Euro 2020 Qualifiers, England 4-0 Bulgaria: 3 Talking Points from the game
England's rampant start to the qualification campaign is yet to hit a speed breaker as they make it three wins out of three in the process. During this phase, the Three Lions have scored an impressive tally of 14 goals.
Due to a substantial gulf in the quality of the two sides, England was expected to have an easy victory against Bulgaria. Skipper Harry Kane, with his hat-trick, ensured that his side finished the game with maximum points in their bag. However, Gareth Southgate won't be resting on the laurels for too long as a few things need addressing before a tough game against Kosovo.
Bulgaria, who looked resolute defensively until the deadlock was broken, lost their way once they fell behind in the game. Until then, Harry Kane-led XI found it difficult to create many chances against a compact Lions side. The front-three of Kane, Sterling and Rashford looked lively throughout.
Also, Mason Mount was able to make his senior England debut, replacing Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson later in the second half. Overall, the Three Lions gained three points without much hassle.
However, Kosovo, highly acclaimed for their expansive style of football, is expected to provide a stern test for Southgate's men.
Without further ado, let's jump straight into the major talking points from the game where Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling stole the thunder at the Wembley Stadium.
#3 Bulgaria tried too many things and lacked a clear plan to keep England at bay
Bulgaria started the game on a very high note, managing to strangle the Englishmen for the major part of game's opening thirty minutes. As the time wore, the frustration started to creep in England players, as they started to have undirected shots from outside the box.
The wise thing for Bulgaria was to carry in this pressure and maintain the deadlock for as long as possible. However, be it overconfidence or a lack of vision, Krasmir Balakov's men started to build attacks from the back, which they never looked comfortable doing.
It bore suicidal consequences as a coordinated press from Sterling and Kane forced opposing shot-stopper Plamen Iliev into an error, resulting in the Tottenham striker handing his side an advantage in the 24th minute.
Despite being uncomfortable in manufacturing short-buildups, Bulgaria seldom tested England centre-backs with hoofing long-balls, which could've been a unique option. In various moments, Bulgaria forced a few saves from Pickford when they exploited chances behind the full-backs Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose.
Failure to stick to a fixed plan proved costly as Balakov's men paid for their mistakes and overcomplicating things at various junctures.
Going forward, the Bulgaria coach could take his side's potential to defend well in a compact block as a major positive from 4-0 humiliation in Wembley.