England V Slovenia

England maintained their 100% winning start in group E as they continued their European Championship qualifying campaign, securing a 3-1 victory over Slovenia.

Wayne Rooney became England’s joint third top scorer as he scored a penalty in response to Slovenia’s shock opener.

The away side threatened England’s winning start to the group as Jordan Henderson glanced a header into his own net in the 57th minute, marking a poor night for the Liverpool and England midfielder.

England responded quickly as a high tempo attacking move resulted in Wayne Rooney earning a penalty, having been brought down following some neat footwork in the box. The England captain stepped up to take the penalty himself, confidently slotting the ball to the right of the Slovenian keeper to score his 44th goal for England.

Roy Hodgson will have been pleased with the way his side performed in the second half, having seen an extremely poor performance from his players in the first 45 minutes.

The Wembley surface was not as smooth and impressive as usual having staged an NFL game last Sunday, however the players can not use that as an excuse for the lack of creativity and desire during a first half where there was not one shot on target.

Thankfully for both Hodgson and the thousands of England fans, the players began the second half well and with significantly more intent in all areas of the field. Despite this, their efforts were scuppered as an own goal put Slovenia ahead, hinting that it might not by England’s night.

The goal proved to be a turning point for England. This seemed to kick the players into gear, resulting in an immediate response and a goal from the penalty spot.

Rooney and his team mates took this as an opportunity to finally take the game to Slovenia, with two Danny Welbeck goals bringing his side a 3-1 win.

An impressive turn from Adam Lallana gave him to space to drive in a cross, forcing the Slovenian keeper into a save, only for the ball to fall straight to England’s in form striker, who’s scuffed shot some how found it’s way into the back of the net, giving England the lead for the first time on the night.

Welbeck once again showed his manager why he deserves his spot in the starting line up when he slotted home again in the 72nd minute to put his side 3-1 up following an impressive interchange with Raheem Sterling.

Arsenal and England front man, Welbeck, was yet again important for his country as he continued to impress in a central role. His consistent performances for his country will give Roy Hodgson a tough decision to make with regards to who he plays upfront, with Daniel Sturridge close to his return from injury.

Jack Wilshere also showed glimpses of his quality and potential as he continued in his task of adapting to the holding midfielder role he is being asked to play in for his country.

The 3-1 victory means England stay at the top of the group, with the friendly against Scotland on Tuesday posing as a great opportunity for the manager to experiment with different players within the squad.

England should have very few worries in terms of being able to qualify for the European Championship finals in 2016, but there remains a lot of room for improvement, with Hodgson still clearly unsure of his strongest side and most suitable formation.


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