england 7-0 MONTENEGRO
England tucked into an absolute goal-feast on the night of their 1,000th international game!
The avalanche of goals began after 10 minutes. A clipped pass from left to right by Ben Chilwell found the feet of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who took one touch out of his feet and fired a half-volley across the keeper low into the net – his first international goal since June 2017!
After chances for Harry Kane, and Marcus Rashford were blocked, England found themselves setting up for an attacking free kick.
Chilwell’s whip was glanced across the Montenegrin keeper and into the net by Harry Kane who didn’t even have to jump for it – too easy, TWO-NIL!
CHILL OUT CHILWELL!
The Three Lions were far from done.
Chilwell’s outswinging corner was met virtually unchallenged by the head of Harry Kane who directed it downwards passed a helpless, sprawling Milan Mijatovic in the Montenegro goal!
Chilwell had set up the first three goals!
Soon after that, Jordan Pickford made a superb save when a rare Montenegro cross was firmly headed towards his top corner – Pickford swatted it round the post.
A really brilliant save, especially as he’d had nothing to do in the 26 minutes previous!
England responded with a vicious cross from The Ox that was headed towards goal by Harry Maguire but straight at the keeper.
Rashford reacted first to the rebound, calmly moved it onto his right foot and bent a fierce shot into the net: 4-0, and there wasn’t even half an hour on the clock!
Montenegro’s players were clearly becoming frustrated.
During England’s next attack Rashford tangled with Vesovic in the corner and won a free kick – it looked like Vesovic tried to headbutt Rashford as the players faced off with each other!
He got away with it but both players received yellow cards!
19-minute hat-trick complete!
England pressed on.
A Trent Alexander-Arnold cross arrived at the feet of Kane who controlled and fired behind the desperate lunges of his marker and the goalkeeper.
A cool, composed, clever way to bag a matchball!
There was time for a minor scare just before half-time when a through ball split Harry Maguire and John Stones.
Montenegro’s captain Beciraj went through one-on-one with Pickford, but his weak finish was easily blocked by the England keeper!
SLOW SECOND HALF!
After such a lively first 45 minutes, it was always going to be difficult for the game to get going again, but 10 minutes after the restart England’s quick passing was causing trouble again!
Another Trent Alexander-Arnold cross found Kane, his effort was straight at the keeper, but the rebound fell to Mason Mount who thought he’d scored his first England goal, but the linesman’s flag was up!
It looked level on replays!
Ten minutes later, England were in the goals again!
SIXES AND SEVENS!
Rashford got in down the left flank, his shot was saved, the rebound hit Jadon Sancho then dropped to Mount who hit it goalwards with the final touch coming from Montenegro’s Sofranac who ballooned it into his own goal in an attempt to clear the danger!
A mad goal, but England didn’t care – they’d made it six!
With the game slowing England pounced once more.
Montenegro gifted possession away in their own half and England spread the ball to Sancho who squared it first time to substitute Tammy Abraham.
He gratefully side-footed in his first ever England senior goal from seven yards out!
A big moment for the big guy and a stylish way to sign off England’s 1,000th ever international!
This was a brilliant performance from a young England side, and a superb way to seal qualification for Euro 2020 next summer, a tournament they will think they can win!
GARETH SOUTHGATE POST MATCH QUOTES:
ON THE RESULT…
“We’ve carved teams apart with our speed on the ball before, but when you add quality to that, too, we knew we had a team that would be comfortable tonight. We killed the game after 25 minutes!”
“First and foremost, the whole dressing room is disappointed. They’re tight. All of the players are united. No England player should ever be booed when they pull on the shirt. He has the support of us all!”
“He’s an incredible goalscorer, but his link play is that of an outstanding No.10. He provides lots of opportunities for others, which is really pleasing. What an unselfish player he is!”
“Ben had hunger, enthusiasm to get forward and he pressed well from the full-back position. His quality of delivery was excellent. He started the season a bit sticky, but now he’s in the flow of his game. He brought his club form into tonight’s game!”
“We’ll make some changes, but the seeding of the group is critical, so it’ll be a good test for us. We want to finish the group with as many points as we can!”