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Rating the England Players Against Sweden

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterNovember 14, 2012

Rating the England Players Against Sweden

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    England were dealt their first loss under Roy Hodgson's tenure due to an unbelievable performance from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

    The 4-2 scoreline did not flatter Sweden, who showed cutting edge through a world-class striker when it was necessary.

    Bleacher Report brings you its customary player ratings.

    Enjoy the slideshow!

Goalkeeper

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    Joe Hart: 4/10

    This is not something we are used to seeing.

    Hart had a tumultuous night and made some glaring errors. There was nothing he could do about Zlatan Ibrahimovic's first two goals, but could and should have avoided the other two.

    His miscommunication with his defence in the first half nearly led to a hammer blow second goal for Sweden, while he lost an aerial duel with Mathias Ranege in the second half that could have been costly.

    His Andriy Pyatov-esque header led to Ibra's quite ridiculous overhead strike, while he was at fault for the Swede's third too.

Defenders

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    Glen Johnson: 6/10

    The Liverpool right-back had a rare OK game for England. He was well forward and didn't exactly bust a gut to get back when Sweden's first goal went in, but you can't chastise the man for showing some penetration.

     

    Steven Caulker: 7/10

    An international debut marked with a goal—what more can you ask for?

    Not much. Take into consideration he was up against a world-class forward in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and even managed to grab a goal at the other end.

    An impressive outing an surely nervy night.

     

    Gary Cahill: 6/10

    The Chelsea man will be disappointed that his block wasn't final for Ibrahimovic's first goal, but, in reality, he did all he could to stop it.

    Wasn't troubled often as Ibra decided to pair up with Caulker, then subsequently his replacement Ryan Shawcross.

     

    Leighton Baines: 6/10

    It was good to see Baines get another run out at left-back as he's the best England have judging by form.

    Like Cahill, he didn't see a lot of action defensively as Sweden worked Ibrahimovic vs. Caulker as often as they could, but showed good instincts going forward.

Midfielders

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    Raheem Sterling: 7/10

    A very impressive England debut for the Liverpool winger who belies his age with some really impressive and mature performances.

    His beautiful pass to Ashley Young allowed the Manchester United winger to craft the Three Lions' equaliser, while he was always happy to receive the ball and run without fear.

     

    Steven Gerrard: 8/10*

    It's official: Roy Hodgson fell in love with Andrea Pirlo during Euro 2012 and has decided to create his own, slightly less hairy regista to dictate England's game.

    The Liverpool skipper put in a fine display and did exactly what was asked of him, showing his ability to keep it it simple and keep the midfield ticking over from deep.


    Tom Cleverley: 6/10

    Can you get any more typically English than this kid? His work rate is phenomenal—if his team loses the ball, he's goalside of the danger man before you can even blink.

    But there's something missing, and it's difficult to put your finger one exactly what that is. He could really do with a goal in an England shirt, couldn't he?

     

    Leon Osman: 7/10

    Mr. Movember's long-awaited evening went swimmingly, didn't it? He transformed his domestic form to an England shirt seamlessly and provided a decent passing outlet all game long.

    He wasn't afraid to be himself, take players on and have a crack at goal. Impressive confidence.


    Ashley Young: 6/10

    A really disappointing opening 30 minutes from the Manchester United winger were banished by a sublime cross for Danny Welbeck's goal.

    From there, he grew in confidence and performed well. His switch to the right side after half time muted his performance slightly, and was subsequently substituted for Daniel Sturridge.

Forwards

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    Danny Welbeck: 7/10

    Deployed on his own at the top of a 4-5-1 formation, it could easily have been a long night for Welbeck.

    It started out that way, but as Steven Gerrard started to take control of proceedings, the Manchester United forward found himself doing less fruitless running and taking more meaningful touches.

    The goal was well taken, and his run and positioning in the six-yard box was perfect.

Substitutes

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    Daniel Sturridge: 5/10

    Had little to no effect on the game up front. He drew a few fouls from Andreas Granqvist for good field position, but lacked penetration.

     

    Jack Wilshere: 6/10

    Looked very assured in possession considering how long it's been since he played an international game and has an interesting habit of winning free kicks for his team.

     

    Tom Huddlestone: 5/10

    Took over from Steven Gerrard, but lacked the composure or the confidence to perform the role to any devastating effect. It's arguable that England lost all rhythm after the late string of subs, including Huddlestone, came on.

     

    Ryan Shawcross: 5/10

    The Stoke City defender got absolutely schooled for Sweden's goal to make it 2-2. Not exactly the debut he had planned.

     

    Carl Jenkinson: 6/10

    Difficult to assess Jenkinson here as he didn't have a telling impact offensively or defensively.

     

    Wilfried Zaha: N/A

    Received the ball just a few times in his five-minute cameo.

     


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