England secured top spot in Group B of the 2022 World Cup in emphatic fashion, crushing Wales 3-0 to earn the victory that guaranteed they could not be caught by the USA. Though it took until the second half for the Three Lions to find the net -- Marcus Rashford netting a brace either side of a Phil Foden goal -- Gareth Southgate's side were in commanding control of this contest from minute one to 90.
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Here is how the individual players performed:
There was one sharp save from a dipping Kieffer Moore effort and, well, that was about it for the Everton goalkeeper. If you're picking at the smallest, slightest issues, then maybe you'd like your No. 1 to be more battle hardened in a tournament than Pickford has been.
Walker almost immediately tucked into the role in which he excels at Manchester City, the right back who functions as a third central defender in build up. For a first run out since early October this was an eminently impressive performance.
It was a pity for him that a golden chance off a set piece was scooped over the bar, robbing him of the goal his group-stage performances deserved. No one in an England shirt completed more progressive passes than Stones. Indeed, at the moment his 59 leads all players at the World Cup.
It's perhaps not ideal when Maguire is one of the players bringing the most attacking impetus to your first half, but that is not his fault. This was the sort of defender you could convince yourself is worth £80 million, swaggering in possession and dominant in the air.
Shaw's set-piece delivery did on occasion leave England wanting for more and that is a not insignificant issue when the Three Lions are one of the tournament's most dangerous forces from dead balls. However, any loose ball that he was fighting for seemed to come his way.
The sort of performance you happily accept from your midfield anchorman, completing all bar two of his 46 attempted passes even if he ultimately kept it a little safe in possession.
Early on, the Liverpool captain was guilty of slowing tempo he was supposed to be accelerating. But as the game wore on, Henderson increasingly picked the ball up on the turn and found ways to give his frontline the quick ball they needed. He deserves to keep his place against Senegal.
Even in England's deepest doldrums, Bellingham offered a spark of invention and drive. In the space of a few second half minutes, he was driving out of pressure in his own half before getting in the box to take a good shot off a late run. Who couldn't do with a player like him?
It is as if the fresh-faced superstar of 2016 has returned from a lengthy hibernation; as has been the case at club level, Rashford seems to have fallen back in love with his game. His run, devastating trickery and fierce finish for his second goal was one of the best pieces of individual quality this tournament has seen.
England's captain looked rather fresher than he had against the USA and added to his assist tally with a tempting ball across the six yard box for Foden. Kane's dropping deep doubtless helps in build up, but there needs to be some balance and a mere one penalty box touch (right on the edge at that) is cause for slight concern.
When he swapped wings with Rashford and resorted to the left flank, Foden came to life, but it had been a slow start. Still as a direct runner from that position, England might have no better option and it would have pleased Southgate to see him cap an improving display with a goal.
As quiet a half hour as he could have wished for, though Alexander-Arnold had few opportunities to show Southgate what he could offer.
His pass to unleash Rashford for England's third was judged to perfection. It will help a great deal if his energy is available off the bench in the knockout stages.
Unselfish once more, Wilson teed up tempting chances for Bellingham and Rashford in a neat cameo.
The game was done by the time he entered the fray.
There were a few neat darts in the closing stages, a reminder of Grealish's value as an impact sub.
Manager Gareth Southgate
This time, his tweaks were judged to perfection, switching the flanks Rashford and Foden were occupying to devastating affect. His team may have labored out of the gates, but he deserves credit for the swift upswing in intensity immediately after the break. RATING: 5