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?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border