England emerge with credit after holding Brazil at Wembley

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England finish 2017 with back-to-back goalless draws

England midfielder Ashley Young blocks a shot from Brazil forward Willian

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 said

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 nutmeg on Jake Livermore was one of the highlights (Tim Goode/Empics)

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.

Data point

66 per cent – Brazil enjoyed two thirds of the possession.


Who’s up next?

Holland v England (Friendly, March 23)

Germany v Brazil (Friendly, November 26)

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