England player ratings v Malta as Man Utd & Chelsea stars score 5/10 - Man City player hits 8/10 - gallery

There was one star performer in England's underwhelming 2-0 win against Malta.

A below-par England claimed a narrow win over Malta as their Euro 2024 home qualifying campaign came to a lacklustre end.

Gareth Southgate resisted the temptation to hand first senior starts to the likes of Cole Palmer, Ezri Konsa and Rico Lewis as the Three Lions manager retained faith with the players that had already secured his side's place at next summer's finals in Germany.

Any thoughts of England steamrollering their visitors, who are sat at a lowly 171st in the official FIFA rankings, were quickly cast aside as the Maltese came close to an opener inside the opening moments of the game when Teddy Teuma's low drive narrowly evaded Jordan Pickford's far post.

England's opened the scoring just minutes later - although there was a large slice of fortune about the first goal of the game as Phil Foden's attempted cutback struck Enrico Pepe before landing inside his own net.

The somewhat comical tone to the goal summed up what was a poor display where England always looked in control but struggled to show any real indication why they are viewed as one of the favourites to lift the Henri Delaunay Trophy at the Olympiastadion in July.

Southgate looked to his bench at half-time as Kyle Walker and Bukayo Saka were introduced into the action and they were quickly followed by Declan Rice and senior debutant Cole Palmer. There was a moment of class as England upped their tempo with quarter of an hour remaining and got their rewards when captain Harry Kane doubled their lead by rounding off a neat passing move.

That looked to have been quickly followed by a third goal as substitute Rice got in on the act with a powerful run and finish as he rifled a powerful drive beyond the helpless visitors keeper Henry Bonello - but a VAR check ruled controversially ruled out the effort for offside.

England settled at two despite enjoying the majority of possession in the final stages and now turn their attention towards Monday's final qualifier in North Macedonia.

3AddedMinutes assesses the performance of the England players as we hand out our ratings following an underwhelming night at Wembley.

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