France’s L’Equipe slam 4/10 Phil Foden, ‘slow’ Gareth Southgate – and even the referee

by duceditor

England’s World Cup campaign was brutally ended by France in the World Cup quarter-final, prompting French newspaper L’Equpe to rub salt in the Three Lions’ wounds

French newspaper L’Equipe rated Phil Foden’s performance a 4/10 and slammed Gareth Southgate as ‘slow’ in what was a very harsh assessment of England’s performance.

France only just overcame the Three Lions in the World Cup quarter-final. Goals from Aurelien Tchouameni and Olivier Giroud, either side of a Harry Kane equalising penalty, was enough to book a semi-final meeting with Morocco.

It all could have been so different had Kane not blazed his second penalty of the match over the crossbar. And while they were complimentary about the performances of Bukayo Saka and the Tottenham Hotspur man, their scores were rather scathing.

Foden was lumbered with the lowest score out of the starting eleven. The Manchester City ace was surprisingly given a measly four out of ten out of the entire squad.

Saka, who was fouled by Tchouameni for England’s first penalty of the evening, impressed the French newspaper the most with his dynamic, aggressive runs from the right flank. L’Equipe afforded the Arsenal forward an impressive 7/10.

Harry Maguire and Phil Foden of England argued with referee Wilton Sampaio during the quarter-final defeat

Interestingly, the French outlet acknowledged the controversial decisions from Brazilian referee Wilton Sampaio by awarding him a 4/10 for his performance.

Of course, this will matter very little to the Three Lions who left Qatar less than 24 hours after their loss. Below are L’Equipe’s overall ratings of Southgate’s England stars.

Jordan Pickford – 5/10

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Pickford made some huge saves against the French
Pickford made some huge saves against the French (Image: Getty Images)

The Everton keeper showcased some of his brilliant passing range and even saved well on more than one occasion.

He also couldn’t have got anywhere near the two goals, with Tchouameni’s strike from distance firing between Bellingham’s legs and the header from Giroud was from virtually unstoppable at point-blank range.

Kyle Walker – 6/10

Tasked with keeping Kylian Mbappe quiet, the Manchester City defender did just that, as the Paris Saint-Germain forward struggled for any sort of impact during the 90 minutes.

With the threat of Mbappe ever-present, Walker was restricted in an attacking sense, and was only beaten once by the World Cup’s current top scorer.

John Stones – 6/10

The Manchester City defender quietly had a very good game, scoring 100% pass success rate from his 71 passes, 100% on his long balls as well as winning all three of his ground duels.

He has certainly been one of England’s more consistent performers and it showed again here.

Harry Maguire – 5/10

Harry Maguire lost sight of Olivier Giroud for France's second goal
Harry Maguire lost sight of Olivier Giroud for France’s second goal (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Heavily criticised coming into the tournament, Maguire has been good for England during the World Cup, and he was unlucky with his header in the second half that hit the woodwork.

He also won 5/7 aerial duels, 2/3 ground duels and registered a 86% pass success rate, but he couldn’t stop Giroud from heading in the winner, from what was a sublime ball from Antoine Griezmann.

Luke Shaw – 5/10

Up against Ousmane Dembele, he restricted the Barcelona winger to no shots during the game, but struggled going forward.

He only managed 1 successful cross out 6 attempts, as England suffered from a lack of quality from both full-backs in an attacking sense.

Declan Rice – 6/10

Rice quietly had a good game for England, as France were restricted to very few clear cut opportunities, thanks to his work rate and positioning.

His performance was characterised by his defensive work which included 3 tackles, 3 interceptions, 95% pass success rate, 1 key pass, 3/5 ground duels won and 2/3 aerial duels won – one of his better England performances against the world champions.

Jordan Henderson – 5/10

Henderson also found himself on the wrong end of a low score
Henderson also found himself on the wrong end of a low score (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Henderson certainly struggled in the first half, but he gave England that drive and tireless work rate that helped them to stay in the game and even push on.

His three key passes and 93% pass success rate showed his effectiveness on the ball, but he failed to win any of his 4 ground duels or any of his aerial battles.

Jude Bellingham – 5/10

England’s jewel this tournament, Bellingham gave 110% against France being effective going ways, registering five tackles as well as 1 key passes and 64 touches.

He also ran straight over to Kane following his missed penalty which showcased his mentality and he has all the makings of a future captain for sure.

Bukayo Saka – 7/10

Saka starred as England’s highest rated player as he caused Theo Hernandez constant problems down the right wing, being a consistent threat throughout his 79 minutes of action.

His one-two with Bellingham led to the penalty that Kane scored, and he was also on the wrong end of poor refereeing decisions that could have changed the game.

Phil Foden – 4/10

Foden received the lowest rating out of Southgate's side
Foden received the lowest rating out of Southgate’s side (Image: Getty Images)

In what was a quiet night for Foden, he struggled to truly influence the game. He still managed two key passes and a 90% pass success rate however which suggests his 4/10 score is harsh.

Defensively he worked hard, winning 4/5 ground duels and 50% of his aerial duels, but it certainly wasn’t his best attacking performance.

Harry Kane – 6/10

Whilst Kane did go on to miss the crucial penalty that would have seen England draw level, he did equalise from the spot against his club teammate Hugo Lloris in the 54th minute.

In general play, he won 5/6 aerial duels and had four shots on target in total and was certainly involved in the game, but the penalty miss will certainly define this game and his performance.

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