England 6-2 IR Iran: Post-Match Player Ratings
Bukayo Saka of England celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 2-0 during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between England and IR Iran at Khalifa International Stadium on November 21, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

England started their World Cup campaign with a big win over Iran to take an early lead in the Group A table.

Jude Bellingham opened the scoring, Bukayo Saka made it two, Raheem Sterling then increased the tally to an impressive three before half time. Saka found his brace with a fourth.

Porto striker Mehdi Taremi's effort flew past Jordan Pickford into the roof of the net but Marcus Rashford's third touch on the pitch made it 5-1. Jack Grealish was presented with an open goal after some good work from Callum Wilson to make it six, before Taremi converted a penalty deep into added time after a controversial VAR decision. 

Here are the player ratings for this thriller:


Jordan Pickford - 7

The Everton man wasn't required to do too much, but when called upon especially in the final few minutes made an excellent save. 

Luke Shaw - 8

Some great distribution and crosses, posing a threat to the Iran defence from the left-hand side. Managed to get an assist for the opening goal as well.

Harry Maguire - 8

A solid pairing which will boost confidence in many England fans in Qatar and across the UK. An assist for Bukayo Saka's stunner and unlucky to not get a goal in the first ten minutes. A real aerial threat going forward and faultless at the back.

John Stones - 7

Was unfortunate to concede a penalty in the dying stages but it's a learning curve. Aside from that he was in top form finding the wingers and midfielders with great accuracy. 

Kieran Trippier - 7 

Like Shaw, it was a good sign of things to come. The Newcastle United full-back has been having a great season and he showed real determination with defensive recoveries and also his crossing ability. 

Declan Rice - 8

The West Ham captain is just a diamond to have in the midfield. His passing was brilliant and carrying the ball forward towards the attackers was crucial towards all six goals. 

Jude Bellingham - 9

19 years old, scoring the opening goal for England in the World Cup. He is England's future along with a few others, and he controlled the midfield with Rice today, proving that it is an effective pivot that can operate for future matches. Great finish as well. 

Mason Mount - 7

Being preferred to Phil Foden was always bound to get some criticism, but he was excellent on and off the ball. A great performance from the Chelsea man and a goal should follow suit if he keeps it up. 

Raheem Sterling - 8 

A goal and assist, you can't ask for much else. Spectacular first time finish off Harry Kane's cross and an assist for Saka's second. He was England's hero last major tournament, and it seems he hasn't dropped in form now in another major tournament. 

Bukayo Saka - 9

Simply incredible. First goal is a sublime finish on the half volley, whereas the second is an individual routine finish for the 21-year-old. He's been world class for Arsenal this season, and he could be one of the key players for Southgate this tournament. 

Harry Kane - 8

No goal for the talisman, but a real captain's performance with two assists to his name. First cross for Sterling made it look easy, and then teeing up Rashford for a goal to make it five. 


Jack Grealish - 7

Came on in the 70th minute and grabbed a goal in the 90th. It's all that you can ask for and he provided, a simple finish into an open net thanks to some great work by Bellingham and Wilson to provide the opportunity. 

Marcus Rashford - 7

There were doubts he could pick up his form but he has done it this season and his goal after only three touches was sensational. He may not get ahead of Kane in the line up but can be a real threat in the last 20 minutes. 

Phil Foden - 6

Came on in the 70th minute and didn't make much of an impact on the game. Had Grealish missed the ball perhaps he could've been the sixth goalscorer for the Three Lions

Eric Dier - 6

Substituted on in the 70th minute for defensive support and did so, but nothing to write home about. A tidy performance from the Spurs man.

Callum Wilson - 7

With only 15 minutes game time, he made sure his name was worth talking about, bursting into open space and providing Grealish with a goal in the 90th minute. 

  • IR Iran

Alireza Beiranvand - 5

He only lasted 19 minutes of the match due to a nose injury after colliding with his own teammate off an England cross. 

Milad Mohammadi - 5

The AEK Athens full back made only six accurate passes out of a total nine and failed to get any of his teammates involved, inviting pressure from England's wingers. 

Majid Hosseini - 5

The centre-back had little aerial presence, allowing Maguire and Stones to win their battles on crosses and set pieces and in doing so, allowing two goals from Bellingham and Saka. 

Roozbeh Cheshmi - 5

The same applies for all of the back three. They weren't tight enough to their markers and the 29-year-old couldn't prevent the attack from shining in the air. 

Morteza Pouraliganji - 5

Won both his aerial duels, but it was the rest of defence that let him down, and conceding six in a major tournament never reflects well on anyone in the side. 

Sadegh Moharrami - 4

Was beaten by the England attack in only ten minutes. No accurate crosses and one complete tackle in a full 90 minutes isn't good enough for a defender. 

Ehsan Haji Safi - 6

He wasn't bad but he offered minimal going forwards, no accurate crosses or long balls says it all really. 

Ali Karimi - 6 

He only played the first half, but didn't offer anything special attacking or as a defensive unit. Understandable substitution although there was a change in shape. 

Ahmad Nourollahi - 6

Having been playing in the UAE this season, it was a local game for the midfielder, who was committed and his distribution was decent but no chances created. 

Alireza Jahanbakhsh - 6

The former Brighton and current Feyenoord winger is one of Iran's recognisable players to foreign faces, most commonly known for his amazing goal in the Premier League. However, there was no threat from him and he was substituted early after being on a booking from early on. 

Mehdi Taremi - 9

It was Iran's only hope that the FC Porto man would be the sole goal threat. And indeed did he provide, only as matters of consolation, one being a stunning finish at 4-0 down, and the other a calm and collected penalty sending Pickford the wrong way. 


Hossein Hosseini - 6

The substitute goalkeeper did concede six, but some of the finishes were outstanding. Nothing he could do but if he's going to be their number one now for the rest of the tournament they will need to seal their defence up. 

Ali Gholizadeh - 7

The 26-year-old arguably should've started, setting up Taremi for the first goal and pulling the strings for a deflated Iran side. 

Saeid Ezatolahi - 6

100% accuracy in passing, but didn't see much of him. Despite having a full half of football, he didn't make much of an impact. 

Hossein Kanaani - 6

Another substitute that had a full 45 minutes but failed to make much of an impact apart from some more fluid distribution as opposed to the team that played the first 45. 

Mehdi Torabi - 6

Played for 27 minutes but made no real impact on the game. 

Sardar Azmoun - 6

The Bayer Leverkusen striker has been thriving domestically but only played 13 minutes against the favourite in Group B. Perhaps if Quieroz opted for a two-striker formation it could've been different.