Sterling – 120 minutes
- Declan Rice – 105 minutes
- Fabian Delph – 77 minutes
- Harry Kane – 75 minutes
- Jadon Sancho – 61 minutes
- Jesse Lingard – 59 minutes
- Marcus Rashford – 45 minutes
- Jordan Henderson – 43 minutes
- Dele Alli – 15 minutes
Manchester United have to wait on an update on Marcus Rashford after he went off injured in England’s Nations League defeat to the Netherlands on Thursday night.
The centre-forward was one of the few to impress for the Three Lions in the semi-final but his outing was cut short following a blow to the ankle.
In a first-half characterised by England giving the ball away cheaply, and the Netherlands dominating possession, Rashford turned the game on its head in the 30th minute.
He applied pressure to centre-back Matthijs de Ligt and robbed him of the ball inside the box, and then drew a foul from the panicking defender to earn a penalty.
The Manchester United man dispatched the spot-kick with the same coolness that we saw against PSG in the Champions League earlier in the 2018/19 campaign. Only time will tell whether or not he can rival Paul Pogba for penalty duties at Old Trafford.
A few minutes later, Rashford had the chance to make it 2-0. Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho nutmegged an exposed de Ligt in an advanced position and put his colleague through.
However, he hesitated just long enough for Denzel Dumfries to put in an impressive last-ditch tackle. This was the block that caused Rashford problems with his ankle and, despite soldiering on, he had to be replaced by Harry Kane at half-time.
England manager Gareth Southgate had taken the decision to leave all of those who had competed in the Champions League final on Saturday on the bench for the match, including captain Kane.
Jordan Henderson and Dele Alli were the only others to get on the pitch, while Eric Dier, Joe Gomez, Danny Rose and Trent Alexander-Arnold all remained unused substitutes.
That left Raheem Sterling with the honour of captaining England for the first time, capping off an incredible season of maturity for the Manchester City player.
With a host of regulars not involved because of the Champions League final, it meant that Southgate went for a central midfield trio of Ross Barkley, Declan Rice and Fabian Delph – who were largely incapable of controlling things in the middle of the park.
The former struggled with cramp in the closing stages of extra-time, which may have contributed to his error that led to the Netherlands’ third goal.
“Ross (Barkley) had gone down with cramp moments before [the third goal] and the Dutch pressed very well with real intensity.” – Gareth Southgate
As already mentioned, it was a game which was littered with passing errors at the back for England.
John Stones, who was a peripheral figure for Manchester City as they closed in on a second successive Premier League title, was the guilty party for the Netherlands’ second goal.
He dawdled in possession long enough for Memphis Depay to pickpocket him and force an incredible diving save from Jordan Pickford – but the rebound was directed into the net by Kyle Walker under pressure from Quincy Promes.
Stones came in for serious criticism after the game, with many suggesting his limited game-time for Manchester City has affected his prospects. That said, with the departure of Vincent Kompany, he may be involved more for Pep Guardiola’s men in 2019/20.
Southgate was also questioned for insisting on playing it out from the back, but he defended his tactics after the game.
“I’m asking them to play a tough game at the back – if we didn’t play that way we wouldn’t be here. We didn’t lose because of how we wanted to play; we lost because of poor execution and fatigue. It wasn’t just the two goals, we made errors and gave opportunities which should have been punished before that.” – Gareth Southgate
Stones was not the only Fantasy asset under fire for his performance on Thursday night.
Leicester City pair Harry Maguire and Ben Chilwell were also involved and neither played as well as they are capable.
Centre-back Maguire was guilty of spurning possession all too often, while Chilwell was often exposed up against Steven Bergwijn.
However, England’s uncertainty at the back did allow Pickford to showcase his abilities. Left exposed by his defenders, he made 10 saves in the match, three of which were incredible reflex stops.
The Fantasy assets involved for the Netherlands’ starting line-up were Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum as Ronald Koeman opted to trust his Champions League winners’ physical and mental state.
Brighton’s Davy Pröpper was involved during extra-time while Patrick van Aanholt and Nathan Aké were unused substitutes.
Netherlands XI (4-2-3-1): Cillessen; Blind, van Dijk, de Ligt, Dumfries; F de Jong (Strootman 114′), de Roon (van de Beek 68′); Babel (Promes 68′), Wijnaldum, Bergwijn (Pröpper 90′); Depay.
England XI (4-3-3): Pickford; Chilwell, Maguire, Stones, Walker; Barkley, Rice (Alli 105′), Delph (Henderson 77′); Sancho (Lingard 61′), Rashford (Kane 45′), Sterling.
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