World Cup Qualifying - European - Group F
EnglandEngland3ScotlandScotland0

World Cup qualifying: England 3-0 Scotland

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Wembley Stadium
Daniel Sturridge scores
Daniel Sturridge headed home his eighth England goal

Gareth Southgate took a significant step towards being appointed England's full-time manager and intensified the pressure on Scotland counterpart Gordon Strachan in the process with a comfortable World Cup qualifying win at Wembley.

Southgate knew victory would press his claims to succeed Sam Allardyce on a permanent basis - and England delivered with a display that was unconvincing but easily enough to beat Scotland.

Daniel Sturridge's stooping, instinctive header from Kyle Walker's driven cross put the hosts ahead after 24 minutes and Liverpool team-mate Adam Lallana did the same from Danny Rose's delivery five minutes after the break.

James Forrest and Robert Snodgrass missed opportunities for the visitors before Lallana added England's second - and Gary Cahill's 61st-minute header from Wayne Rooney's corner only increased Strachan's agony.

England now top Group F while Scotland languish in fifth, with their hopes of qualifying for the 2018 tournament in Russia fading fast.

All sealed for Southgate?

Cahill praises Southgate's 'experience'

England's interim manager deflected all talk about his future in the build-up to this qualifier - but he will know he is effectively in an impregnable position after this win against a very average Scotland side.

Southgate's biggest supporters would be hard-pressed to suggest this performance hinted at a golden future for England, but it is surely enough to earn the 46-year-old the chance to plot the way ahead to the next World Cup.

He was under a little pressure after a poor performance in the goalless draw in Slovenia, but this was just what he needed - in result terms at least - and it is now surely only a matter of time before his appointment is confirmed, irrespective of the result of Tuesday's friendly against Spain at Wembley.

All over for Strachan?

Strachan not thinking about his future

It was almost impossible to find an optimistic Scot at Wembley before kick-off. Sadly, their worst fears were confirmed as the pressure mounts on Strachan.

The combative 59-year-old was subjected to heavy criticism after a draw at home to Lithuania and a 3-0 loss in Slovakia even before this latest reverse.

There was no lack of heart or effort from Scotland, but there is quite simply a lack of quality in their squad, reflected in the eight changes he made here, to no avail, in an attempt to find a spark.

Strachan may ask, with some justification, if anyone else could do better with what he has at his disposal, but whether the Scottish Football Association and Tartan Army agree is another matter.

England still rebuilding after Euros

Group F
England's three points put them in a strong position - only the top team are guaranteed to qualify

England are now in a commanding position and should have no problems reaching the World Cup from this point, but they are still a work in progress.

This was a convincing victory margin, but the worry remains that the defence would be seriously troubled by quality opposition.

Scotland missed two chances to level before England extended their lead through Lallana, while some of their attempts to play out from the back looked like an alien concept to Southgate's players.

However, the result, England's position in the group, Lallana's growing maturity and the clinical manner in which they took their opportunities were all positives.

Scotland's lack of quality exposed

Scotland's mix-and-match side never looked like having the class to overcome England and that lack of quality was exposed in crucial moments.

Leigh Griffiths wasted a glorious opportunity to play in Snodgrass in the first half, while Forrest should have scored with a shot he dragged wide just after half-time. Snodgrass also had a shot blocked by Stones.

Scotland's commitment cannot be doubted but this is a squad desperately short of quality - and so it proved at Wembley.

Man of the match - Adam Lallana

Lallana and Rooney celebrate
Lallana's header was expertly guided into the corner and put the game beyond doubt on the night. The Liverpool man played 42 passes in all, completing 88% as he was often at the heart of England's good attacking work.

What the managers said

England manager Gareth Southgate: "What I'm really pleased is that I was given the task of picking the job up in a very difficult situation for everybody and I feel like we've prepared the team really well. I've enjoyed that.

"The rest is out of my hands. I've loved it. I've really enjoyed the role. I've enjoyed the responsibility. I've enjoyed the challenge of every part of it."

Southgate 'loves' England role

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan: "That's what you get from world-class players, I'm afraid, when you're on the other side.

"I'm really down for the lads in a way, but proud of them in what they tried to do. I do feel for that group in there. That wasn't fair."

The stats you need to know

  • Daniel Sturridge has scored in four of his past six starts for England at Wembley (four goals).
  • Seven of England's past eight goals against Scotland have been headers, all scored by different players - Danny Welbeck, Rickie Lambert, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill.
  • England are unbeaten in their past 33 qualifying matches (W25 D8) since a 1-0 defeat by Ukraine in October 2009.
  • Scotland conceded from all three of England's shots on target.
  • England have scored three or more goals in three consecutive games against Scotland for the first time.

What's next?

England's defence is likely to face a much tougher test when they host Spain in a friendly at Wembley on Tuesday (20:00 GMT kick-off). Scotland do not play again until 26 March when they entertain Slovenia in another qualifier.

Line-ups

England

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Hart
  • 2Walker
  • 5CahillBooked at 57mins
  • 6Stones
  • 3Rose
  • 8Henderson
  • 4Dier
  • 7Sterling
  • 10RooneyBooked at 90mins
  • 11Lallana
  • 9SturridgeSubstituted forVardyat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 12Clyne
  • 13Heaton
  • 14Walcott
  • 15Jagielka
  • 16Bertrand
  • 17Townsend
  • 18Kane
  • 19Vardy
  • 20Rashford
  • 21Wilshere
  • 22Lingard
  • 23Pickford

Scotland

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Gordon
  • 2AnyaSubstituted forPatersonat 79'minutes
  • 5Hanley
  • 4Berra
  • 3Wallace
  • 11MorrisonSubstituted forMcArthurat 66'minutes
  • 8Brown
  • 7Fletcher
  • 10SnodgrassSubstituted forRitchieat 82'minutes
  • 9GriffithsBooked at 56mins
  • 6Forrest

Substitutes

  • 12Marshall
  • 13Martin
  • 14Martin
  • 15Naismith
  • 16Fletcher
  • 17McArthur
  • 18Bannan
  • 19Burke
  • 20Ritchie
  • 21Hamilton
  • 22Kingsley
  • 23Paterson
Referee:
Cüneyt Çakir
Attendance:
87,258

Match Stats

Home TeamEnglandAway TeamScotland
Possession
Home68%
Away32%
Shots
Home9
Away12
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away19

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, England 3, Scotland 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, England 3, Scotland 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner from a direct free kick.

  4. Booking

    Wayne Rooney (England) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Wayne Rooney (England).

  6. Post update

    Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Eric Dier (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Scott Brown (Scotland).

  9. Post update

    Raheem Sterling (England) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  10. Post update

    Foul by James McArthur (Scotland).

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Raheem Sterling (England) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jamie Vardy.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Scotland. Matt Ritchie replaces Robert Snodgrass.

  13. Post update

    Corner, England. Conceded by Darren Fletcher.

  14. Post update

    Corner, England. Conceded by Grant Hanley.

  15. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Eric Dier (England) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  16. Post update

    Raheem Sterling (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Scott Brown (Scotland).

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Scotland. Callum Paterson replaces Ikechi Anya because of an injury.

  19. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  20. Post update

    Delay in match Ikechi Anya (Scotland) because of an injury.

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As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France431072510
2Sweden42116337
3Netherlands31115324
4Bulgaria3102510-53
5Belarus302125-32
6Luxembourg301246-21

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Switzerland33007349
2Portugal3201122106
3Hungary31114314
4Faroe Islands311126-44
5Latvia310214-33
6Andorra300319-80

C

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1Germany44001601612
2Northern Ireland42118267
3Azerbaijan421124-27
4Czech Rep412124-25
5Norway410357-23
6San Marino4004117-160

D

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1Serbia32108447
2R. of Ireland32106337
3Wales31207345
4Austria31116604
5Georgia301224-21
6Moldova3003110-90

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland4310105510
2Montenegro42119457
3Denmark42027526
4Romania41216425
5Armenia4103410-63
6Kazakhstan4022311-82

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England431060610
2Slovenia42204228
3Slovakia42027256
4Lithuania412157-25
5Scotland411268-24
6Malta4004110-90

G

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1Spain3210111107
2Italy32107437
3Albania32014316
4Israel32015506
5North Macedonia300347-30
6Liechtenstein3003112-110

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium3300130139
2Greece33008179
3Bos-Herze32017436
4Estonia310247-33
5Cyprus300307-70
6Gibraltar3003114-130

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia32108177
2Iceland32106337
3Ukraine31206335
4Turkey302135-22
5Finland301235-21
6Kosovo3012110-91
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