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Winners & Losers

Rashford and Foden re-energise England: Winners, losers and ratings as Three Lions roar into World Cup last 16

1:25 AM GMT+4 30/11/2022
Rashford Foden Bale GFX
Gareth Southgate gave the fans what they wanted by making changes to his starting line-up that inspired a rousing 3-0 win over Wales

Marcus Rashford is smiling again. And so are England.

After being tamed by the United States last time out, the Three Lions tore Wales to shreds in the second half of an ultimately facile 3-0 victory at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday night.

The fans had demanded changes after the dismal draw with U.S. on match day two and they got them, with Gareth Southgate bringing Phil Foden and Rashford into a misfiring forward line.

After the pair had switched flanks for the restart, oth players made a massive impact, with Rashford striking either side of a Foden tap-in to move level with Enner Valencia, Kylian Mbappe and Cody Gakpo at the top of the tournament's goalscorers' charts on three goals.

Southgate said afterwards that Rashford is "a different player to the one we had at Euro 2020" and it's impossible to disagree.

Below, GOAL runs through all of the winners and losers from a Rashford-inspired victory that sees a re-energised England progress to the knockout stage of Qatar 2022 as winners of Group B, meaning they will face Senegal in the last 16.

  • Phil Foden England 2022

    The Winners

    Marcus Rashford:

    One of the most endearing tales of redemption at this World Cup. Rashford has been through a lot over the past 18 months, including the recent loss of one of his close friends. And yet here he is, back in the England squad and a Golden Boot contender at Qatar 2022. Indeed, with most of the media attention fixed on Foden, the resurgent Rashford's claims on a starting spot were largely overlooked, even after he had come off the bench to produce a fine finish in the 6-2 rout of Iran. Now, though, it would be a huge surprise if the Manchester United forward isn't in the side to face Senegal. Rashford was England's one constant threat against Wales, with his pace causing all sorts of problems. Indeed, he'd already forced Danny Ward into one good save before he broke the deadlock with a fine free-kick early in the second half and then embarrassed the Wales goalkeeper again for his second. The little smile he shared with Southgate after his 76th-minute withdrawal said it all: Rashford has been revitalised. "Moments like this," he told the BBC afterwards, "it's what I play football for."

    Phil Foden fans:

    Let's face it, there would have been uproar among England fans had Phil Foden not started here. They were already understandably enraged that the Manchester City star had been left on the bench for the duration of the bore draw with the USA. There were even suggestions that the England boss had some sort of personal issue with the Manchester City star. That was rubbish, of course. As Jack Grealish pointed out, there's always a clamour around the squad for someone to start. Southgate handled the situation well and was rewarded with a fine performance from Foden against Wales, with the 'Stockport Iniesta' causing chaos with his quick feet. Indeed, Foden didn't just score, he also won the free-kick from which Rashford made it 1-0 with one of his trademark surges towards the penalty area. Of course, the 22-year-old's supporters will argue that he should have been in the starting line-up all along. But, for now, all is calm, at least until the next selection row kicks off ahead of the Senegal game...

    England's options out wide:

    Seriously, another starting line-up storm is already on its way. It's inevitable given the amount of quality players they have competing for two-to-three attacking roles. There will be pressure on Southgate to stick with this side against Senegal but it's worth remembering that Bukayo Saka was brilliant against Iran, Raheem Sterling is England's big-game player and Mason Mount... well, what manager doesn't want the Chelsea man on the field when both industry and innovation are required against a strong side? Southgate, then, faces more big calls on Sunday. Is it a problem that the manager doesn't yet know his best side? Perhaps. But let's look on the bright side here: at least he has a plethora of possible solutions. It's arguable that no other side in the competition has as many exciting options out wide.

  • Gareth Bale Wales 2022

    The Losers

    Harry Kane:

    If there was one big negative on the night for England, it was the performance of their one world-class centre-forward. Granted, Kane grabbed an assist – his third of the tournament – after good work by Rashford, with the Spurs striker squaring the ball for Foden to score at the back post. However, if England are to win this tournament, they need Kane firing on all cylinders – and he's just not. Kane's hold up-play is good, his awareness of the runners around him is still there, but he still doesn't look like scoring. He left the field here having had zero shots and just one touch in the penalty area. Kane was replaced just over 10 minutes into the second half, which is just as well because he looks in dire need of a rest right now. Southgate will now be praying that Kane comes alive in the knockout stage, just as he did at Euro 2020.

    Senegal:

    Having sealed their place in the last 16 with a dramatic win over Ecuador, Senegal's players would have enjoyed watching England's performance in the first half of this game. The Three Lions looked toothless. Again. However, Rashford's free-kick changed everything. After the deflating draw with the U.S., England would have been slated had they been held by a horribly limited Wales. Instead, the boo boys are back on their side again after a scintillating second-half showing that means they will go into Sunday's showdown with Senegal supremely confident of progressing to the quarter-finals.

    Gareth Bale:

    Was this the end of Gareth Bale's career? If so, it was a desperately sad way for him to bow out, with the winger visibly irked by the attention of a cameraman at full-time. His frustration was, of course, understandable. The man who did so much to get Wales to Qatar was forced to watch on helplessly from the bench as his nation's hopes of qualifying for the last 16 were extinguished within six minutes of his injury-enforced withdrawal. Bale said afterwards that he will play as long as he can and as long as he's wanted. His compatriots will certainly be hoping he continues and we know that the love of playing for his country has been the only thing motivating Bale over the past year or so. However, it would not be at all surprising to see the 33-year-old walk away for two reasons: firstly, his long-standing injury issues; and secondly, the hard truth that it could be some time before this Championship-level Wales side qualify for another major international tournament.

  • Kyle Walker England 2022

    England Ratings: Defence

    Jordan Pickford (6/10):

    A virtual spectator for most of this mismatch. Only called into action once.

    Kyle Walker (6/10):

    Decent night's work. Got just over 56 minutes under his belt on his return from injury.

    John Stones (7/10):

    His looping header from a corner was one of England's better efforts in the first half. The odd poor pass aside, he was his usual dependable self.

    Harry Maguire (7/10):

    Surged forward just after the half-hour mark and tried his luck with a shot that went out for a throw. However, defensively, he was once again impressive, showing off good anticipation and timing.

    Luke Shaw (5/10):

    Wasn't given much to work to do but he offered nothing going forward. His starting spot could be under threat, with Trippier an option on the left-hand side.

  • Jordan Henderson England 2022

    Midfield

    Jordan Henderson (6/10):

    As expected, brought plenty of purpose and passion after being recalled in place of Mason Mount, winning plenty of duels. But may not have done enough to hold onto his starting spot.

    Declan Rice (7/10):

    His usual dependable self, protecting the back four well while at the same time keeping the ball moving.

    Jude Bellingham (7/10):

    Always dangerous when he got a chance to run at players and get into the box. Looked the man most likely to make something happen before Rashford took centre stage.

  • Marcus Rashford England 2022

    Attack

    Phil Foden (8/10):

    Scuffed his first strike on goal but just got better and better the longer the game went on. Deserved his goal, and could even have had another late on.

    Harry Kane (6/10):

    Created another goal, meaning Kane now has more assists at this tournament than anyone else. But his lack of a goalscoring threat remains a serious concern.

    Marcus Rashford (9/10):

    Wasted an early one-on-one with Danny Ward and was off-target with an spectacular overhead kick. However, he was England's game-changer, opening the scoring with a free-kick and then putting the result beyond all doubt with his second. He also had a hand in Foden's goal by pilfering back possession for Kane.

  • Gareth Southgate Marcus Rashford England 2022

    Subs & Manager

    Trent Alexander-Arnold (6/10):

    Finally some game time for the divisive Liverpool right-back, who came on for Walker early in the second half.

    Callum Wilson (6/10):

    Offered plenty of endeavour after taking over from Kane up top.

    Kalvin Phillips (6/10):

    A solid return to action for the Manchester City defensive midfielder.

    Kieran Trippier (6/10):

    Replaced Luke Shaw for the final quarter of a game that was already won.

    Jack Grealish (N/A):

    Unable to make an impact in his late cameo.

    Gareth Southgate (7/10):

    A nice night's work for Southgate. His changes paid off and he was also able to rest Kane and give Walker a run-out.