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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Wembley Stadium

England 0 Brazil 1 : The key talking points

Seventeen-year-old sub Endrick bundled home the winner 10 minutes from time in a friendly which rarely reached great heights. The hosts did not create many chances. There looked to be an element of offside in the build-up to the goal but the visitors generally had the better openings.

It is a deflating way for England's Euro 2024 year to begin but continues the tale of inferiority which has dogged the Three Lions in this fixture over the years. Here we look at some of the talking points from a very sobering night in north London.

The rarity of England wins v Brazil: With only four wins in 26 previous encounters, England's record is decidedly lop-sided against the five-times World Champions. They have never beaten them in the World Cup - losing three and drawing one of four encounters. The victories have been little oases of joy amid a very humbling sequence of results.

Frank Lampard scored a winner in a 2-1 success when the teams met at Wembley in 2013. Before that, you have to go back to a Gary Lineker winner in 1990 for another of those elusive triumphs. England do not lose many at home - it was a first Wembley defeat since Denmark won a Nations League tie here 1-0 in October 2020 - but this result continues the sorry narrative against the Selecao as far as England are concerned.

The strikers: With Harry Kane injured, this was a great opportunity for ex-Brentford man Ollie Watkins to shine. He has been in prolific form for Villa this season but has yet to really make his mark in a Three Lions shirt. The 28-year-old was only earning his 10th cap and aiming to add to the three goals he has so far for his country but he was given few real openings and endured a frustrating 90 minutes.

He had one good sight of goal in the first half but blazed over inside the box when under pressure after a good pass from Conor Gallagher. We never got to see Ivan Toney, who stayed on the bench.

The Badge: If anyone was offended by the new supposedly controversial purple and blue version of the cross of St George on the back of the newly-minted England shirts, they did not make it obvious. It's not exactly something you can pick out from the stands in any case.

The mosaic in the stands before kick-off was very much traditional red cross on white background. Less traditional was the Brazil away kit of blue. It's always a disappointment when we are not treated to a rare sight of those famous yellow shirts.

The Euros: This result may just dampen expectation a little. Which may be no bad thing. England are back at Wembley on Tuesday when they face Belgium in another Grade A test. Their final game before heading to Germany is against Iceland on the hallowed turf of home a few days after a game against Bosnia & Herzogovina at St James' Park.

These games will be useful for Gareth Southgate in deciding who makes the cut, as only 23 players are now allowed in squads. On paper, England have talent to burn and ought to be among the serious contenders. We've all said that before though.

Anthony Gordon was Ok on debut, linking up well with the silky Jude Bellingham and getting a couple of shots away. Whether it is enough to land a place on the plane is a moot point. Harry Maguire will go but he always has a mistake in him and he nearly gifted Raphinha a goal.

The Londoners: Chelsea duo Conor Gallagher and Ben Chilwell were starters, as was the very-much a regular, Declan Rice. Former Bees defender Ezri Konsa came on for his debut after 20 minutes after an injury to Kyle Walker.

Gallagher was full of his usual hustle and bustle. Chilwell floated a free-kick almost onto the head of Harry Maguire and was not afraid to attempt a shot from distance - albeit one that flew miles over. But some disappointing crosses spoilt his contribution.

The defender was withdrawn after 66 minutes, at the same time that Jarrod Bowen came on to win his sixth cap. Gallagher made way for Man United debutant Kobbie Mainoo after 75 minutes.

But let us not forget Lucas Paqueta. One beautiful chip through from the West Ham midfielder released Vinicius Junior for a run on goal - the Real Madrid striker's final shot lacking power because players got back well to sniff out the danger.

The play-maker is not quite Zico or Kaka but he dictated the tempo of Brazil's attacks and was menacing throughout. Unlucky to see a first-half shot come back off a post and sent a curler just over the bar after the break. On the other hand, was booked once and very nearly a second time for a trip on Bellingham.

Fulham fans will also have felt pride at seeing Andreas Pereira come off the bench for the final quarter and was involved in the winning goal.


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