England simply needed to beat the minnows of San Marino to ensure qualification for the Euros next summer, but they would also have been keen to make it 8 wins out of 8 in the Qualifying Group Stages ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Switzerland at Wembley on Tuesday.
Roy Hodgson gave debuts to Jamie Vardy and Jonjo Shelvey, while Walcott and Harry Kane were both on the bench. But Oxlade-Chamberlain was started on the right wing.The full starting line-up was thus:
Clyne Stones Jagielka Shaw
Vardy Barkley Oxlade-Chamberlain
The captain Wayne Rooney was aiming to equal the record 49 goals for England and duly obliged with a penalty after ten minutes, although it should never have been awarded in the first place!
The San Marino defender Brolli denied Rooneys 50th goal by putting the ball in his own net, and England went into the break with a 2-0 lead.
It only took two minutes after the restart before Barkley finally got a valid England goal, thanks to a storming run down the wing from Oxlade-Chamberlain. Just before the hour mark, Hodgson surprisingly took off Rooney for Kane, and Delph replaced Milner.
Ten minutes later, Walcott replaced The Ox, who had an excellent game by the way, but Theo immediately madean impact by scoring with his first touch of the game to make it four. San Marino were now looking tired and a mere eight minutes later Kane scored an excellent goal, and nearly straight from the kick-off Walcott had an easy finish to make it six.
A brilliant performance from The Ox, and Walcott has had a confidence boosting double, but expect a sterner test from Switzerland on Tuesday….