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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links