Chelsea stars past and current shine as England draw 0-0 against Brazil at Wembley
After successive 0-0 draws at Wembley, this game would not normally be greeted with optimism by the England fans, but of of this cohort of young players, much is expected and they have not let the s country down. Chelsea can look at the squads of England and Brazil and see seven players currently at the club or who have come through the academy and moved on, some on loan. Gary Cahill was an unused sub, while Jack Cork stayed on the bench also. Tammy Abraham and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are on loans while Dominic Solanke exercised his right at the end of his contract, Ryan Bertrand likewise had a permanent move from SW6. Loftus-Cheek, while only on the pitch for 35 minutes, a hip in jury ended his night prematurely, was the star performer for the Three Lions. His smooth touch and elegant passing, very much above the average for this England side. For Brazil, Chelsea’s Willian had a run out without showing the dynamism, which has made him an effective servant at Stamford Bridge. This is the last England match for four months - much can happen in that brine in terms of form and fitness. But with the World Cup on the horizon, the Chelsea crop can look towards to with great optimism. let’s hope Gareth Southgate is as courageous in his quad selection as his was with the post-qualification matches.Brazil were all tricks and flicks as the Three Lions went in to survival mode in the opening stages. Joe Hart was forced into a smart save on 13 minutes when Gabriel Jesus found himself unmarked inside the England penalty area. His glancing header was snaffled by the goalkeeper, low top his right. England’s first effort on goal, was a speculative, but powerful, long-range effort by Marcus Rashford. Alisson, the goalkeeper did his job successfully. Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s night ended in disappointment when he was replaced due to a hip injury on 35 minutes - Jesse Lingard took his place. Up to that point, he was the brightest spark in an England side, devoid of possession for much of the half. Brazil got behind the home side’s rearguard on several occasions, but were constantly offside. There were no changes at half time by either manager. Brazil should have scored two minutes in but hart thwarted the low drive by Liverpool’s Philippe Courtinho as the visitors cut the England defence to shreds with a swift move straight through the middle of the back three. Chelsea’s Willian entered the fray on 68 minutes to inject direct pace into the Brazil attack - Courthino walked gloomily off. Chelsea’s academy can be proud of the next two England subs as Tammy Abraham and Dominic Solanke replaced Jaime Vardy and Marquis Rashford with 15 min utes left. Within seconds Fernandinho raced clearance he was unlucky to see his long-range effort clip the right post of hart and go off for a goal kick. Eric Dier responded with a free-kick, in a dangerous position, but he fluffed his lines and the attempted curler intro the far post was well wide. Paulinho forced Hart into action with five minutes left. The England stopper did well at his near post to turn the low drive away for a corner. Neither side seriously went for the jugular and the play eked out to his inevitable conclusion.
Teams: hart, Walker, Bertrand, Gomez, Stones, Maguire, Livermore, Dier, Vardy, Loftus-Cheek, Rashford\Subs: Pickford, Trippier, Rose, Cahill, Keane, Cork, Young, Cook, Kingard, Abraham, Solanke, Gunn.
Brazil: Alison, Alves, Miranda, Casemiro, Augustto, Jesus, Neymar, Coutinho, Marcelo, Marquinhos, Paulinho Subs, Cassio, Emerson, Jamerson, Sandro, Costa, Silva, Fernandinho, Giuliano, Willian, Diego, Firmino, Danilo, Taison, Souza