England weren't the most expansive and enthralling side as they took on what is probably the best international side in the world with their three best players missing, but yet again they played with a defensive solidity that can only be commended. Who were their five best players, however?
5. Eric Dier
Where better to start than with the stand-in captain? Although given how well he's played in the last two games against Germany and Brazil, perhaps there's a case for Dier to keep the armband. Once again, he proved that he's the best choice to play as a lone defensive midfielder for England, screening his defence from a potent Brazil attack, breaking up attacks before they penetrated.
4. Marcus Rashford
Whilst they defended well, England were generally poor in attack as they often are under Gareth Southgate. With so much focus on defensive solidity there wasn't much thought given to attack; with things being left to the players' individual talents. Given that, it's probably not a surprise that Marcus Rashford shone. The Manchester United youngster has repeatedly shown himself to be imperious to the defensive mentality of his coaches and routinely looked the only English attacker who realised he was playing Brazil and was determined to live up to the magnitude of that fixture.
3. Harry Maguire
It's baffling that Leicester City managed to sign Harry Maguire for just £17m. This is a player with every conceivable physical attribute you'd want and has the technique to match. He's a superb defender and should be playing Champions League football regularly; if Leicester can't give that to him then it's surely just a matter of time before one of England's elite steps in and buys him.
2. Joe Gomez
Joe Gomez is a centre-back that Liverpool only seem interested in using as a full-back despite having loads of problems at centre-back. Still, Gareth Southgate used him in his natural position against Brazil and the 20 year-old didn't disappoint. Tasked with handling Neymar, Gomez constantly looked able to handle himself against the avalanche of world-class talent being thrown his way. Particularly impressive was his positioning, always cutting out the through-balls that Brazil kept trying to play to the overlapper.
1. John Stones
As recently as this summer, John Stones was considered a joke, and alright he had struggled for the prior two seasons but the talent that he clearly possessed was always likely to come through to the surface. Thanks to the tutelage of Pep Guardiola, Stones has emerged as a towering and titanic defensive leader. He's so assured of himself and confident on the ball, but also now a commanding presence who can marshal a back-line as he did tonight. Stones was peerless, and allowed England to more than a little comfortably hold the brilliant Brazil at bay.
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