England record comfortable Wembley win over Scotland
UEFA World Cup qualifying, Group F, Wembley Stadium – England 3 (Sturridge 24, Lallana 50, Cahill 61) Scotland 0
England gave Scotland a lesson in the art of finishing as Gareth Southgate's bid to become permanent manager received a major boost courtesy of a 3-0 win at Wembley.
The Three Lions' interim boss was given four matches to stake his claim for the role and this result, that keeps them top of World Cup qualifying Group F, will go some way to sealing it.
Once again the performance was far from vintage England, but in the end they proved too strong for a Scotland side lacking a cutting edge.
A Daniel Sturridge header was the stand-out moment in a turgid first 45 minutes of football and when the visitors failed to make the most of big chances for Grant Hanley, James Forrest and Robert Snodgrass, they were made to pay by Adam Lallana's well-placed header.
The result sees England stay two points clear of Slovenia at the summit of Group F, but it looks rather bleak for the Scots who drop to fifth.
Southgate has done enough - but what next for Strachan? Football is a results orientated business and in three competitive matches Southgate is unbeaten with two victories on the board. The Three Lions' performances have flattered to deceive at times but with a shortage of major contenders for what many deem a poisoned chalice, it looks likely the former Middlesbrough boss has done enough to pass his audition. In contrast, Scotland's hopes of reaching the World Cup suffered another blow away from home. The Tartan Army seem to have regressed after early improvement in Strachan's tenure and many will be calling for his head. There was an improvement at Wembley in their approach play, but they missed some key chances and fell away badly once Lallana had made it two.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Adam Lallana (England). The Liverpool man is flourishing for club and country this season. He's scored two in his last two appearances for the Three Lions and has developed into an important figure under Jurgen Klopp at Anfield. The midfielder capped another tidy display with a well-placed header to effectively kill Scotland's hopes.
24' - GOAL! ENGLAND 1-0 SCOTLAND. Sterling's shot deflects to Walker who wastes no time crossing for Sturridge to flick a header into the corner.
27' - SCOTLAND CHANCE! Big miss. Snodgrass' right-wing corner finds Hanley in acres of space but he makes a complete mess of the header and balloons it over.
49' - SCOTLAND CHANCE! Another great chance for the visitors. England are caught out down the left and when it's cut back to the edge of the box for Forrest, he shimmies past his man but drags his shot wide of Hart's left-hand post.
50' - GOAL! ENGLAND 2-0 SCOTLAND. Lallana extends the home side's lead with a controlled downward header from Rose's lovely cross. England punishing the visitors for missed chances as Snodgrass had seen another gilt-edged opening blocked by Stones seconds earlier.
61' - GOAL! ENGLAND 3-0 SCOTLAND. It's three! Cahill thumps a header from Rooney's left-wing corner into the far corner.
71' - ENGLAND CHANCE! What a miss! Henderson exchanges a one-two with Lallana down the right and the Liverpool skipper teases a sublime ball to the back post for Sterling. It's a simple tap-in from four yards out but the Man City man somehow skies it over the bar!
- Sturridge has now scored in four of his last six starts for England at Wembley.
- England are currently unbeaten in 33 international qualifiers (World Cup and Euros combined); winning 25 and drawing eight.
- Seven of England's last eight goals against Scotland have been headers.
- England have registered their biggest win over Scotland since May 1975, when they won 5-1.