With the World Cup fast approaching the knockout stages, many teams were fighting for survival and passage to the last 16 of the competition in their final match of the group stages - not so for England and Belgium.
Going into the final fixtures of Group G, both England and Belgium already had their qualification for the knockout rounds of the tournament guaranteed following victories over Tunisia and Panama, the former triumphing 2-1 and 6-1, and the latter winning 5-2 and 3-0.
Subsequently, the only aspect of the group yet to be decided was which of the two teams would qualify at the top of the group. Subsequently, both sides opted to give some of their second string players a run out, giving the managers a rare opportunity to experiment with their sides on such a big stage.
One player that was afforded the opportunity to make his World Cup bow was Liverpool's immensely talented young full back, Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the 19-year-old selected for the Three Lions' World Cup squad after helping to guide the Reds to the 2017/18 Champions League final.
Despite being picked out as a potential weak link due to to age, Alexander-Arnold frequently shone as one of Liverpool's most talented players, and his high standard of play was certainly on display for all to see as England took on Belgium on Thursday night.
Throughout the game, the Liverpool youngster made a total of nine key passes as Gareth Southgate's men fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Belgium, putting in yet another impressive shift and garnering a fair amount of praise from fans on Twitter as a result.
A composed Trent Alexander-Arnold excelling on his competitive #ENG debut.— Melissa Reddy (@MelissaReddy_) June 28, 2018
Most key passes, touches, crosses and passes in the opposition half for the Three Lions in the first 45. His delivery, as ever, has been superb. A clearance off the line too!#WorldCup pic.twitter.com/jDmL2MUIUW
Absolute 🐐 England’s best player. If only the guys on the other end of your crosses could head a ball on target 🎯— james (@jamesco_tt) June 28, 2018
Trent A-A only made his U21 debut in September. He has just played his first 45 minutes of World Cup football like an absolute pro. Classy. Assured. What a future he has.— Jonathan Northcroft (@JNorthcroft) June 28, 2018
Trent Alexander-Arnold's been England's best player in this first half.— Emma Sanders (@em_sandy) June 28, 2018
Trent AA absolutely fearless. Solid start on the right.— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) June 28, 2018
After qualifying from Group G in second pace, England are set to face Group H winners Colombia in the last 16 on Tuesday, before potentially facing either Sweden or Switzerland in the quarter finals.