Up until Tunisia equalised after a moment of madness from Kyle Walker, England produced a display of dynamic, passing football unmatched by any nation on show at World Cup 2018.
It’s a cliche, but the Three Lions should have been out of sight before the Manchester City gave away the penalty that Ferjani Sassi slotted home, with Jesse Lingard presented with the majority of the chances as he drove from midfield alongside Dele Alli.
The Tottenham midfielder was among the brightest performers in the opening stages before an injury noticeably slowed him down as England began to toil.
However, Alli showed the desire that all England fans want to see from their players, battling through whatever niggle was holding him back and carrying on attempting to influence proceedings from deep.
The struggles of Brazil, Argentina and Germany to break down massed ranks of inferior sides show just how difficult England’s task as they looked for a winner as Tunisia expertly ran down the clock in the humid conditions but Alli kept plugging away.
There is no doubting that the second half did not showcase his best work and the comparison with substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek is not favourable but his performance was certainly not a poor one.
If Alli has any hangover from this injury lingering by Sunday, he should not be risked against Panama but on the evidence of this performance, he should be well in contention to be a key man for the Three Lions as the tournament progresses.