England totally dominated the Russians from the beginning to the end in Marseille, deserving three points in their opening Euro 2016 game, but gave it away in the end.
The Three Lions squandered a number of chances, mostly with Adam Lallana shooting wide and once hitting the post. Nevertheless they got into dangerous positions and asked many questions, unlike Russia who hardly threatened.
The eventual breakthrough came from a free kick just outside the box, placed expertly by Eric Dier of Tottenham in the 73rd minute.
Then with three minutes of injury time at the end, Glushakov spoilt the party with a tap in, after an excellent looping header caught Hart off guard.
Ultimately, Roy Hodgson failed to take advantage of the counter attack, bringing on Jack Wilshere when they went ahead. Instead, he should’ve brought on the likes of Jamie Vardy and/or a quick wide man to rub the salt in. Wilshere could’ve also controlled.
The strangest tactic was starting Wayne Rooney in midfield, and playing just Harry Kane upfront. Again, with Vardy helping Kane, England could’ve taken advantage of their lions share of attacks.
Raheem Sterling got in the midst of many moves but for all his movement, he wasn’t so effective. Lallana shot wide because he was snatching at his chances, but the Liverpool man was never a prolific accurate finisher. He doesn’t score enough for an attacking midfielder.
Early in the game Lallana was played in by Walker, and Sterling then raced through on goal before being denied by Igor Smolnikov’s last-gasp tackle. Rooney also saw a shot saved after a display of skill and tenacity from Alli out wide.
Despite their chances, the first half finished goalless. Russia was criticized for being disappointing, but they began to get into it at the start of the second half. Yet, they didn’t do enough to penetrate.
In a rare foray, Hart was sent scrambling as Artyom Dzyuba laid the ball off to Fyodor Smolov who sent his shot from the edge of the box just wide of the post as the Russians enjoyed their best spell of the game.
With 20 minutes to play, England were pushing for the opener as Rooney let fly from the top of the box, but Akinfeev got down low to palm the ball onto the top of the crossbar. The rebound then fell to Lallana at the near post who also smashed the woodwork – but the offside flag was already raised.
Soon after, the opening goal came from Dier, before the Russians equalized.