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Euro 2016: England 1-1 Russia - 5 talking points

Russia fought back to earn a 1-1 draw with England in their first game of the tournament, here's everything we learned from the match.

Igor Akinfeev saves a shot during the game
Igor Akinfeev tries to save Eric Dier’s free-kick during the game

With Wales registering a win early on in the day, the onus was on both England and Russia to deliver. Roy Hodgson and Leonid Slutsky’s men were at it right from the start in what turned out to be a tightly contested affair. On more than occasion, Igor Akinfeev kept Russia in the hunt as they eventually snatched a late equalizer and a point. Eric Dier’s opener was canceled out by Vasili Berezutsky stoppage time header. The game finished 1-1 with both teams sharing the spoils.

Here’s looking at the five key points from the game.

#1 Vardy’s absence is baffling

Jamie Vardy

Leicester City forward Jamie Vardy was a constant feature in England’s qualifying campaign and the friendly games that the side played recently. Yet on Saturday, England boss Roy Hodgson did not include the forward in the starting eleven.

Vardy is coming to the competition on the back of a spectacular season having scored plenty of goals and also having won the English Premier League title. Under such circumstances, it would certainly have made sense to field an attacker who is high on confidence and is raring to go. Further, Vardy has paired up with the likes of Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney in the past and it has produced some marvelous results for the Three Lions.

Had Vardy started the game, Kane would have had an able partner and that certainly could have produced more goals for England.

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