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Rashford stars as England beat Costa Rica in warm-up

10 June 2018
Rashford stars as England beat Costa Rica in warm-up

A nice problem to have, says Max Liu, as he discusses the big questions in attack and defence.

England beat Costa Rica 2-0 at Elland Road in the Three Lions' final warm-up game for the World Cup.

"I thought his linking was good, his individuality and running at people and taking people on in and around the penalty area was good, and of course it was a wonderful strike for the goal".

The Rashford we saw for England on Thursday nearly looked like a completely different player to the unconfident, stressed Rashford we saw in Man United's FA Cup Final defeat to Chelsea.

For all their excitement and everything positive in the first halves of England's matches against Nigeria and Costa Rica, their play slipped after half-time in both games.

Henderson, meanwhile, told media on Friday he was happy to play in a more advanced role, if that's what Southgate wished. Fabian Delph, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and second-half goalscorer Danny Welbeck all showed the qualities they bring to the squad.

Danny Welbeck has taken a thinly-veiled swipe at Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho by claiming that Marcus Rashford is free to "express himself" when on global duty with England.

That resolve was tested with Adam Lallana, who is clearly a player for whom Southgate has great admiration, but he left him out on the basis that he started only one league game for Liverpool last season.

The Manchester City has had a brilliant season for Manchester City, scoring 18 Premier League goals in a title-winning campaign.

Costa Rica face tournament favourites Brazil as well as Serbia and Switzerland in Group E, and will need to show far more ambition once they get to Russian Federation if they are to replicate their heroics of four years ago.

But it's not as straight forward as that.

"My most outstanding moments watching England were Michael Owen's goal (against Argentina) in '98 and Beckham's free-kick against Greece at Old Trafford".

Treated as a scapegoat during a series of poor England performances before a humiliating exit to Iceland in the last 16 of Euro 2016, Sterling dubbed himself "The Hated One" on Instagram during the tournament.

"He had a hard end to the season having to play on his own as a number nine at times". England ensured that he was rarely in Costa Rica's line of fire.

Whilst with the England team, the Duke of Cambridge presented Trent Alexander-Arnold with his England shirt ahead of his England debut against Costa Rica.