England player ratings as Marcus Rashford impresses to earn an 8 in their 2-0 win against Costa Rica

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Sensational goal: Marcus Rashford scored a blinder

England will travel to the World Cup next week on the back of a 2-0 win over Costa Rica in their friendly on Thursday night.

Gareth Southgate made a series of changes to his team but Marcus Rashford opened the scoring with a sensational goal before substitute Danny Welbeck doubled the lead in the second half.

Here, we look at how the players fared in England’s final warm-up match before the World Cup at Elland Road.

Jack Butland: 6 – Was called into action in the 25th minute, making a comfortable stop. Didn’t have much to do in the second half before being substituted.

Harry Maguire: 7 – Did his job as part of a back-three defence and nearly got his first England goal when his header was cleared off the line.

John Stones: 7 – The only man to have kept his place in the win against Nigeria. Strong performance by the Man City defender, closing any danger that came his way.

Phil Jones: 6 – A solid display and teamed up well with Stones to make things difficult for Costa Rica. Could have been better with his precision of his passes.

Jordan Henderson: 6 – At the centre of things in the middle of the park. Saw a shot go just wide in the second half.

Danny Rose: 7 – Just like Delph, saw a lot of the ball in the first half and continued being a threat on the wing.

Trent Alexander-Arnold: 6 – Didn’t finish the game but can be proud of his debut. Hardly put a foot wrong.

Fabian Delph: 7 – A very impressive display by the Manchester City man. Showed plenty of promise going forward.

Rufus Loftus-Cheek: 7 – Showed his strength and agility in what was a decent game. Showed a series of neat touches in the final third.

Marcus Rashford: 8 – Started the game brightly and pressed his case for selection by unleashing a stunning 25-yard screamer. Continued to be threat with his pace and movement. By far England’s best player on the pitch.

Jamie Vardy: 5 – Had a very quiet first-half, seven touches to be exact including an opportunity on goal.

Substitutes:

Nick Pope: 6 – On for his international debut. Had little to do with Costa Rica poor in front of goal.

Danny Welbeck: 7 – Justified Gareth Southgate’s decision to substituting Jamie Vardy by getting the team’s second.

Delli Alli: 7 – Showed once again why he will be a key player in Russia by creating England’s second.

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Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson may fight for one England spot, says Gareth Southgate

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Gareth Southgate has admitted Jordan Henderson and Eric Dier could be fighting over one place in England’s World Cup side.

Both men have captained the side during his reign and, of Southgate’s 16 games in charge, Dier has started 12 and Henderson has started nine.

But his desire to play with two attacking options in central midfield – roles filled by Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli in the weekend win over Nigeria – means one of his trusted lieutenants could miss out.

Dier played the anchoring role at Wembley and Henderson will take over for Thursday’s farewell friendly against Costa Rica at Elland Road, but decision time is looming for the Group G opener against Tunisia.

“I’d be amazed if the two of them aren’t important figures for us during the tournament, but there is clearly the possibility they might not both play in every match,” said Southgate.

“It is a key decision, but that’s management isn’t it? You either select players, or you choose your system and pick the best people to fit into it. They’re the tough calls.

“But I think we will only want to play with one ‘pivot’.”

There remains a possibility that Henderson could play in the more advanced role, but that would be a change of gear given his shielding responsibilities at Liverpool, while Dier is capable – but not eager – to play in a back three.

At present, though, it seems likely one will be on bench duty in Volgograd on June 18.

“Henderson can play as a number eight, so that gives you an option, Dier can play as a centre-back…so they both have another way into the team. We’ll have to look at that,” added Southgate.

Jamie Vardy is another who may fall foul of Southgate’s tactical preferences.

The Leicester striker netted 20 goals last season but he may be short of chances with Harry Kane certain to start as centre forward and Raheem Sterling preferred as his foil.

Vardy is another player set to start against Costa Rica, alongside Jordan Pickford in goal and the likes of Fabian Delph and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, but Southgate’s selection will be based mostly on conditioning for the tournament.

“We’ve looked at (Kane with Vardy) in training and at the moment we’ve not gone with it,” he said.

“We’ve had Harry with Raheem – we liked the look of that.”

Southgate has promised to start five of his Yorkshire-born contingent in Leeds – Delph, Vardy, Harry Maguire and Danny Rose are all likely to get their chance with one of Kyle Walker and John Stones holding their spot.

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Raheem Sterling shrugs off criticism as England prepare for World Cup

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Raheem Sterling is focused on the World Cup after coming in for criticism over having a gun tattooed on his leg.

The 23-year-old has chosen to focus on England’s preparations for Russia 2018 rather than negative publicity over his choice of body art.

The Manchester City forward said: “I’ve got a World Cup to prepare for and I’ve had training sessions every day, so my mind was already occupied. That was the least of my worries.”

Sterling’s unfinished leg tattoo of a gun brought criticism from sections of the media at the start of last week, leading the football Association to express its full support of a player who explained it was in tribute to his father after he was gunned down in Jamaica when the forward was just two.

There was further scrutiny after Sterling took a tumble in Saturday’s friendly win against Nigeria – a match he was going to be dropped for having reported late for camp, only for manager Gareth Southgate to change his mind after the player came under attack for his tattoo.

Sterling said: “(This week) it’s not really been that tough. Things happened and get spoken about, but I put that to one side. I’ve been focused on training and playing Nigeria, so for me it was a normal week to be honest.

“The only thing that changed was that I was in the newspapers a bit more. I just got on with my day. I spoke with my mum and she was OK. My daughter and my son are OK, I’m fine.

“That was the least of my worries. It’s obviously bad to see yourself spoken of in that light, but it’s not something that gets me down.

Sterling has, though, been aware of the widespread public support – backing that has not always been there.

“I heard that there was a lot of positives,” Sterling, who referred to himself as ‘The Hated One’ at Euro 2016, said.

“I am grateful to see stuff like that and it just shows how far I am coming and how much the people are really taking to me as a person. Because they can probably see my true colours and my true personality, so it’s really good to see.”

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