England player ratings vs North Macedonia: Ollie Watkins fails to take chance as Bukayo Saka targeted

Ollie Watkins was handed a rare start but struggled to make an impact (AP)
Ollie Watkins was handed a rare start but struggled to make an impact (AP)

England were unable to truly remedy their disappointing performance at Wembley against Malta on Friday as they were held to a 1-1 draw in North Macedonia.

Rico Lewis was harshly punished for a supposed shoulder in the first half, with Enis Bardhi putting the hosts into the lead in Skopje from a penalty in which Jordan Pickford saved the initial spot-kick but couldn't keep out the rebound.

Harry Kane's leap from a corner forced an own goal in the second half as Jani Atanasov deflected the ball into his own net, but England could not build on their equaliser and were ultimately not able to finish 2023 with a victory.

Dom Smith was at the Tose Proeski Arena to take in the action…

Jordan Pickford 7

Excellent save to deny Enis Bardhi from the spot, but unfortunate that his parry fell straight to the captain, who hammered North Macedonia into the lead.

Kyle Walker 6

Needed to use his recovery pace on a couple of occasions. At times, stretched by the hosts' attack. Much of England's play went down the other flank.

Harry Maguire 6

Should have given away a penalty in the first half for an unwise lunge in on Elif Elmas, when he got nowhere near the ball.

Marc Guehi 7

Played one sumptuous long ball over the top for Ollie Watkins to control — something Southgate values in a centre-back who is solidifying his place on the plane with every England appearance he makes.

Rico Lewis 7

Overall, a bright debut from the 18-year-old, who was trusted as the solution amid a left-back injury crisis and delivered a high-class, energetic performance. Slightly marred by giving away a penalty, but it should never have been awarded.

Trent Alexander-Arnold 6

Played in a deeper position than on Friday, but saw the ball considerably less. Fewer long balls too. Booked for complaining with the ref.

Trent Alexander-Arnold had a quiet night in midfield (AP)
Trent Alexander-Arnold had a quiet night in midfield (AP)

Declan Rice 6

Did a decent job of mopping up and screening the defence behind him, but could have been tighter when North Macedonia came at England.

Bukayo Saka 6

Like Jack Grealish on the other side, continuously targeted by late challenges which were not properly dealt with by referee Filip Glova. Assisted Grealish's offside goal.

Phil Foden 5

His corner delivered England their equaliser, but he could have imposed himself on this fixture a lot more.

Jack Grealish 6

Was pushed and pulled and kicked throughout this encounter, eventually losing his temper and shoving a few of his tight markers back. On the ball, maybe could have run at his opponents a little more.

Jack Grealish cut a frustrated figure (Action Images via Reuters)
Jack Grealish cut a frustrated figure (Action Images via Reuters)

Ollie Watkins 5

Did not take his rare opportunity to start here. North Macedonia's defenders got the better of him on too many occasions.


Harry Kane (Watkins, 58') 6

Forced an own goal from Atanasov immediately after coming on.

Cole Palmer (Saka, 84') N/A

Marcus Rashford (Grealish, 84') N/A

Kalvin Phillips (Alexander-Arnold, 84') N/A

Not used: Johnstone, Ramsdale, Tomori, Henderson, Gallagher, Konsa