England brought a timely, if unconvincing, end to their three-match losing streak by beating Switzerland on Tuesday.
Marcus Rashford’s goal was enough to secure a 1-0 win at the King Power Stadium.
Here, Football Paradise picked out five of the main talking points.
Nearly the But of a joke
Hearts were in mouths inside the opening minutes as Jack Butland, making just his seventh England start, came close to an inexplicable own goal. Gareth Southgate’s preference for Jordan Pickford is largely borne out of his desire to play out from the back and the Stoke goalkeeper’s comparative uneasiness was clear when almost passing into his own goal. Another poor moment quickly followed as he played James Tarkowski into trouble, resulting in Xherdan Shaqiri hitting a post. Nothing as bad followed but it was not the best of auditions despite the clean sheet.
England’s Rose flourishes
Danny Rose has not enjoyed the best of times for club and country in recent times but performed superbly at the King Power Stadium. On a night when many faltered, the Tottenham left-back showed confidence bombing down the flank and a maturity when defending. Rose looked lively from the outset and built on his solid second-half display in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Spain. Deservedly voted man of the match.
Missed England opportunities
Butland did not inspire confidence between the sticks and Tarkowski faltered in the middle of the back three, with John Stones’ introduction adding immediate solidity. Fabian Delph and Ruben Loftus-Cheek looked bright in moments and rusty at others, while Danny Welbeck failed to cause much of a headache to the Swiss backline. Eric Dier was overrun in midfield during the first half.
Rashford on the Marc again
Marcus Rashford and Leicester favourite Harry Maguire were the only players to retain their place in the line-up on Tuesday. Maguire produced some fine passes the day after Southgate bracketed him among Europe’s best ball-playing defenders, while Rashford followed his strike against Spain with another smart finish. The forward has made just one start for Manchester United this term and this form will make him even more frustrated to face suspension on his return to domestic action.
On the road again…
A nigh on full house welcomed the Three Lions at the King Power Stadium. While the atmosphere was flat at times, the support for Southgate and his players was clear. Fans waved England flags as the players made their way out and the locals clearly appreciated their taste of Three Lions action. This was just the second time that the national team had gone on the road since the Euro 2016 warm-up friendlies and will surely be followed by more games away from Wembley. Southgate has underlined that the team should be accessible to the nation.
Stay updated with the latest news, gossip and football stories by following us @Football_P