Wayne Rooney added two more goals to his international collection as England put on an impressive display, earning a 3-1 victory against Scotland.
England were quick to take the sting out of the game from the very first whistle, ensuring the Scotland players were unable to use the feisty atmosphere as inspiration. The first half, however, showed how much football has changed, with neither side making their presence felt early on, in a half with very few of the tough tackles we might have seen a decade ago.
Roy Hodgson’s side settled into the game quickly, with each player appearing composed on the ball. Alex Oxlade Chamberlin gave England the lead in the 32nd minute with a glancing header following a stunning clipped pass by Jack Wilshere.
Scotland showed rare signs of attacking intent during the first half, without really troubling the England defence. Nathaniel Clynne continued his impressive run in the right back position for England, defusing Scotland’s main source of attacking threat down the left hand side with Ikechi Anya.
Gordon Strachan’s side began the second half with energy, only for their task to become more difficult as Wayne Rooney’s header found it’s way beyond substitute keeper Craig Gordon in the 47th minute. Rooney extended England’s lead after the ball fell to him following Scotland’s failure to deal with a free kick.
The England players continued to impress as the second half went on, putting the Scottish players under constant pressure. They fought in packs throughout the evening, giving the opposition little time and space to manoeuvre the ball in a manner that could hurt England. They added to this by confidently keeping the ball between themselves while maintaining their shape and taking the opportunities to start an attacking move.
Scotland pulled a goal back in the 83rd minute when Andrew Robertson slotted home from close range. Immediately, any chances of a fight back were scuppered as Rooney fired home after an outstanding passing move in which Lallana, Sterling, Lambert and Milner all played their part.
It was by no means a poor Scottish performance, however they were simply outplayed and outclassed by and England side that consisted of significantly more a Premier League players than their opposition. Despite the result, Scotland won’t be too worried having secured a vital win in European qualifier against the Republic of Ireland last Friday.
As for England, Hodgson can take many positives from the game. Nathaniel Clynne put in another composed and solid performance at right back, while Jack Wilshere showed more signs of returning to his best. The England skipper also enjoyed his best game in long time, shifting the ball cleverly and effectively while also being at the centre of most attacks. This was by far the best England have played in a while with each player seeming as though they loved playing for their country, something which is often questioned nowadays.