Euro 2012 - Match ratings: Rockin' Robben

Thu, 01 Mar 09:12:00 2012

Arjen Robben was the standout player on the Wembley pitch as Netherlands downed England 3-2 in an international friendly.

2012 FOOTBALL Netherlands Arjen Robben - 0


Joe Hart (6) - Kept the ball moving quickly as England enjoyed their best spells of possession in the first half. Showed good reactions and strong hands when making near-post save from Arjen Robben. To have saved either of the first two Dutch goals would have been a big ask, though he could have done better with the third.

Micah Richards (6) - After being overlooked for so long, this was Richards's time to shine. If anything, he showed far too much eagerness to impress. At times bombed on when Chris Smalling looked for the short ball and left Adam Johnson waiting for the overlap. Misjudged flight of ball, slipped and almost handled. Learnt to handle Robben better as the game went on.

Gary Cahill (7) - Showed Chelsea fans that he is just what they needed: a centre-back who likes to play the ball out from the back and scores goals. He did the former well in the first half when England were on top, and the latter when when he showed a striker's composure to stay onside and finish. Had mixed fortunes facing Robben.

Chris Smalling (5) - Enjoyed a composed, secure and impressive first hour before it all went dark. Like Cahill, helped slow tempo down when Dutch were building momentum in the first half. Read the game well as he thwarted both Robin van Persie and Robben. Then he was dragged out of position for first goal and literally beaten in the air for the second. Off on 62 minutes.

Leighton Baines (6) - Get up and down the left wing to aid Ashley Young drift inside. Struggled when Dirk Kuyt and Khalid Bouhlarouz combined against him. Stood off for both Kuyt's cross that led to Huntelaar's goal and Robben's late winner.

Scott Parker (7) - Not a flawless performance,e but one unerring commitment and drive, meaning he suited the captain's armband well. Made plenty of brave blocks and tackles, as well as covering for others' errors. Can't be blamed for any of the goals, though did start tracking run on Robben for opener from way out wide.

Gareth Barry (6) - After gifting an early pass right into Robben's path, settled in well and helped play England quickly and efficiently out of their half. More offensive-minded in his passing than Parker, and as such gave the ball away more often. Off on 45 minutes.

Adam Johnson (7) - Perhaps getting the nod because he is Richards's team-mate. However, the pair struggled to bring that club understanding into the international fold. One surging run was easily tackled, while another ink forward led to a shot deflected behind. Switched to the left after half an hour, and his cross from that side led to Ashley Young heading over. Off on 62 minutes.

Ashley Young (7) - Flashes of class throughout, such as a sprayed ball across to Johnson and a clever reverse dink into the area. Was shifted into a central role on half an hour, but failed to combine with club-mate Danny Welbeck effectively. Looked more comfortable when drifting wide again. Took his goal well with a neat lift over Maarten Stekelenburg.

Steven Gerrard (5) - Showed more energy than expected considered he played for two hours on the same pitch just three days previously. Tried too killer pass through the back line on several occasions, to no avail. Off on 33 minutes with hamstring injury.

Danny Welbeck (6) - Did not look well-suited to role as lone frontman, even with plenty of support. Did well when he had time to control and turn, but was not afforded that luxury often. A last-ditch sprint to block the goalkeeper's kick yielded a throw, which sums up his effort/output ratio well. Off on 80 minutes.


Daniel Sturridge (6) - On in 33rd minute. First act was to surge in from right and his dangerous low cross was cleared. Defensively covered Richards better than Johnson had. Forced a good save from Stekelenburg. All of this will be forgotten after his missed sitter, however. Off on 88 minutes.

James Milner (6) - On in 46th minute. A late, outside bet for the captaincy according to some, but had one of his most anonymous England performances.

Phil Jones (6) - On in 64th minute. Went to right-back in place of Richards and suffered same fate as Robben turned him inside out. Supplied the through ball for young's equaliser.

Stewart Downing (5) - On in 62nd minute. First significant touch was a left-footed volley wide. Once again underwhelming but not awful in an England shirt.

Fraizer Campbell (5) - On in 80th minute. Had little chance to make an impact on international debut.

Theo Walcott (6) - On in 88th minute. One of the biggest winners of the night. Was on pitch for two minutes and played big hand in Young's goal.


Maarten Stekelenburg (6) - Was quick off the line after an early error from John Heitinga. Good low save from Daniel Sturridge, though could have done better for both goals.

Khalid Bouhlahrouz (6) - Got forward in support of Kuyt whenever possible. Cleared Sturridge's dangerous low cross just after the England man had come on. Off on 82 minutes.

John Heitinga (6) - Caught flat-footed early on as Young went through. Denied Johnson a shot after the winger's jinxing run into the box. Handled Welbeck well enough for most of the evening.

Joris Mathijsen (6) - Made a good tackle on Johnson after another run forward from the City man. Generally held the line well with Heitinga. Booked.

Erik Pieters (5) - One of several to have shots blocked by Parker. Did not offer much of a barrier on the left. Off on 45 minutes.

Nigel de Jong (6) - A typically 'all business' performance from the sturdy midfielder. Played plenty of quick and safe passes to more lethal team-mates and flexed muscle when necessary. Not as influential as team-mate Barry on the opposite side.

Mark van Bommel (6) - A poor pass inside to Welbeck aside, was a real midfield general for the Dutch. Dropping in to cover when Bouhlarouz went forward and limited much of England's chances through the middle. Should have been booked for a foul on Richards

Dirk Kuyt (6) - Was part of the Dutch's best move down the right in the first half. Escaped censure for clattering Parker. Played a cross which begged to be headed home for second Dutch goal.

Arjen Robben (9) - Gave English fans a glimpse of they are missing from his days at Chelsea. The early warning signs were there when his shot at the near post was saved after bamboozling Richards. Scored a tremendous solo effort to give the Dutch a lead they barely deserved at the time, but his curling effort in injury time with a worthy winner.

Wesley Sneijder (6) - Had a better time of it than he been having at Internazionale of late. Supplied and connected the front three well enough but did not look the player of two years ago. Off on 76 minutes.

Robin van Persie (6) - Perhaps the Dutch forward who struggled most with the constant switching between the front players on the night. His shot from the edge of the box which flew into the crowd summed up his evening. Off on 45 minutes.


Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (7) - On in 46th minute. Surely one of the most notable Wembley cameos ever. After a solid shot from 20 yards flew wide, the big striker helped make the first goal happen with an intelligent run that opened up space for Robben's opener before he scored a great header moments later that led to him leaving the pitch on a stretcher. Off on 64 minutes.

Stijn Schaars (6) - On in 45th minute. The left-sided midfielder was deployed at left-back to combat Richards, Sturridge and Young, and for the most part did so well.

Luuk de Jong (5) - On in 62nd minute. The highly rated was unable to get anywhere near emulating Huntelaar's efforts upon replacing him.

Urby Emanuelson (5) - On in 76th minute. The Milan player had a minimal impact on proceedings.

Ron Vlaar (6) - On in 82nd minute. Under usual circumstances, Vlaar would have comp on too late to be given a rating, but his block on Sturridge on the edge of the box deserves a mention.

Arjen Robben was the standout player on the Wembley pitch as Netherlands downed England 3-2 in an international friendly. - 2


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