Goals from Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill secured three
points for Gareth Southgate's side, despite a rather unconvincing display ACE
16.1 Primeknit from the hosts for much of the encounter.
Pre-match talk had been dominated by a dispute with FIFA over their refusal
to allow the teams to wear poppies on their shirts, and, as expected, both sets
of players wore black armbands bearing the symbol in recognition of Armistice
England – who had captain Wayne Rooney restored to the starting line-up – had
looked unsteady against a Scotland side still smarting from a 3-0 loss to
Slovakia last time out, until Sturridge's clever header put them ahead on 24
Gordon Strachan's side missed two excellent chances to level before Lallana
steered in a Danny Rose cross just after half-time, and England's control of the
game was made certain when Cahill nodded in from a corner.
Though the performance was far from inspired, a second win in three games
under interim boss Southgate will likely increase the calls for him to be given
the job on a full-time basis, with England two points clear at the X 16+
Purechaos black top of the group and on X 16+
Purechaos gold course to reach the 2018 finals.
For Scotland – who have four points from four games and only one win in their
last six – the future of Strachan now looks more uncertain than ever.
Loud boos rang around Wembley for the respective national anthems, but both
sets of fans observed a meticulous minute's silence, with many in the superfly
mercurial v cr7 black stands wearing plain white t-shirts
emblazoned with the poppy emblem.
Scotland settled the better of the two teams, with John Stones looking
particularly unsteady for a stuttering England, but Sturridge gave the home side
the lead with the first real opportunity.
Raheem Sterling's blocked shot found its way to Kyle Walker, and his low
cross was brilliantly steered into the near corner of the net by the head of the
Stones made a good block to deny Leigh Griffiths, before Grant Hanley drifted
away from the Manchester City man at a corner only to head over the crossbar, as
Scotland pushed for a swift response at the end of a half in which they
performed far better than they did at any stage of that Slovakia defeat.
Scotland started the second half firmly on the front foot but they wasted two
superb chances to level the match. James Forrest dragged a shot wide from a
promising opening, before Stones stuck out a leg to deny Robert Snodgrass from
close range within just four minutes of the restart.
Strachan's frustrations on the touchline were clear, but matters only got
worse for the under-pressure boss ace 16
purecontrol when England snatched a second less than a minute
later. Sturridge found Rose down the left and his cross was met by the unmarked
Lallana, who steered a fine header beyond Craig Gordon from 12 yards.
England at last looked to be in control, and they made certain of the points
on the hour mark, as Cahill headed in Rooney's corner despite Gordon getting a
hand to the ball.
Anger among the visiting fans boiled over as objects, including a water
bottle, were thrown onto the pitch close to Joe Hart's goal, but further
Scottish blushes were spared when Sterling somehow contrived to shoot over the
crossbar from barely a yard out.
Sterling almost teed up substitute Jamie Vardy for a fourth, but England saw
out the closing moments in comfortable fashion to make it three wins from their
last three clashes with their neighbours, putting three past Scotland for the
third game in succession.