By 90Min
November 15, 2018

On the night that Wayne Rooney made his final international appearance, England proved that they no longer need their record goalscorer, beating the USA 3-0 at Wembley.

Gareth Southgate handed debuts to Lewis Dunk and Callum Wilson, with Jadon Sancho making his first start for the Three Lions and Fabian Delph captaining his country for the first time.

England made a very bright start and Wilson should have marked his debut with a goal inside ten minutes, but spurned a glorious chance.

Christian Pulisic had the USA's first big chance as he went through on goal but was denied by Jordan Pickford. He was made to pay moments later as England went up the other end and Lingard scored a brilliant goal reminiscent of his strike against Panama at the World Cup.

It was 2-0 within a minute as Sancho laid the ball off for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who blasted in his first international goal with a clinical strike into the far corner of Brad Guzan's net. Weston McKennie kept Pickford on his toes with a long-range strike at the other end.

Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Alex McCarthy became the third debutant of the evening as he replaced Pickford after half time, before the moment everyone had been waiting for as Rooney was one of three players brought on in the 58th minute.

Wilson missed another chance to get his first England goal from an Alexander-Arnold cross, but it was third time lucky as he got across the front of John Brooks to convert a Delph cross and make it 3-0, becoming the first ever Bournemouth player to score for England.

Rooney couldn't get his goal, denied by a Guzan save in the final minute. His England career will be fondly remembered, but this new batch are capable of achieving even greater things.


Key Talking Points

The occasion may have been all about Rooney, but Gareth Southgate has never been one to let the occasion overshadow the match. He took this opportunity to experiment with his team and the inexperienced lineup gave him some tough decisions to make before Sunday's crucial clash with Croatia.

The two players who staked their claim for a starting berth on Sunday were Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jadon Sancho. Alexander-Arnold scored his first England goal and must have covered more ground than any other player, constantly getting up and down the right flank.

Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Sancho was a livewire and didn't lack confidence on his first start, driving at the USA defence and getting his first assist in an England shirt. He faded slightly after half time but there's something special about this kid, and he could have a big part to play on Sunday.

As for Callum Wilson, Lewis Dunk and Alex McCarthy, they are unlikely to become England regulars, but this was further proof that Southgate will reward players for good form at club level - and Wilson's goal was the feel good moment of the evening.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Pickford (7); Alexander-Arnold (8), Keane (7), Dunk (7), Chilwell (6); Winks (6), Delph (6), Alli (7); Sancho (7), Wilson (7), Lingard (8)

Substitutes: McCarthy (6), Dier (6), Rooney (6), Henderson (5), Loftus-Cheek (6), Rashford (5)

Star Man

Trent Alexander-Arnold scored his first international goal but this performance was about much more than a goal. He got forward on a number of other occasions and could have added to his tally.

Right back is a very competitive position and Kyle Walker is probably the favourite to start on Sunday, but Alexander-Arnold gave a good audition.

Worst Player

Nobody really performed poorly for England, although Jordan Henderson and Marcus Rashford were both culpable in possession several times after coming on as second half substitutes.


Key Talking Point

Rome wasn't built in a day and the USA's problems won't be solved overnight. The defensive vulnerabilities which cost them a place at the World Cup were there for all to see, but they showed some attacking potential which will give them hope of a brighter future.

With the exception of 29-year-old Jorge Villafaña, every outfield player for the USA was 26 or younger, including exciting attacking talents like Timothy Weah (18), Christian Pulisic (20) and Weston McKennie (20).

McKennie and Pulisic both tested Pickford with good strikes and for all their defensive frailties, the USA always looked dangerous whenever they advanced up the field. They don't have any competitive matches until next summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup, which will give a better indication of what progress has been made.

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Guzan (6); Yedlin (5), Miazga (5), Brooks (5), Villafaña (5); McKennie (6), Trapp (5); Pulisic (7), Green (6), Weah (5); Wood (5)

Substitutes: Adams (6), Acosta (6), Saief (6), Lletget (6), Moore (N/A)

Star Man

Christian Pulisic is so much better than every single one of his teammates and he proved it with a dynamic attacking display. He should have scored in the first half but having created the chance for himself, it's difficult to pin any blame on him.

Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Worst Player

John Brooks was the worst of the USA's leaky defence, allowing himself to be beaten too easily on a number of occasions, including for Wilson's goal.

Looking Ahead

Croatia's win over Spain means that it's all to play for in England's final UEFA Nations League match on Sunday. A win against Croatia will see them qualify for next year's finals; a defeat or a score draw will result in relegation.

The USA face Italy in another friendly in Genk on Sunday. 

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