MARTIN KEOWN'S PLAYER RATINGS: Ex-Three Lions defender rates England's heroes after they beat Poland at Wembley

England booked their place at next year's World Cup in Brazil with two-goal victory over Poland at a packed Wembley Stadium.

Wayne Rooney first-half header and Steven Gerrard's 88th-minute strike saw the Three Lions triumph as they won Group H and avoided the play-offs.

Sportsmail columnist and former England and Arsenal defender Martin Keown has run the rule over  each player that took to the field.

England (4-2-3-1) 

Team average rating 7.3

Joe Hart - 7

Quiet evening but coped well with Poland’s counter attacks, especially from Lewandowski in the second half. Distribution first class.

Has proved his critics wrong over the last two matches.

Chris Smalling - 7

After a slow start he grew into the game. It’s not easy being a centre back playing at full back, but he supported Townsend and he grew in confidence.

Positioning was off a few times.

Strong defence: England right-back Chris Smalling, second right, is challenged by Poland's Grzegorz Krychowiak

Gary Cahill - 7

Block at the start of second half was fantastic. He has a knack of rising to the occasion for big games for club and country.

Was the leader in the back line and a threat at set pieces.

Phil Jagielka - 6

More unsure on the ball than his defensive partner and was outfoxed by a diagonal ball in the second half, from which Poland should have scored.

Had a chance to score in the first half. Hanging on at times.

Leighton Baines - 7

A threat down the left, even though his delivery from set pieces was not up to its usual high standards.

Set up first goal with a teasing cross but would have liked to have seen him get forward more.

Captain fantastic: Steven Gerrard, centre, celebrates scoring against Poland

Steven Gerrard - 8

Set the tempo as captain from the start, determined to drag his team through. With Carrick next to him, he had extra licence to go forward.

He relished that, scoring the second. Superb.

Michael Carrick - 8

Hodgson was bold to pick him and Carrick did not let down his manager.

His passing was tidy, he moved the ball quickly and his passes had good weight and were the right decisions.

Wing wonder: England wide man Andros Townsend evades Poland's Kamil Glik

Andros Townsend - 8 - Star man

He was relentless with his running and he moves his feet so quickly.

He was unlucky not to score when he hit the bar. Linked better with his team-mates than against Montenegro.

Wayne Rooney - 8

He's our main man and again he showed his class and hunger. His partnership with Sturridge is developing well and he linked intelligently with Townsend too.

He’s a predator in the box.

Heads I win: England's Wayne Rooney scores the opening goal against Poland

Danny Welbeck - 7

The Manchester United man was quite rigid early on, staying wide on the left.

But he came into the game gradually. Missed a sitter in the first half, snatching at the ball inside the Poland box.

Daniel Sturridge 7

His performance was full of quality movement and he is becoming more tenacious.

His touch is outstanding at times. When he decides to take on someone, he always gets past his man.


Frank Lampard 6, Jack Wilshere 6, James Milner 6.

Poland (4-5-1)

Average rating 5.8

Szczesny 7; Celeban 6, Jedrzejczyk 5, Glik 6, Wojtkowiak 5; Krychowiak 5, M Lewandowski 6 (Klich 6), Blaszczykowski 7, Mierzejewski 5 (Zielinski 5), Sobota 6 (Peszko 5); R Lewandowski 6.

Star shackled: Poland striker Robert Lewandowski failed to score at Wembley