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Euro 2024 - Serbia 0-1 England player ratings: Marc Guehi and Declan Rice impress in defence as Three Lions win opener

England got off to a winning start to Euro 2024 with a 1-0 win over Serbia in Gelsenkirchen; Jude Bellingham's 13th-minute winner was enough for the victory, with Jordan Pickford making a crucial save late on to deny Dusan Vlahovic; Marc Guehi and Declan Rice were among the key performers

Marc Guehi
Image: Marc Guehi was impressive as England beat Serbia

It wasn't pretty - but England got off to a winning start to Euro 2024 thanks to a 1-0 win over Serbia.

When Jude Bellingham's 13th-minute opener went in, the floodgates were primed to open - but Gareth Southgate's side found it tricky.

A quieter-than-usual Harry Kane struck the bar late in the game while Jordan Pickford denied Dusan Vlahovic with a stunning finger-tip save late on, but the Three Lions settled for a one-goal victory to move to the top of Group C.

Jude Bellingham celebrates after heading England in front against Serbia
Image: Jude Bellingham celebrates after heading England in front against Serbia

Make your own player ratings and take a look at Sky Sports football journalist Sam Blitz's player ratings below...


Jordan Pickford - 7

Jordan Pickford punches clear to end a Serbia attack
Image: Jordan Pickford punches clear to end a Serbia attack

Before his stunning save to deny Dusan Vlahovic in the final ten minutes, the only real involvement from England's No 1 was one punch.

But the manner in which he tipped the late effort over shows the sign of a good goalkeeper - concentration when critical.

The clear plan was to go long towards Kane and Pickford kicked into the right areas. A tenth clean sheet at a major tournament is nothing to be sniffed at as well.

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Kyle Walker - 8

Outstanding at both ends. The Man City captain was important in sweeping up any early counter-attacks as England suffocated Serbia early on. Then provided the key pass at the other end to release Bukayo Saka for Bellingham's goal.

The right-back almost scored a second, which would have calmed England's second-half nerves, but the pace he showed to create the chance proved why he is one of the first names on the teamsheet.

John Stones -7


Any accusations that he was not ready enough for this game were dismissed when he barged Dusan Vlahovic after 20 seconds to stop an early Serbian chance.

The Man City defender did show signs of tiredness, but that is to be expected given his lack of minutes. An awkward clearance at the end of the first half showed that, while Filip Mladenovic started giving him issues down the right in the second period.

But he then produced a key header with minutes left as Serbia put on the pressure late on. After some availability doubts, Stones is back.

Marc Guehi - 8

Aleksandar Mitrovic fights for a header with Marc Guehi
Image: Guehi stood tall in big moments as he takes his chances in this England team


The Crystal Palace defender showed calmness in possession - his first misplaced pass came after the hour mark.

The way he stepped forward to win the ball back in dangerous areas shows he has the presence that Harry Maguire left behind. If he carries on like this, it's a game-changing summer ahead.

Kieran Trippier - 7

Mr Reliable. Trippier was forced to provide width down the left due to Phil Foden cutting inside, but was still at the right place in the England penalty area when required.

Given the left-back has struggled for minutes in recent weeks, this was a solid display should Luke Shaw need more time to recover.

Declan Rice - 9


A real faultless display, the reliable balance to all that creativity ahead of him.

The Arsenal midfielder produced double digits in ball recoveries and quite a few of them came in important moments on the edge of his own box.

Rice is growing into a big-game player for country now, not just club. And you can see why Gareth Southgate has put him in his leadership group.

Trent Alexander-Arnold - 8

Trent Alexander-Arnold holds off Nemanja Gudelj
Image: Trent Alexander-Arnold had an impressive outing in central midfield

A livewire. Had plenty of shots from midfield and took up good areas - while his smart interception created the Walker chance in the first half.

He was taken off as England needed more energy in midfield, but the Liverpool player showed he can do the running side of the game as well.

He made that mistake for Aleksandr Mitrovic's first-half chance but it was a small dot on a very encouraging display.

Jude Bellingham - 9

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Lee Hendrie describes Jude's Bellingham's performance in England's victory over Serbia as 'remarkable'.

England's flame. After the first half, you were looking at one of the all-time Three Lions displays at a major tournament.

For the second major tournament in a row, a Bellingham late run and header into the box has got England up and running. While he will take the headlines, this all-round display was impressive.

He recorded the most duels won in the England team and Serbia could only foul him to stop him. His attitude to give some aggression back to his opponents makes him even more box office.

Bukayo Saka - 8

The way he kept taking on his opposite number, you wouldn't think this was his first start in five weeks. He hassled Filip Kostic in one-on-ones so much in the first half that the Serbian wing-back was forced off due to injury, probably caused by exhaustion.

The Arsenal winger is not just England's out ball on the break down the right, but the change in direction this team needs to break down tight defences. His assist for Bellingham's opener proves that.

Harry Kane - 7

Harry Kane evades a challenge from Nikola Milenkovic
Image: Harry Kane had a quiet evening

Another intriguing performance. England's captain touched the ball just once in the first half an hour and twice in the whole opening period. His third touch was even intercepted by the referee.

But Kane was given a real test by Serbia's centre-backs, especially in the air. He rose to the challenge in the second period and brought the Three Lions up the pitch brilliantly - then could have got a second only for a stunning save onto the bar.

If he has to be selfless so others, especially Bellingham, can thrive, then so be it.

Phil Foden - 7


The Premier League Player of the Year was in the game but wasn't really influencing it. Foden didn't take any Serbia defenders on but did get involved defensively.

How the Man City forward influences this team will still remain a mystery for Southgate.


Conor Gallagher - 6

Brought on as England's energy levels dropped and the Three Lions did improve a little after his introduction. But too many lost balls and heavy touches meant Southgate's side couldn't settle. The Chelsea midfielder could still be useful against higher-quality opposition.

Jarrod Bowen - 7

Jarrod Bowen holds up the ball under pressure from Strahinja Pavlovic
Image: Jarrod Bowen had an impressive cameo

Many cried "Bowen?!" when he was preferred to Cole Palmer and Anthony Gordon as a wide replacement. But then the West Ham winger beat his opposite number and set up Kane brilliantly to strike the bar. Southgate appears to trust him, that's why he travelled.

Kobbie Mainoo (n/a)

Not on long enough for a rating, but being trusted for the final few minutes as Bellingham's replacement is another impressive landmark for the teenager.

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