De­fi­ant Eng­land stand firm but vis­i­tors

Talk­ing points Rash­ford shines and the Seleção show so­lid­ity

The Guardian - Sport - - Football International Friendlies -

0 0 will not be among the top seeds when the draw takes place on 1 De­cem­ber.

The pass Ney­mar non­cha­lantly curled into Gabriel Je­sus mid­way through the first half was just one ex­am­ple. Ney­mar does not of­ten use his left foot but, on this ev­i­dence, maybe he should more of­ten. This was clipped with the out­side of his boot to ap­ply just the right amount of bend and spin. Je­sus was marginally off­side but that was the kind of mo­ment that sim­ply does not hap­pen when Eng­land are chug­ging through hum­drum vic­to­ries against easy fod­der in qual­i­fy­ing matches.

Ney­mar’s next at­tempt to re­lease Je­sus was an­other beauty. His shoot­ing could be wild at times and the half-time an­nouncer even had the temer­ity to poke fun at one of the misses, with the shot re­played on the large screens. Just a bit of fun, per­haps, but the truth was Ney­mar was op­er­at­ing at a much higher level than any of his op­po­nents, as demon­strated by his exquisitely de­liv­ered nut­meg on the un­for­tu­nate Jake Liver­more. It is not of­ten Wem­b­ley has the chance to see one of the world’s cat­e­go­ryA foot­ballers in ac­tion and the fans here should have en­joyed watch­ing a player with these kind of un­com­mon gifts. Ney­mar is a treat, and should be cher­ished for what he does.

Eng­land never moved the ball so quickly or with the same kind of flu­id­ity and were guilty some­times of rush­ing passes. Ruben Lof­tus-Cheek had a fine game against Ger­many but his sec­ond cap ended in the 35th minute be­cause of an in­jury. Jesse Lin­gard took his place but

Carl Recine/ Ac­tion Images via Reuters

Strike a pose Mar­cus Rash­ford is sur­rounded by Brazil play­ers as he tries to make some space in a cagey af­fair which ended goal­less

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