Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - SPORT -

de­fence – mar­shalled by City’s ma­tur­ing John Stones – was or­gan­ised and res­o­lute through­out.

Ash­ley Young pulled off an out­stand­ing last-ditch block on Wil­lian sec­onds after com­ing on as an 80th-minute sub­sti­tute.

Joe Hart also saved well from for­mer Tot­ten­ham mid­fielder Paulinho with five min­utes left.

Ney­mar, Gabriel Je­sus (above) and Coutinho all started in a full-strength line-up for the five-time world cham­pi­ons. But City striker Je­sus, feted as ‘the new Ron­aldo’ by Brazil cap­tain Daniel Alves ear­lier this week, strug­gled to con­tinue his im­pres­sive scor­ing run and was taken off in the sec­ond half.

Alves could count him­self for­tu­nate not to be shown a straight red card for kick­ing out at Jake Liver­more in the 48th minute.

Eng­land’s next fix­tures are two friendlies against Hol­land and Italy in March 2018 as part of their World Cup prepa­ra­tions.

South­gate’s men face the Dutch in Am­s­ter­dam on March 23 and Italy at Wem­b­ley four days later.

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