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England were knocked out of the World Cup after a 2-1 quarter-final defeat to France on Saturday night, with Bukayo Saka winning a penalty converted by Harry Kane before Kane missed a second spot-kick won by Mason Mount.
Notoriously harsh with their player ratings, L’Equipe gave their highest rating for an England player to Bukayo Saka. Saka received a 7/10, with no other England man scoring higher than a 6.
Only Olivier Giroud (7), Antoine Griezmann (7), and Hugo Lloris (8) could match Saka’s rating from the French outlet on the night.
Back in England, The Telegraph actually rated Saka as their Man of the Match with a 9/10. They wrote:
“So unfortunate that a foul by Upamecano was not given on him in the build-up to Tchouameni’s opening goal, but got the perfect revenge by forcing the France midfielder into the foul on him that won the penalty for Kane’s equaliser.
“A constant threat to the France defenders.”
Saka deserves all the praise for his performance, as he created a big chance on top of his penalty won, and he won more duels (eight) than anyone else on the pitch.
The Arsenal winger was officially fouled four times, but the referee seemed to ignore a number of other incidents. Saka also got back to make three tackles, only Jude Bellingham made more.
Inevitably, not everyone agreed, with the Daily Mail giving Saka (6.5) a lower rating than even Harry Kane (7). But ignoring the tabloids, it seems the media at large are in agreement that Saka was one of the shining lights as England exited the World Cup.
Mail on Sunday gave Harry Kane a 7 and Bukayo Saka a 6.5. pic.twitter.com/1WR8ZFCH73
— Daily Cannon (@DailyCannon) December 11, 2022
With three goals and that penalty won leading to a goal in his four World Cup appearances, Saka should take plenty of confidence from his showing in Qatar.
As the World Cup takes place in a country where being LGBTQ+ is illegal, please also remember that “Qatari authorities have failed to investigate the deaths of thousands of migrant workers over the past decade, despite evidence of links between premature deaths and unsafe working conditions,” according to Amnesty International.
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