Sanchez strikes twice as Chile end England’s unbeaten record
Barcelona star shows a touch of class as disjointed home side fail to impress
Chile’s Alexis Sanchez clips the ball past scores past England’s goalkeeper Fraser Forster to score his second goal while Chris Smalling looks on during last night’s international friendly at Wembley Stadium in London. Photo: Darren Staples/Reuters
England’s manager will not have enjoyed relinquishing an unbeaten run that had stretched back a year and a day, but the purpose of this fixture was always to learn more about his squad and on that basis there was plenty to occupy of his thoughts.
Unfortunately for Jay Rodriguez, the first part of that learning process is that the debutant maybe does not have the strength of personality just yet to belong to this level.
From here, he might need to be in blistering form for the remainder of the season to stand any chance of making the cut for Brazil.
Fraser Forster had a reasonable, though not flawless, night in place of Joe Hart but England overall had a slightly dishevelled look once Alexis Sanchez had headed in his first goal after seven minutes and it culminated in a horrible mistake from Gary Cahill as the same player made sure of the win in stoppage-time.
As much as the night was about experimentation, Hodgson cannot be satisfied when his team looked so ordinary and were booed off.
There was a reminder about what can happen when there are even the slightest lapses of concentration against the type of accomplished opponent that will be encountered in the World Cup. Sanchez is in that mould and the Barcelona player was just that little bit quicker than Leighton Baines with his anticipation when Eugenio Mena put over the cross for the goal.
That split-second was crucial. Sanchez had managed to get marginally in front of his opponent and his header was expertly taken. Baines, for all his undoubted quality, was just that fraction too slow.
Jones’s header, from Lampard’s free-kick, was heading for the top corner until Claudio Bravo, Chile’s goalkeeper, clawed the effort away, and a dangerous cross from Milner almost saw one of the centre-halves, Marcos Gonzalez, turn the ball into his own net.
Chile, 12th in Fifa’s world rankings, were buoyed by the goal, knocking the ball around confidently and showing some lovely refinement at times.
Jean Beausejour had a wonderful chance just after the half-hour mark, but his first touch was a little heavy and Forster did enough to put him off.
Chile had been holding on to their lead with relative comfort and then Sanchez was running clear, capitalising on Cahill’s loose pass, to chip the ball over Forster for his second goal of the night.
ENGLAND: Forster , Johnson, Baines, Lampard (Henderson 71), Cahill , Jones (Smalling 57), Wilshere (Cleverley 71 ), Milner (Defoe 66 ), Rooney , Lallana (Barkley 77 ), Rodriguez (Townsend 57).
CHILE: Bravo, Isla (Jara 59), Beausejour (Fuenzalida 82 ), Mena, Gonzalez, Medel, Aránguiz (Carmona 45 ), Diaz, Fernández (Gutierrez 45 ), Vargas (Muñoz 71 ), Sánchez .
Referee: Florian Meyer