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Marcus Rashford stakes claim as England shake off sluggish start | Dominic Fifield

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The Manchester United forward may have pushed his case ahead of Sterling as a poor Switzerland were beaten 1-0

There were times when, at best, this felt like a persuasive argument for all things Nations League. Uefa’s brainchild at least provides a competitive edge at a time of year when international friendlies are prone to drift, while ring-rusty players attempt to summon some rhythm before the glut of second-half replacements disrupts the tempo still further.

Gareth Southgate must have surveyed the scene at the interval and, Danny Rose’s energy and the odd flash of incision from Marcus Rashford aside, wondered if this whole exercise had any discernible merit. The realist in him saw it coming, of course. He knew he had picked three players without a start in the Premier League this season. They were bound to lack sharpness.

Related: Marcus Rashford ends England’s losing run in drab friendly against Switzerland

Related: Asensio and Saúl inspire new-look Spain to six-goal thrashing of Croatia

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