England 0-0 Brazil : international friendly – as it happened

Brazil had most of the chances in a dull game, but Gareth Southgate’s youngsters kept another clean sheet against one of the best teams in the world at Wembley

A respectable result for an experimental and weakened England against one of the best teams in the world, even if it was a dull game. Brazil shaded it in terms of possession and chances, but England defended well and kept another clean sheet after holding Germany last Friday. They could have done more going forward and they were average in midfield, but Gareth Southgate will be pleased with how his team fared and will tell himself that England would have created more if Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Raheem Sterling had been fit. A goalless draw was a fair result in the end. Thanks for reading and emailing. Night.


Full-time: England 0-0 Brazil

It’s all over.

90 min+3: The overlapping Walker’s low centre is just too far in front of Abraham.

90 min+1: Neymar shoots wide at the end of a weaving run.

90 min: Danny Rose replaces Jake Livermore, who will probably receive a lot of criticism for his performance.

89 min: Lingard skitters through the middle and finds Young on the left. Young whips a right-footed cross to the far post. The ball flicks off Abraham and lands at the feet of the unmarked Solanke. What a moment this could be for the young debutant! Yet his first touch is heavy, perhaps due to surprise, and that allows Allison to block his toepoke!

Dominic Solanke is denied by Alisson and Miranda.
Dominic Solanke is denied by Alisson and Miranda. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters


87 min: ITV’s Glenn Hoddle has made Joe Gomez man of the match. He hasn’t put a foot wrong. Gomez, that is. Not Hoddle.

85 min: Neymar, the likeliest player to create anything, accelerates away from Dier and rolls a pass through to Paulinho, who sees his powerful shot beaten behind by Hart at his near post.

81 min: Neymar threads a pass through to Willian, England’s defence parting ways, but Ashley Young, the most alert home player on the pitch, makes an instant and vital contribution by blocking the Brazilian’s shot and conceding a corner!

Willian’s shot is blocked byAshley Young.
Willian’s shot is blocked byAshley Young. Photograph: Matt Dunham/AP


80 min: Ashley Young replaces Ryan Bertrand for his first cap in more than four years.

79 min: Eric Dier’s free-kick bounces tamely wide.

Eric Dier’s free-kick comes to nothing.
Eric Dier’s free-kick comes to nothing. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images/Reuters


78 min: Solanke’s first contribution is to go on a fearless surge through the middle before being upended 25 yards from goal.

76 min: Roberto Firmino replaces Gabriel Jesus. Moments later Eric Dier is caught dawdling near the halfway line, offering Fernandinho a chance to charge at the England defence. His firm low shot fizzes beyond Hart before bouncing wide off the outside of the right post.

75 min: Dominic Solanke comes on for his England debut, replacing Jamie Vardy, while Tammy Abraham replaces Marcus Rashford.

74 min: He hasn’t had much support, but Vardy has not had a good game. He’s done nothing right on the ball. Lingard has offered little since coming on as well.

72 min: Zzzz.

69 min: “Jamie Vardy has touched the ball 20 times,” says Jonathan Tinsley.

68 min: William replaces Philippe Coutinho, while Fernandinho is on for Renato Augusto.

65 min: Bertrand concedes possession near England’s area, but Jesus fails with two attempts to find a team-mate.

64 min: Neymar swings a searching pass towards Jesus from the left. Stones rises and stretches to get his head to the ball but only succeeds in sending it backwards, forcing Hart to punch it away from Jesus.

63 min: Another for Lacazette has put France 2-1 up in Germany. It sounds better than this game.

61 min: Gabriel Jesus is back on his feet.

59 min: A deep cross from the right finds Jesus. He takes it on his chest but Walker gets back. Jesus stays down. He got a knock on the knee from Gomez.

58 min: Coutinho pings a cross straight at Hart. Both teams have been poor in the final third. Half an eye on the weekend?

55 min: Dani Alves is the first player to get a yellow card. He was late on Ryan Bertrand.

53 min: England win a free-kick on the left. Rashford curls it to the far post, but Maguire is penalised for a foul.

51 min: Jesus slips a pass through to Coutinho, who makes like Fred, slips and miscontrols the ball behind for a goal-kick.

48 min: The referee has to step in to break up a row between Dani Alves and Jake Livermore. Alves was annoyed that Livermore left one in on him and responded by flicking a leg at the midfielder in the David Beckham style. No bookings, though.

Jake Livermore clashes with Dani Alves.
Jake Livermore clashes with Dani Alves. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images


47 min: This is better from Brazil, more urgent and purposeful, a ball threaded through to Gabriel Jesus by Neymar. It runs away from the striker, but it comes to Coutinho, who sees a low shot turned away by the legs of Joe Hart. That’s the first time England have been opened up.

46 min: Brazil get the second half underway. It’s not long before Rashford steams through the middle, but he’s detained by Miranda.

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Half-time: England 0-0 Brazil

A lukewarm half draws to a close. England will be relatively happy, while Brazil will feel this game is there for the taking. See you in 15 minutes.

45 min+1: There will be two added minutes. Marcelo chips in a cross from the left, but Paulinho steers an awkward header harmlessly wide.

45 min: Very little is occurring.

42 min: “I am glad you have not mentioned Coutinho yet as I have no wish to read that he is “struggling” or “limping” or having to remove an England size 11 boot from his groin,” Ian Copestake says. “Hoping he has a very quiet game before alas being replaced by another Liverpool player I then have to worry about.”

40 min: It might interest you to learn that France are winning 1-0 in Germany thanks to some special skill from Anthony Martial and a goal from Alexandre Lacazette.

38 min: This is a game that could do with some goalmouth action.

35 min: Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s evening is over. He limps off, Jesse Lingard comes on. Crystal Palace will hope Loftus-Cheek’s injury isn’t too serious.

33 min: England get the ball! And do something with it! Bertrand dashes down the left and hangs a deep cross to the far post from the byline. Vardy heads it back to Rashford, but the striker isn’t allowed to turn and shoot. That was fine defending from Brazil, who win the ball back when Vardy runs down a dead end on the right.

Marcus Rashford is unable to turn faced by Marquinhos, Marcelo, Miranda and Alisson.
Marcus Rashford is unable to turn faced by Marquinhos, Marcelo, Miranda and Alisson. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images/Reuters


31 min: “The England back-line will soon join Kaká in belonging to Jesus,” parps Ian Copestake.

29 min: These players are just about holding their own here, but it doesn’t really help England’s preparations that so many of the senior lot are missing for these two friendlies. Brazil have their best side out. How much will Southgate learn that will help him next summer? It’s hard to see this being England’s first 11.

28 min: Neymar shoots over again from 20 yards. He doesn’t seem particularly happy.

Neymar shoots over.
Neymar shoots over. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters


25 min: Stones stretches to hook the ball away from Neymar before the Brazilian can run through, but it looks like the defender has tweaked a muscle in the process. He’s playing on, but this is worrying for England and Manchester City.

24 min: Ruben Loftus-Cheek has gone off to receive treatment for something or other.

23 min: Neymar scoops an absurdly good swerving pass through to Jesus with the outside of his left foot - the insouciance! - but the striker is correctly flagged offside. A warning for England, though.

Gabriel Jesus takes the ball past Joe Hart.
Gabriel Jesus takes the ball past Joe Hart. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters


22 min: Given who they’re facing and how they’re being outplayed in midfield, England are defending pretty well. Brazil haven’t created a serious chance yet.

21 min: Dier steps in to win the ball in the middle, only to knock it straight to Jesus. Marcelo’s cross is cleared, though.

19 min: Paulinho has been good for Barcelona this season, but this was Tottenham Paulinho, a wild shot flying way wide from 20 yards.

18 min: England turn up in attack. Rashford shakes off Casemiro and shoots straight at Allison from 25 yards. He’s isolated up there, though. Loftus-Cheek isn’t in the game yet.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek struggles to get in to the game.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek struggles to get in to the game. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images/Reuters


15 min: This match has settled into a pattern now. Brazil have total command of the ball, England are chasing them. You suspect that an increase in intensity from the visitors could be problematic for England. “Any coincidence that Brazil are better at defending without a certain CB?” says Ruth Purdue. “For me, because of what happen in the last World Cup, some of those players should never play for the national team again. Draconian I know.”

Even Jo?

12 min: England are really struggling to keep the ball. It’s coming back at them too quickly. Alves wins possession on the right and flings a sharp ball into the area. Gabriel Jesus has a bit of space and he has the ability to turn a downward header goalwards, but Hart dives to his left to hold on to the ball. England need more from Dier and Livermore, but I suspect that opinion might come back at me. Optimism is only allowed once we ditch Vardy and a reliance on long balls to a speedy forward,” says Ian Copestake, who hates skittles vodka. “As that is all we will bring to this game if he is the focal point.”

11 min: Marcelo knocks a ball down the left for Neymar, who lollops inside before walloping one miles over from 25 yards.

Neymar strides forward.
Neymar strides forward. Photograph: Ian Kington/AFP/Getty Images


10 min: Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass.

9 min: Rashford tries to reach a long ball over the top. Allison claims it.

7 min: England are sitting back. They’re being forced to do so. Brazil are seeing a lot of the ball.

4 min: Alves has recovered. He strides down the right and decides to shoot from an odd angle. His shot swerves well wide.

3 min: Dani Alves is up again and Brazil are off, streaking through the middle. Jesus drifts a pass over Walker’s head and here’s Neymar on the left. But he’s held up by Loftus-Cheek, who snaps away at the forward, showing no respect for reputations, and the move breaks down. England counter, Vardy bursting down the right. His pace is electric, but his cross is less impressive.

2 min: Dani Alves is down, clutching his right knee. He’s wincing a lot after being caught by Vardy’s raised boot.

Peep! England, kickin from right to left in the first half, get the game underway. They’re in white, Brazil are in yellow and blue. The Video Assistant Referee is in operation tonight. Here’s hoping for no comedy mishaps. Speaking of which, here’s Joe Hart dithering over a clearance. Eventually, under pressure, he boots the ball out for a throw.

Here come the teams! The flags are flying, the lights are flashing, the music’s blaring. It’s time for the anthems. There’s a sense of occasion inside Wembley this evening. Let’s see what England can do to fix that.

“I know he has his faults, but looking at some of the other names in this squad, shouldn’t Southgate be having a look at Jonjo Shelvey?” says Shaun Wilkinson. “Not saying he should be first name on the teamsheet, but he possesses certain abilities that are important at international tournaments in tight games, and those abilities are thin on the ground in English midfielders. Are we really going to leave him and Wilshere out and take Dier, Henderson and Livermore? “Prosaic” doesn’t even cover it...”

I haven’t seen Shelvey much this season, but I don’t think he’s done too much that would justify an England call. Wilshere, meanwhile, isn’t playing. It’s a problem area for England, but let’s not forget about the emergence of Harry Winks.

Gareth Southgate speaks! “They’re the best team in the World Cup. They annihilated everyone in South America. But it’s always our intention to test ourselves against the very best and let’s see what’s possible. We’ve got to dream of what’s possible, not be a team that worries about what they’ve got to lose. To have success next summer, we’ve got to beat these probably. It’s a good opportunity to test ourselves and see where we are.”

Why not?

It’s more than four years since England beat Brazil at Wembley. While Neymar flattered to deceive and Ronaldinho did nothing of note, Jack Wilshere had arguably his best game for England. He can’t get in this squad.

England keep faith with three at the back, but they make five changes from the side that drew with Germany. Joe Hart, Joe Gomez, Kyle Walker, Ryan Bertrand and Marcus Rashford are in, Jordan Pickford, Phil Jones, Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose and Tammy Abraham are out. Meanwhile, will we see debuts for Dominic Solanke and Lewis Cook off the bench?

As for Brazil, I can’t stop looking at that front three. What have they done with Fred? Where’s Hulk? WHERE’S JO? What’s Tite playing at?


Team news

England: Hart; Gomez, Stones, Maguire; Walker, Dier, Livermore, Bertrand; Loftus-Cheek; Vardy, Rashford.

Brazil: Allison; Alves, Marquinhos, Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Paulinho, Renato Augusto; Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar.

Jordan Pickford and Joe Hart warm up.
Jordan Pickford and Joe Hart warm up. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters



Are England allowed to be optimistic yet? Their success at youth level has left the French, Germans and Spanish trying to unpack the secrets of St George’s Park, Holland and Italy have placed things into perspective by failing to make it to Russia next summer and an experimental line-up more than held its own in a goalless draw with Germany last Friday. So it’s official: England might not make a total show of themselves at the World Cup! Hip hip!

That, of course, represents something of a shift in tone since the era of headlines like ENGLAND EXPECTS before major tournaments. These days it’s more ENGLAND WILL SETTLE FOR A NICE PLEASANT RUN TO THE QUARTER-FINALS, WHICH ISN’T TOO MUCH TO ASK, ALL WE REALLY WANT IS TO MAINTAIN A BIT OF NATIONAL PRIDE AND DIGNITY (hmm, maybe there’s a reason I don’t do the headlines), which is a welcome departure from the bombast of the Golden Generation. This, ultimately, is a footballing nation still trying to piece together its sense of self-respect after a long string of very public failures and ridicule. England’s behaviour at the past few tournaments has been nothing short of farcical and no one in their right mind will be tipping them for glory next summer. Still, it’s nice to have a bit of hope and, while there’s plenty of room for improvement, there have been a few quietly encouraging signs recently.

Then again, it’s just over a month since England qualified for the World Cup with a win over Slovenia that was tedious enough to make the Wembley crowd seek entertainment in the form of paper aeroplanes. It was a weirdly low moment for Gareth Southgate’s side, World Cup qualification met with a collective shrug of the shoulders from the nation. Southgate, though, is trying to shake things up. Some senior players - your Chris Smallings, your Alex Oxlade-Chamberlains - have been put to one side for the time being. Youngsters have been promoted because of injuries and Southgate has given the impression that he knows how he wants to play. It might not work, it might turn out that suspicions over Southgate’s credentials are justified and the players just aren’t good enough technically or mentally, but at least it’s been possible to detect a sense of purpose in the past few days. It’s something to get behind while England work out where they are.

With England, though, it’s often the mood swings you have to watch. After the Slovenia game, it was open season on this team: how could they make football seem so dull, so bland? Indeed it’s mostly been that way since the Iceland game. But one friendly draw with an undercooked Germany, not long hot after the Under-17s became world champions, and you can’t help but wonder if ENGLAND SHOULD EXPECT. That optimism could take a kicking tonight, though. If you haven’t seen Brazil since the 7-1, you might want to adjust your expectations. Under the impressive Tite, this lot look nothing like the shambles that made an entire nation experience a nervous breakdown in 2014, so this might be one of those evenings when England have to keep things in perspective.

Kick-off: 8pm GMT.