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Thursday 19 April 2018

England left feeling Chile

DEJECTED: Roy Hodgson
DEJECTED: Roy Hodgson

England were given a big wake-up call at Wembley as Chile totally outclassed Roy Hodgson's men, who were booed off the pitch after flopping to their first defeat of 2013.

Alexis Sanchez maintained the visitors' excellent record against the Three Lions, scoring six minutes into the first half, and the Barcelona striker repeated the heroics of Chile icon Marcelo Salas by sealing a 2-0 win at the end.

Indeed, had they taken their chances, this could have been a real goal glut for the Chileans, who passed the ball with finesse and never looked troubled on the ball.

England made their task easy. The simple things seemed to evade the home side throughout the night.

Sanchez, Eduardo Vargas and Jean Beausejour - a man who struggles to get into the Wigan team - found it easy to stretch and pierce the England back four. Phil Jones and Gary Cahill looked unsteady at centre-back, while Leighton Baines' defensive shortcomings were highlighted when he was beaten to the ball by Sanchez for Chile's opening goal.

Wayne Rooney worked tirelessly, but was starved of supply. Adam Lallana offered glimpses of skill on debut, but no one else - including debutant Jay Rodriguez - stood out on a morale-sapping night at Wembley.

PERFORMANCE

If England put on the same kind of performance when Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Andre Schurrle come to town on Tuesday, then the Three Lions will be bracing themselves for a real battering.

A sense of euphoria had surrounded the team after the wins over Poland and Montenegro, but it is clear from tonight's game that much work still has to be done ahead of next year's World Cup. Captain Frank Lampard looked emotional as he collected his golden cap before kick off, but it did not go to plan after that.

Chile surged forward on the counter, Tim Cahill put his body on the line to block a shot from Vargas but the danger had not passed.

Chile moved the ball out to Eugenio Mean on the left. Cahill missed the full-back's cross and Sanchez sneaked in front of Leighton Baines to head beyond Forster.

Jorge Sampaoli rejoiced while Hodgson sat despondent.

England were all at sea and a few boos rang out at half-time. England's issues continued after the restart. Jermain Defoe, Tom Cleverley, Ross Barkley and Jordan Henderson came on, but had little impact. Chile were still running the show. And Sanchez hammered the final nail in to England's coffin in injury time when he lifted the ball over Forster after a mix-up at the back.

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