Southgate gets tactics and big decisions wrong as Kane labours again

While it was difficult not to enjoy the occasion and one of the most cagey and compelling matches of Euro 2020 so far, the game will inevitably raise worrying questions for Gareth Southgate.

What looked like control in Sunday’s win over Croatia, here looked like caution as the hosts failed to assert their superiority over the outstanding Scots in a crackling atmosphere of around 22,500 supporters.

Southgate’s side were too ponderous, too hesitant, too lethargic and often disjointed.

In a parallel with the Croatia game, England started well but faded after striking the post through John Stones’ thumping header in the 11th minute – which was to prove their clearest chance of the match.

Scotland were superb, none more so than midfield two John McGinn and Billy Gilmour, and had a fine chance of their own in the first half when Stephen O’Donnell’s volley was turned around the post by Jordan Pickford.

But England’s performance leaves their status as favourites and their hopes of making another deep run in the tournament in serious doubt.

Put simply, if they cannot break down Scotland, what chance do they have against France, Portugal or Germany in the last 16 or quarter-finals?

Kane’s performance against Croatia last weekend could be put down to a slow start to Euro 2020 in searing heat, but another anonymous outing suggested the captain is out of sorts.

Is Kane unfit, distracted by doubt over his club future or simply struggling for service in an England team which is yet to click?

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