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England hold Brazil at Wembley

Patrick Power by Patrick Power @rfutbol - 0 4,161

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Neymar had flashes of brilliance but could not break down England's back line. AFP

England hold Brazil at Wembley

Patrick Power by Patrick Power @rfutbol - 0 4,161

England earned another credible draw at Wembley against one of the highest-rated teams in Fifa's world rankings. Southgate experimented with another youthful team and will be entitled to think of the game as a useful exercise ahead of the World Cup.

Gareth Southgate referred to Brazil as 'the best in the world' ahead of the clash that would really test England's resolve against a side that proudly boasts world-class stars such as Neymar or Coutinho and will travel to Russia next summer with realistic ambitions of taking home the trophy.

It is no surprise they are among the favourites to be crowned champions next summer. Tite's star-studded team came out at Wembley determined to prove exactly why on one of the biggest stages in world football, and their talent and composure on the ball certainly caused trouble for the hosts.

A fast-paced start to the game finally saw the visitors settle on the ball, knocking it around with consummate ease, but England's resolute defending confirmed what the crowd and Wembley witnessed on Friday. Southgate was looking to build on the convincing performance in the draw with Germany against and equally tough opponent.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was central to that display and was rewarded with another start against Brazil, but the night was cut short for him when he limped off to make way for Lingard. Joe Gomez was handed his first full start for England in a back three that performed admirably to keep the free-flowing Brazilians at bay.

Tite's men tried to break down the hosts with long spells of possession, but it wasn't until after the break that they managed to get through to test Joe Hart. Naturally, Neymar was at the heart of things, using his skill to undo England for the first time all evening and slip in a pass for Gabriel Jesus. The Manchester City striker slid to poke the ball past Hart who did well to close down on him and block.

Despite a lack of chances, there was a ferocious pace to the game as well as some great physical battles going on in the middle of the park. England began to press higher up the pitch and a surging run from Fernandinho almost rendered the hosts' defensive efforts futile, as the midfielder burst forward before skimming the outside of Joe Hart's post with a low strike.

The Brazilians pushed forward one last time in search of the winner but Hart once again stood in the way when he beat away Paulinho's shot from an angle. Rashford was probably England's brightest player, but he was brought off for Dominic Solanke who had the final chance to put England ahead. Ashley Young's cross found the Liverpool man at the back post and Alisson rushed out to block at his feet.

The final whistle was met with enthusiasm after England battled to yet another goalless draw at Wembley with a largely inexperienced side, proving they can compete at the highest level. Another performance for Southgate to draw positives from.

Patrick Power

Patrick Power

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