Home » Harry Maguire shows encouraging performance for England in frustrating draw vs Ukraine

Harry Maguire shows encouraging performance for England in frustrating draw vs Ukraine

by Vatsal Gupta

There are not many players who are under more scrutiny on the pitch than Harry Maguire at the moment.

The Manchester United centre-back is under the scanner constantly and each mistake of his, regardless of how big it is, is trolled endlessly.

English national team has been a safe haven for him during this time, as Gareth Southgate has consistently thrown his weight behind him despite his struggles at club level.

He repaid this faith with an encouraging performance for his national team against Ukraine.

While England suffered a frustrating draw against Ukraine as a minor hiccup to their UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying path, Maguire’s display will fill United fans with hope that he can still turn it around.

The centre-back looked close to his ball-playing best, a trait for which he was revered when he broke through at Sheffield and Leicester.

He had a remarkable 108 touches of the ball, acting as the main orchestrator in the centre of defence.

Erik ten Hag will be further delighted as Southgate started Maguire as the right-sided centre-back, a role that he struggles in for United.

The former United captain made 97 successful passes out of 102 attempted, with a great passing accuracy of 95%. (stats courtesy of SofaScore)

He was regularly bringing the ball out of defence for England as they enjoyed 69% possession against Ukraine.

Although the goalscoring chances were few and far between, as their play got laborious in the final third, the defence did its job to great effect.

The goal from Ukraine cannot be completely attributed to Maguire either, which is certainly a new phenomenon these days. Seemingly every goal that his side conceded in the last year or so, Maguire has been deemed culpable. Although his marking for the cutback could have been better, it was hardly a glaring error on his part.

With United’s injury crisis at centre-back looming, this performance couldn’t have come at a better time.

Maguire gets much-needed match fitness, while a good performance will go a long way to rebuilding his shattered confidence.

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