England vs Uruguay World Cup 2014: Five things we learnt from Uruguay's 2-1 win in Sao Paulo

 

Sao Paulo

Conditions played their part

England spent weeks preparing for warm weather in Brazil and so the cold, overcast conditions at the Arena de Sao Paulo will have come as a welcome surprise. The heat and humidity tampered with the tempo in Manaus as England opted not to press Italy high up the pitch – occasionally allowing Andrea Pirlo to dictate terms – but here the pressing was frenetic from both teams. Uruguay forced multiple errors from Roy Hodgson’s side in possession by chasing them down at every opportunity, notably when Steven Gerrard lost the ball to Luis Suarez for Uruguay’s opener. Similarly, Wayne Rooney was closely shadowed by Egidio Arevalo at every turn.

England’s defending continues to be their Achilles’ heel

It would have been a miracle had Roy Hodgson been able to eradicate in four days the errors that have been prevalent in England’s defending for two years. Glen Johnson, Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill were all guilty of agricultural, panicked clearances in the first half revealing a troubling lack of composure. Edinson Cavani’s cross was absolutely sublime but England were positionally suspect for Uruguay’s first-half goal with Suarez drifting off Jagielka in a similar way to how Mario Balotelli evaded Cahill for Italy’s winner in Manaus. The second was simple route one football that a top international side should defend with ease.

Read more: Match report -  Suarez puts England on the brink
Don't worry, England could still reach the second round
FOLLOW OUR WORLD CUP LIVE BLOG HERE
Roy Hodgson devastated by defeat
Dejection for Gerrard as Suarez outshines his team-mate

Uruguay are a completely different team with Suarez

The South Americans may have made five changes after losing captain Diego Lugano to injury and Maxi Pereira to suspension but Suarez’s talismanic effect on his team-mates was palpable here. There was a greater energy to Uruguay after insipidly losing to Costa Rica in their opening match and from the outset Suarez buzzed with his typical industry despite playing his first game since undergoing meniscus surgery on May 22 in Montevideo. Suarez scored with a fine first half header before converting the best chance he had in the second half by smashing the ball past Joe Hart. He may not have been 100 per cent, but he was still too much for England.

 

Wayne Rooney can score at a World Cup after all

Rooney was switched back to his preferred number ten role and his persistence was eventually rewarded with his first goal in his third World Cup. It may have been a tap-in but the 28-year-old deserved his reward for plugging away when, in the past, he may have become too frustrated to be effective. Rooney’s tenth-minute free-kick was a fine effort, inches away from handing England the lead. He later contrived to head a Gerrard free-kick against the crossbar from two yards out and missed a clear-cut second-half chance from 10 yards out before finally getting on the scoresheet. Let’s hope it is just the start.

Raheem Sterling is still learning – but his potential is huge

Sterling was unable to repeat the impact made against Italy but any judgement should be tempered by the knowledge he is just 19 years old and has taken everything in his stride at this World Cup. There was no lack of intent – a wonderful first half moment in which he skipped around Nicolas Lodeiro from a standing start highlighted his threat – but his influence faded as the match wore on. Hodgson was right to replace him with Ross Barkley after 64 minutes but Sterling has already shown he belongs at this level – the necessary improvements in using the ball more effectively will surely come with age.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before