5 things we learned from England's win against Australia


England beat Australia 2-1 in a friendly at the Stadium of Light. Here's what we learned.

1. The north-east remains a football hotbed

(Owen Humphreys/PA) A general view of an England flag in the stands made up of fan's t-shirts during the International Friendly at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland.

Despite Newcastle's relegation and Sunderland just surviving the drop, the locals turned out in force. The Stadium of Light was a 49,000 sell-out two days before the game and they could have probably sold more had the capacity been greater. Contrast that with England's previous match at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium on Sunday which was not full despite being in a bigger city and more accessible location.

2. Form is temporary, but...

England's Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring his sides opening goal during the International Friendly at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland (Tim Goode/PA)

What a three months Manchester United teenager Marcus Rashford has had. Since being fast-tracked into the Red Devils' first team he has been nothing less than remarkable, and while some may consider it a risk taking an 18-year-old with just 18 club appearances to his name to Euro 2016, in this form what is there to lose?

3. Doubts persist over Daniel Sturridge

The Liverpool striker missed the match with a calf problem and with no indication of how long he is likely to be sidelined - and with his injury record and Rashford's form - there must be doubts about whether he will make the final cut.

4. Raheem Sterling is not a centre-forward

Australia's Mark Milligan and England's Raheem Sterling (Right) battle for the ball during the International Friendly at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland.

Paired with Rashford as the front two ahead of a midfield diamond, the Manchester City winger had a couple of good interactions with his partner but otherwise struggled to get into the game. Lacking in confidence after a testing first season with a new club, what the 21-year-old needed was a morale-boosting run-out in a position with which he is familiar - and when he was switched out wide he looked much happier and provided the assist for Rooney's goal.

5. Midfield still lacks invention

England's Jack Wilshere (right) gets the ball past Australia's Aaron Mooy during the International Friendly at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland.

Despite facing an ordinary Australia side, England struggled to create many chances. With Jordan Henderson and Danny Drinkwater doing most of the legwork, that put the onus on Jack Wilshere. The Arsenal man may still be lacking full match sharpness but he failed to impose himself on play in the 45 minutes he was given. Replacing him with James Milner at the break hardly helped in the creativity stakes.