England stifled superior opponents for the second time in a week as Brazil followed Germany in settling for a Wembley stalemate.
Gareth Southgate’s long-term mission is to win hearts and minds, if not World Cups, with his fresh-faced Three Lions and if two 0-0 draws in five days represents a slow start then it might easily have been worse given the calibre of the opposition.
Brazil arrived at full strength and with a formidable run of form behind them but while they dominated possession their vaunted front three of Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus toiled without reward.
What they saidEngland manager Gareth Southgate: “They’re not going to face more difficult tests than they’ve had in the two matches. We had the best defensive record in Europe in qualifying and we’ve played the best two teams in the world and not conceded. The resilience, collective and individually, was absolutely outstanding.”Brazil boss Tite: “We have scored many goals this year but not today because England played really well, blocking our offence. They were trying to close out the space and they had a lot of mental power.”
Tweet of the match
Star man – Joe Gomez
The Liverpool defender, in direct opposition to Neymar, the world’s most expensive player, proved near impenetrable.
Moment of the match
Neymar’s first-half nutmeg of Jake Livermore was illustrative of the gulf in quality at times. But the fact it took place in the middle of the field, where there was no real danger, also was an example of the end of year friendly fare.
66 per cent – Brazil enjoyed two thirds of the possession.
RatingsEngland: Joe Hart 7 (out of 10), Joe Gomez 8, John Stones 7, Harry Maguire 7, Kyle Walker 7, Ryan Bertrand 6, Jake Livermore 5, Eric Dier 7, Jamie Vardy 5, Ruben Loftus-Cheek 5, Marcus Rashford 7. Subs: Jesse Lingard (on for Loftus-Cheek, 35 minutes) 5, Tammy Abraham (for Rashford, 75) 5, Dominic Solanke (for Vardy, 75) 6, Ashley Young (for Bertrand, 80) 6, Danny Rose (for Livermore, 89) 5.Brazil: Allison 6, Dani Alves 5, Marquinhos 6, Miranda 6, Marcelo 6, Casemiro 7, Paulinho 6, Renato Augusto 6, Philippe Coutinho 5, Neymar 7, Gabriel Jesus 6. Subs: Willian (for Coutinho, 68) 6, Fernandinho (for Augusto, 68) 6, Firmino (for Jesus, 76) 5.
Who’s up next?
Holland v England (Friendly, March 23)
Germany v Brazil (Friendly, November 26)