England player ratings vs Croatia: Lingard and Kane save Three Lions, unsung hero steps up

England pulled off a thrilling 2-1 victory over Croatia thanks to goals from Jesse Lingard and Harry Kane.

The Three Lions came from behind to secure top spot in their Nations League group and book a place in the finals of the competition, due to take place next year.

Croatia had taken the lead through Andrej Kramaric’s deflected second-half strike, but Lingard got England level with a close-range finish after good work from Kane.

The England skipper was then on hand to grab the winner with just minutes remaining, sliding home Ben Chilwell’s late free-kick.

Express Sport has rated how the England players performed during their Nations League clash with Croatia – do you agree?

England player ratings vs Croatia – Nations League

GK: Jordan Pickford – 7

Was on his toes clear up a sloppy Fabian Delph back-pass in the opening minutes, then showed off his superb distribution with a raking pass to find Marcus Rashford.

RB: Kyle Walker – 6

Tried to give the Three Lions as much width as possible and spent the majority of the match camped in Croatia’s half.

CB: Joe Gomez – 6

Had his heart in his mouth after a lunge on Andrej Kramaric brought cries of a penalty.

Looked understandably less comfortable alongside Stones than at club level with Virgil van Dijk, but wasn’t at fault for the goal.

CB: John Stones – 5

Seemed to have done enough in closing down Kramaric but then sold himself with an unnecessary lunge.

Otherwise looked untroubled as England enjoyed the majority of possession, but will rue his one mistake.

LB: Ben Chilwell – 5

Warmed Lovre Kalinic’s hands with a powerful volley, but was also guilty of wasting good situations with a poor final delivery on occasions.

Let off the hook when he lost Ivan Perisic at the back post just before half-time, and his positioning was exposed multiple times.

CM: Eric Dier – 5

Questions will be asked as to whether the Tottenham midfielder should have got closer to Kramaric for the opener, ultimately deflecting the ball out of Pickford’s reach.

Gave England a steady platform but offers little going forward and needs to provide more with Harry Winks waiting in the wings.

CM: Ross Barkley – 6

Took a booking for the team when he brought down Luka Modric to prevent a counter-attack, then momentarily got the home crowd excited with a fierce volley into the side netting.

Caught trying too much on the half-way line and was robbed of possession as England reeled from the opening goal, but wasn’t punished.

CM: Fabian Delph – 7

A surprise pick ahead of Jordan Henderson, Winks and Deli Alli but repaid Southgate’s faith with a composed display full of purposeful passing.

Continuing to prove doubters wrong and showed why the manager has so much faith in him.

RAM: Raheem Sterling – 7

Showed great pace to latch on to Kane’s through ball but shot straight at Kalinic.

Then got clattered by the Croatian stopper minutes later as the Manchester City man caused chaos in the opposition defence.

The same criticisms will resurface again though, with wasted chances coming back to hurt England.

LAM: Marcus Rashford – 8

Denied by a brilliant recovery challenge when his pace had fashioned a decent opening, but will have wished he pulled the trigger earlier.

Grew into the game and really started to cause problems with his direct running, although the Manchester United ace rarely had a clear sight of goal.

ST: Harry Kane – 8

Lovely hold-up play before slipping Sterling in after 10 minutes, then missed a golden chance from the resulting corner.

Was also guilty of not being clinical when he fired at Tin Jedvaj with the goal at his mercy, but showed great perseverance to set up Lingard then pounced with yet another huge goal for his country.

SUB: Dele Alli (on for Barkley, 62 mins) – 6

SUB: Jadon Sancho (on for Delph, 72 mins) – 7

SUB: Jesse Lingard (on for Rashford, 72 mins) – 8