Hamza Choudhury’s sending off proved to be the key factor as England lost their opening match of the U21 European Championships. France were awarded a penalty in the 24th minute when Jake Clarke-Salter was adjudged to have handled the ball from Jeff Reine-Adelaide’s header. Dean Henderson went the correct way and saved well to prevent Moussa Dembele from breaking the deadlock. Despite France having the better start to the second half, England took the lead in the 55th minute following a fine individual run from Phil Foden resulted in a low finish from outside the penalty box. France were awarded a second penalty in the 64th minute when Choudhury committed a rash tackle which he received a booking. Following a VAR review, the referee deemed the tackle worse than initially thought and sent the Leicester midfielder off. This time the post came to England’s rescue as Houssem Aouar failed to convert from the spot. With the man advantage, France would create a number of chances but England held on until Jonathan Ikone’s 89th-minute equaliser. It would end up being heartbreak for England as Aaron Wan-Bissaka diverted a French corner into his own net in the fifth minute of injury time. Here are the player ratings from tonight’s game:
Dean Henderson - 8
Dealt with Moussa Dembele’s first-half penalty brilliantly and made a number of key saves to prevent France’s victory from being even greater.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka - 4
Struggled at both ends of the pitch in what was a rare poor performance for the highly-rated Crystal Palace full-back. His performance was emphasised by his own goal in added time.
Fikayo Tomori - 7
Made a number of key blocks and tackles in the heart of England’s defence in what was a thoroughly professional performance.
Jake Clarke-Salter (C) - 6
Gave away the penalty in the first half and struggled to cope with the pace and power of the French attack.
Jay Dasilva - 6
Looked promising going forward but in-turn struggled at times defensively.
James Maddison - 6
Played a slightly deeper midfield role rather than behind the striker like he’s familiar with at Leicester, and as a result, he struggled to stop the pace and power of the French midfield.
Hamza Choudhury - 3
Gave away the second penalty and was rightly sent off following the VAR review which proved to be the game-changer for England.
Phil Foden - 7
His individual run and skill to keep the ball almost glued to his feet which resulted in his goal was a sight to behold but was effectively a passenger during the French comeback after pulling up with cramp.
Ryan Sessegnon - 6
Was a handful for the French full-backs in the first half but didn’t have as much of an impact in the second half before being replaced.
Demarai Gray - 7
Was a constant menace on the wings, swapping sides often with Sessegnon which proved to be a handful for the French defenders. His end product did let him down on a couple of occasions before being subbed off late in the second half.
Dominic Solanke - 5
Should’ve scored early in the first half, and struggled to really get involved in the game before being substituted in the 70th minute.
Mason Mount - 5
Didn’t really make much of an impact after coming on with 20 minutes remaining.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin - 5
Couldn’t have much of an effect offensively as he would’ve liked when he came on as England were under constant pressure following the sending off.
Tammy Abraham - 5
Much like Calvert-Lewin, he was limited to very little going forward.