England are still searching for their first UEFA Nations League win after a 0-0 draw with Croatia in Rijeka.
Gareth Southgate’s stars played in the empty HNK Rijeka Stadium providing a surreal atmosphere as Croatia served the final part of a Uefa ban.
Only Uefa officials, dignitaries from both sides and press were allowed into the tiny ground.
England coped well with the eerie atmosphere – and could have won.
Manchester United star Marcus Rashford missed two gilt-edged chances while Tottenham duo Eric Dier and Harry Kane hit the woodwork.
(Image: Getty Images)
England now head to Seville to play Spain on Monday in another Nations League clash.
Here are 6 talking points from Croatia…
1. No Stopping England fans
Normally, the stadium would have been jumping with Croatian fans rubbing England’s nose in it after their World Cup semi-final victory in Moscow.
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But you could almost hear the proverbial pin-drop until chants of Eng-erland-Enger-land tumbled from the darkness of the hillside behind Jordan Pickford’s goal soon after kick off.
A great effort by fans who weren’t going to let Uefa’s blanket ban rob them of watching their idols.
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2. Hero to Zero for Rashford
Marcus Rashford was the match-winner against Switzerland and found the net against Spain in England’s opening Nations League defeat.
But he left his shooting boots at home after missing two gilt-edged second half chances to put the knife into England’s World Cup semi-final torturors.
First he failed to beat keeper Dominik Livakovic 1 on 1after Kyle Walker teed up a goal-den 55 minute chance.
Then two minutes later he fluffed his lines again seeing Livakovic save his effort after being put in by Raheem Sterling.
3. Harry Kane still off the pace
The England skipper is said to be suffering from burn-out and at times you’d be hard pushed to disagree.
First half stats showed the Tottenham star had the fewest touches of any outfield player on the pitch showing he’s not in his best moment.
But the England captain is a fighter and only needs a split-second to spark – and he almost broke the deadlock with a second half header against the bar.
4. Ben Chill-well
The Leicester full-back was handed his first senior England shirt by former Foxes and Three Lions star Emile Heskey – and he rose to the occasion.
After Luke Shaw and Danny Rose dropped out with injuries the 21-year-old star quickly took to the international stage looking calm, composed and always ready to attack down the left flank.
And he almost teed up an early opening goal for Raheem Sterling haring in at the far post but Josip Pivaric saved the day for Croatia.
5. Raheem Sterling
The Manchester City star has two goals in 45 caps for England – hardly in tandem with his excellent scoring record for his club.
But the spark he so readily finds for Pep Guardiola proved elusive again in Rijeka.
All the talent is there and his speed and energy is always a problem for defenders.
That’s why Gareth Southgate stuck with him during the World Cup in Russia. But on nights like these even Southgate must get frustrated.
Eventually he was hooked for Jadon Sancho – but not before he picked up a booking to add to another blank for the Three Lions.
6. Ross Barkley
(Image: Getty Images)
Recalled to the England side for his first Three Lions star in 868 days the Chelsea star didn’t disappoint.
He brought strength, speed and aggression to England’s midfield and improved as the game went on.
His confidence from being in Chelsea’s first team after initially struggling to breakthrough at Stamford Bridge was on show as he slotted back in to international football comfortably