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England 5-0 San Marino: 5 talking points as Three Lions run riot at Wembley | FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2022

England vs San Marino - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier
England vs San Marino - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier
Harsh Pillai
Modified 26 Mar 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

England started their FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying on a blistering note, as they beat lowly San Marino 5-0 at Wembley on Thursday.

The Three Lions had as many as 32 shots at the San Marino goal as the gulf in pedigree between the two sides was all too apparent on the night.

England did not turn up at Wembley with their best XI, as Harry Kane, Declan Rice, Harry Maguire and Tyrone Mings were benched by Gareth Southgate, while Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka missed out because of injury. Nevertheless, the hosts produced a five-star performance to floor their modest visitors.

James Ward Prowse, with the sweetest of touches, opened the scoring in the 14th minute, putting away a brilliant Ben Chilwell cut-back. In the blink of an eye, England were three goals to the good, as Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Raheem Sterling also got their names on the scoresheet.

The one-way traffic continued in the second half, too, as San Marino failed to come to terms with the pace, physicality and precision of England. Another goal by Calvert-Lewin and one by substitute Ollie Watkins added to an abysmal night for San Marino.

On that note, let's have a look at the five talking points from the game.

#1 England make a strong start

England vs San Marino - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier
England vs San Marino - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier

Gareth Southgate has attracted criticism at times for his timid approach. But against San Marino, a much-changed England feasted against weaker opposition.

The former Middlesbrough manager has been blessed with an incredibly talented bunch of players and has a deep enough roster to go deep in international tournaments. That was apparent on the night, as the hosts proved no match for their overmatched opponents.

England now travel to Albania, where they'll hope to continue their qualifying campaign with another win.

#2 Mason Mount produces a superb outing

Despite only playing 45 minutes, Mason Mount ended the night with a whopping eight chances created.

The midfield maestro pulled strings yet again for England, as San Marino had no answer to his movements in between the lines and precise passes to break down their defence.

Mount could have bagged more than one assist on the night before he was hauled off at the interval. Nevertheless, considering his performance against San Marino, the England midfielder will hope to start against Albania in the next qualifying game.

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Published 26 Mar 2021, 04:53 IST
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