Player ratings: Kane feasts, Smith Rowe arrives

Harry Kane starred again as England secured their place at the 2022 World Cup with a 10-0 thrashing of San Marino.

After scoring a first-half hat-trick against Albania on Friday, the Tottenham ace went one better against the world’s lowest-ranked side, with four goals in the opening 45 minutes.

Debutant Emile Smith Rowe, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Tammy Abraham and Bukayo Saka were also on target, with an own goal and red card for the hosts helping England out, too. Here’s how the players performed…

Aaron Ramsdale – N/A

His debut for his country and he’ll never have an easier night in an England shirt. Nicola Nanni checked he was awake on 32 minutes with a shock shot for the visitors and he had to punch away the follow-up corner, but he was just watching on from afar for the majority of it.

Harry Maguire – 7

There was no hands-to-ears statement celebration this time but Maguire has enjoyed a refreshing international break after his recent struggles with Man Utd. Underlined his importance at set-pieces with his second goal in two games, which made it five for England in 2021, before being withdrawn at half-time.

Conor Coady – 6

Sat at the base of England’s defence, Coady enjoyed an easy night. Maintained a 100 per cent passing rate from his 90 passes, too, which is just about all Southgate could have asked of him.

Tyrone Mings – 7

Tyrone Mings celebrates scoring for England against San Marino
Tyrone Mings celebrates scoring for England against San Marino

Had the second-most touches and found the net for his country for the first time with one of them, heading in well from Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick. Kept the ball moving to build England’s attacks and enjoyed a couple of forays forward down the left side. Had to dash back and recover well during a rare San Marino attack in the second half but an otherwise straightforward night.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7

A hat-trick of assists – and three crosses which showed his quality of delivery. Had been surprisingly quiet during the first half but, although this was never going to be the night when he made a statement about the right wing-back battle with Reece James, could enjoy a satisfying second half, given his recent ups and downs in an England shirt.

Kalvin Phillips – 6

Won the ball back swiftly for his side on the rare occasions they didn’t have it and showed his passing precision to find Smith Rowe for a Kane goal. Perhaps his selection was the most significant part of the night – Southgate seems to go with him whenever he’s fit and available these days.

Jude Bellingham – 7

Cruelly denied his first England goal by an overly-picky VAR and referee check. Could often be found on the edge of the box calling for cut-backs but knitted everything together in the centre of the park. The World Cup is almost exactly a year away – by then he could be a fixture in this side.

Bukayo Saka – 8

Bukayo Saka was one of England's best performers in San Marino
Bukayo Saka was one of England’s best performers in San Marino

Eventually got the goal his performance deserved. Played wing-back in the first half but still enjoyed a lot of possession deep in San Marino territory, with the most touches in the opposition box, and his deflected shot caused the own goal for England’s second. Moved further forwards after the break and was involved in Arsenal team-mate Smith Rowe’s goal. Created more chances than any of his team-mates in another good demonstration of his quality and versatility.

Phil Foden – 6

Had a direct hand in a couple of goals, with his corner headed in by Maguire before his acrobatic scissor kick earned an odd penalty, and had some fun taking it around the opposition, with a game-high seven dribbles during his 45 minutes on the pitch.

Emile Smith Rowe – 8

A first international start, a first goal for his country, and a first assist on this stage, too. Smith Rowe saw a close-range header blocked early on but combined with Phillips to cross for Kane’s second and then profited from Abraham’s neat flick to sweep home himself just before the hour mark. It’s been a whirlwind week after beginning the break with the U21s, but Smith Rowe looks set for plenty more experiences with the senior team.

Harry Kane – 9

Harry Kane makes it five for England from the spot against San Marino
Harry Kane makes it five for England from the spot against San Marino

Given the chance to swell his England goal tally after missing the reverse game with the world’s lowest-ranked side and seized it gleefully. Had four inside 42 minutes, making it a second hat-trick in four days for his country. His first penalty made him the first Englishman to score more than 12 goals in a calendar year but the more significant milestone of Wayne Rooney’s record total of 53 is now just five away. A welcome confidence boost as he heads back to Tottenham, who will hope this break can be a launchpad for their main man.


Ben Chilwell – 6

Has been among the goals this season but although he might have picked up an assist had Gallagher converted his smart pass through the defence, wasn’t able to find the net during his 45 minutes here.

Tammy Abraham – 7

Finally got his goal with an excellent touch, turn and finish. Had been kicking himself when he was played in by Kane and shot over when he seemed sure to find the net but refocused well to tee up Smith Rowe moments later with a smart flick. Bizarrely booked when the ref spotted he’d touched an opponent with his backheel in the build-up to Bellingham’s ruled out goal and was denied another goal later in the game.

Conor Gallagher – 6

Clear through when he met Chilwell’s chipped through ball but stuck it straight at the goalkeeper. His driving runs kept causing problems, though, with one drawing Dante Rossi into a foul which earned him a second yellow and a sending off before he hit the post – although it would have been scrubbed off by VAR anyway. A first England appearance before a league appearance for his club, but the Chelsea youngster – who has impressed on loan at Crystal Palace this season – deserved his upgrade from the U21s.

Reece James – 6

Sent on to play in midfield, as he had done briefly against Andorra earlier in this qualifying campaign, but if there is intention to play him there in the future, it would be handy to see him up against more serious opposition.

John Stones – N/A

Sent on for the final 15 minutes and it was nothing more than a light workout.

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