Roy Hodgson is clearly not a man to do things by halves, and when he said that the Southampton pair of Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez would feature at some point, what he meant was that he would give them both a starting debut. Together with Fraser Forster in goal that made for three debutants all told, and no one can accuse Hodgson of not learning anything from friendlies or only looking at players in the Champions League bracket.
Wearing number nine but playing on the right, Lallana was responsible for the free kick from which Phil Jones brought the first save of the game from Claudio Bravo, then had a chance to equalise shortly after Chile took the lead with a typically clever goal on the counter. Again Bravo made a save, though Lallana will feel he should have made more of the opportunity even if a touch from the covering defender did take some of the sting out of the shot. Rodriguez was not as involved on the left until coming inside in search of the ball he found himself the only England forward in the box when James Milner sent over a terrific cross from the right corner flag, Bravo intercepting just in time.
Not everyone can make a debut as impeccable as Andros Townsend's, even when playing in the same position, and in giving the ball away at a corner when a pass intended for Glen Johnson went straight to the opposition, Lallana had a Wembley moment he would prefer to forget. It did not stop him from taking the next one, however, or from popping up on the left wing midway through the first half to help create a half chance for Jack Wilshere.
Covering quite a bit of ground in his first game for England, Lallana tracked back to his own goalline to make the tackle on Eugenio Mena and concede the corner that led to Gary Medel heading narrowly over the bar. At times playing alongside Johnson, Lallana was nothing if not industrious.
Rodriguez also tracked back well, breaking up a Chile attack just before the interval and quickly moving the ball on to Wilshere in a more forward position, only to be disappointed when the Arsenal player uncharacteristically misdirected his return pass. While Hodgson must have been hoping to see more of his wide players in attacking situations, Chile were organised and unflustered at the back, and even less inclined to leave gaps or push too many men forward once they were in the lead. It was England who frequently looked likely to make that mistake, though they finally managed an incisive move on the stroke of half-time and should have equalised when Wayne Rooney's lay off left Lallana a shooting chance. Once again he allowed a defender, on this occasion Mena, to get a decisive touch, so that his shot towards Bravo's far corner went the wrong side of the post and out for a corner. Lallana is hardly in the side for his finishing, but he had his side's best two chances of the first half and failed to work the goalkeeper with either.
At least he could console himself that he was far busier than Rodriguez, who was not only finding the game passing him by but actually seemed to be stifling Leighton Baines's attacking instincts out on the left. Certainly the Everton full-back was quieter than he has been of late, though Chile, in fairness, were not only keeping him defensively occupied but refusing to offer space for Baines to run into.
Hodgson resisted the temptation to make changes at the interval, and might have been rewarded when Rooney broke clear early in the second half and attempted a cutback for Lallana instead of a shot from a narrow angle, only to see Marcos González cut out the pass. Rooney and Lallana combined again to force a corner shortly afterwards, a set piece that this time the experienced Baines wasted by passing straight to a red shirt. Perhaps Lallana allowed himself a little smile at that. Allowing for the fact that Chile were skilful and committed opponents, his was quite an encouraging debut. Lallana ran with confidence, demonstrated an appetite for work and even showed signs of forming a promising partnership with Rooney.
Poor Rodriguez, withdrawn after almost an hour for Townsend,was unable to make any sort of impression on the game and must be wondering whether he will be afforded another chance before the World Cup. There are only two more England friendlies after all, and Hodgson will be wanting his A team out in the next match against Germany. That will probably include Townsend, who as Rodriguez must have noted ruefully, not only earned an almighty cheer when he took the field but made a tight turn followed by a surging run with virtually his first touch of the ball to set up an England free kick on the edge of the area. Nothing came of it, but it was more than Rodriguez had managed all night.