Watch World Cup Qualifying match on TV, online

02 September, 2017, 00:46 | Author: Douglas Reid
  • Nathaniel Chalobah dribbles with the ball under pressure from his England team-mates

However, the English - boasting players whose salaries and transfer fees dwarfed that of their opponents - will need to put up a far better display at home to the Slovakians on Monday.

A more adventurous move, perhaps, might have been to take off one of the two holding midfielders, but Southgate plainly decided it was better to retain the team's structure as it was and carried on with Jake Livermore alongside Jordan Henderson on a night when the Liverpool player was reacquainted with the captain's armband. I keep seeing Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane together and I'm starting to think Keane is in charge with O'Neill as his assistant! Yet there was no getting away from the fact England should have been exerting their authority much more confidently.

Every game for Scotland has been a must-win and here we are, four points off second, and it really is a must-win.

England now sit top of Group F, two points clear of Slovakia.

England had their biggest win in two years - and that was exactly how long this match felt.

In addition to the loss to France, a 1-0 defeat by Germany and 2-2 draw with Spain underlined that they remain some distance from the finished article.

Wayne Rooney was also in the England team that day, although he won't be now as he has retired from worldwide football as his country's leading goalscorer.

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"Joe will start for us", the England manager said.

It was an otherwise quiet match, with England enjoying most of the possession but finding a resilient Malta side that sank in the final stages. "We've had some good teams in the past, but we've still won nothing".

"The teams that have gone past have found it hard, we've found it hard in recent years, but we have to somehow change that around and see what happens next summer".

Danny Welbeck added the third goal with a smart chip over the keeper after a nice cross from Kane, who got the fourth to finish the win after an assist from Marcus Rashford.

"This is a very hard match against England as they are the best team", said Malta coach Pietro Ghedin.

Germany head to Prague for Friday's World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic.

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