World Cup 2018: Were England good, lucky, or a bit of both?

World Cup 2018: Croatia 2-1 England (aet) highlights

A World Cup which began with low expectations for England ended with positivity and optimism, despite the pain of losing in the semi-finals to Croatia.

After failing to get out of the group in 2014 and losing to Iceland at the European Championship in 2016, the performances of Gareth Southgate’s squad – both on and off the pitch – restored pride in the national team.

But now that the euphoria of what they achieved – a first semi-final appearance in 28 years and only the third in English history – is subsiding, what did we learn about this team?

And did their unexpected success mask some deficiencies?

Were England overly reliant on set-pieces?

England’s dominance from set-pieces was one of the most striking aspects of their performances in Russia, with training-ground routines – the “love train”,