England hold Brazil but Neymar’s rare gifts offer Southgate a reality check

The funny thing is that until last week it had been seven years since England’s last goalless draw at Wembley, going all the way back to a Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro when Fabio Capello was in charge. They have now had two in the space of four days but that is not necessarily such a bad thing when the opposition both times have been the highest-placed teams in Fifa’s world rankings.

Gareth Southgate can certainly be encouraged by successive clean sheets against, first, Germany and now a Brazil side that thinks of itself as football royalty and will also go to the World Cup with realistic ambitions of winning the trophy. England have managed two creditable results while playing experimental sides. Joe Gomez was named as the man of the match for this one and Dominic Solanke, a second-half substitute, will certainly remember the night he won his first cap. Solanke came on with Tammy Abraham after 75 minutes, meaning Southgate has given half a dozen players their England debuts over the course of these two fixtures.

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