England 1 Netherlands 2: Reality check for England

England fell to just their second defeat since the World Cup as Roy Hodgson's men lost to a Holland side not even good enough to reach Euro 2016.

Tuesday, 29th March 2016, 10:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th March 2016, 7:02 am
England's Jamie Vardy (left) celebrates scoring with teammate Kyle Walker at Wembley. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Impressive progress has been made since the Three Lions’ embarrassing exit in Brazil, including reaching this summer’s finals with a 100 per cent record.

However, there was little of the intensity, drive and quality seen in Saturday’s remarkable comeback win in Germany as Holland themselves came from behind to win 2-1 at Wembley.

It was a reality check after back-to-back wins over Euro 2016 favourites France and Germany, although Jamie Vardy again impressed and followed up his wonderful flick at the Olympiastadion by finishing a lovely team move to put England one up.

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The in-form Leicester striker looks a shoe-in for the squad named on May 12, when Hodgson faces some difficult decisions.

England boast impressive strength in depth up front but look susceptible at the back, with John Stones’ recent poor form compounded by a slip that needed Fraser Forster to come to the rescue.

However, Danny Rose was adjudged to have handled as the move continued and Vincent Janssen scored from the spot, before controversially overpowering substitute Phil Jagielka and crossing for Luciano Narsingh to net the winner.

Hodgson’s anger at the goal was as clear as the players’, but the England manager will no doubt focus on positives such as Vardy’s display and a solid debut from Leicester team-mate Danny Drinkwater.

The midfielder’s inclusion was one of eight changes which appeared to impact the defensive coherence, with Rose fortunate not to concede an early penalty on his second England appearance.