England cruise to victory against San Marino
- 09 October 2014 22:19
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
England claimed their second win of two in Group E in the European Championship qualifiers, with a 5-0 thrashing of minnows San Marino at Wembley.
Goals from Phil Jagielka, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Andros Townsend and an Alex Della Valle own-goal secured the victory for the Three Lions, who - as expected - dominated proceedings from start to finish.
City's Joe Hart and James Milner completed the full 90 minutes for the hosts, though the former had very little to do throughout the encounter, as his rare second half touches earned a sarcastic cheer from the home faithful.
An already convincing win should have been extended but for a wrongly disallowed goal just after the hour-mark, as Adam Lallana touched home Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's long-range shot, only to be ruled offside.
It mattered little though in the end as England cruised to victory in a repeat result of the last clash between the two sides in 2012, ending the night joint top of the group with Lithuania.
Surprisingly, it took the Three Lions 24 minutes to open the scoring, when Jagielka headed home Milner's corner.
Rooney then doubled the hosts' lead three minutes before half-time, superbly converting a spot-kick, having been upended in the area.
Though it's rare for a 2-0 lead to be deemed 'unassailable', this one could bear that description and any doubt that did exist over who would triumph in this one was eradicated just after the break, when Welbeck swept home Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross.
Substitute Andros Townsend then added a fourth, cutting inside before rifling an effort into the near post - and the rout was completed six minutes later, as Rooney's cross was deflected in off the unfortunate Della Valle.
The result may have been more flattering on another day but all in all, it was a fine result for England and a pleasing fourth successive clean sheet for Hart.
Elsewhere, David Silva racked up 71 minutes for Spain as the reigning European champions were downed 2-1 by Slovakia.
On a disappointing night for La Roja, a late Miroslav Stoch header snatched a shock win for the home side, after Silva's replacement Paco Alcacer had cancelled out Juraj Kucka's first half strike.
Slovakia opened the scoring on 17 minutes as Kucka fired home a swerving free-kick, which deceived Iker Casillas. Former Blue Vladimir Weiss provided the lay-off.
In a frustrating first half for Silva, the playmaker spurned two efforts, firing off target before seeing a shot blocked. A minute before half-time, he picked up a yellow card for a foul on the goalscorer.
He then had an effort saved three minutes after the break as the visitors found goalkeeper Matus Kozacik in splendid form.
Silva was then replaced by Paco, who levelled the scores with eight minutes to go, controlling well before driving a low effort into the back of the net.
The respite did not last though and Slovakia regained their lead with just three minutes of normal time remaining, when Stoch headed in Michal Duris' lofted cross to spark jubilant scenes and earn an unlikely victory.
And finally, Stevan Jovetic completed 74 minutes for Montenegro but could not find a winner in a 0-0 draw with Liechtenstein.
Unsurprisingly, the striker proved to be one of his side's main threats, but could not find the target or beat Peter Jehle in the hosts' goal.
The 24-year-old appeared to leave the field limping, arousing fears he suffered an injury.
The result leaves Montenegro third in Group G.