After a 0-0 draw with Germany, England went onto play another goalless tie at Wembley, this time against Brazil.
After much criticism of Gareth Southgate’s side in qualifying, going games unbeaten against the two best teams in the world according to the FIFA rankings is definitely an achievement and will give fans some (probably misguided) hope ahead of next summer’s World Cup.
There was a blow though, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek going off injured after just half an hour – he didn’t get the chance to build on his man-of-the-match performance on Friday.
But another product of the Chelsea academy, Dominic Solanke, now at Liverpool, came off the bench to make his Three Lions debut as Southgate starts to blood through the next generation of England stars.
We’ve had a look at five things we learned from the match at Wembley.
Back three is the future for England
England seem to have switched to a back three for good now.
It was how they lined up against Germany and was also the formation picked by Southgate against Brazil.
After being criticised a lot last season, Stones has really come on and is undoubtedly the best English defender at the moment – he arguably has a case for being the best in the Premier League too and he impressed again today.
Gomez also staked his claim too, playing on the right of the three, showing both his impressive passing and defensive skills. Perhaps he can be England’s César Azpilicueta.
There weren’t too many candidates for man of the match in what was a good team performance, but it was probably fair that Glenn Hoddle on ITV gave it to the Liverpool man.
It wasn’t easy against Philippe Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus and Neymar, but they were kept quiet – the Liverpool man didn’t even have a shot – and that will give Southgate the confidence going to Russia next summer that England can deal with the best forward lines in the world.
Rashford leading fight to play alongside Kane
This wasn’t the best game for them and they were starved of many chances with Brazil dominating the ball – in the first half, they managed just one shot between them through Rashford.
It was the Manchester United man who was definitely brighter and staked his claim more so than Vardy for who will be playing alongside Harry Kane next summer if the 3-4-1-2 is what Southgate chooses to go with.
The Leicester City striker had limited service but when he did get the ball he often lost it and if he’s playing next summer, he’ll have to do better – England will come up against decent sides without having much of the ball and it will be down to the front two to make the most of the limited chances they get.
His pass success rate of 58 per cent was nowhere near good enough. Rashford’s by comparison was 95 per cent before they were both replaced after 75 minutes by Tammy Abraham and Solanke, a potential England forward line of the future.
Times have changed with England
It has been four years since England and Brazil’s last meeting, and a look at the Three Lions’ side that day showed you how much Southgate has been trying to evolve this side.
The line up that day in the 2-2 in the Maracanã was a 4-3-3, something which probably wasn’t even considered today.
But it was the personnel that was most different.
From that day, Joe Hart was the only starter today.
Gary Cahill was the only other player to be named in the squad for the match at Wembley.
It shows just how much things have changed – it’s the end of an era and the start of a new exciting one, with a number of young players like Rashford and Gomez at the start of what could be a very good international career indeed.
A number of the older players, like Walcott and Milner, who will have been hoping for an appearance at the World Cup this summer know they’ll have to up their games if the young shots can impress versus the world’s best as they have against Brazil and Germany.
Brazil not the side of 2014
There were high expectations of Brazil going into the game and they definitely took the match seriously, with a very strong side named.
Since Tite took took charge in June 2016, he’d lost just one match led them to the World Cup relatively easily, topping the qualification campaign in South America.
They may not have lit up Wembley, but they were definitely in control and kept England quiet – with 66 per cent possession, and 13 shots compared to the home side’s four.
If anyone hadn’t seen Brazil since their annihilation to Germany in their home World Cup, there’s no doubt they’re a much better side now.
On a competitive stage where it truly matters, you feel Coutinho, Jesus and Neymar will properly turn it on, and if they’re built on the solid base that they showed today, Brazil are real contenders for success in Russia.
And if they don’t with the likes of Willian to come off the bench, they’ve got real strength in depth too.
Neymar doesn’t let speculation affect his game
The talk before the game was about Neymar and whether he was happy or not.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward broke down in tears on Friday following the country’s victory over Japan after being defended by his manager.
“I keep hearing that Tite has problems with Neymar and I am tired of hearing that… we are tired of it,” the 56-year-old Brazilian said.
“I know that if he did have problems, then he would have the decency and the good character to talk about them in the dressing room.
“I can talk about Neymar’s temperament, his good nature and his big heart.”
That led the superstar to break down into tears, with questions about whether he was happy or not at PSG.
He wasn’t his brilliant best, with a few long shots flying over the bar, but he hardly looked like someone who was struggling – even tracking back to his own penalty box at times.
His best moment was probably in the second half, where he beat a couple of men before threading Coutinho through, only for Hart to pull off a decent save.
If Brazil had scored, Neymar would definitely have been involved.