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Saturday, December 4, 2021

England 5 – 0 Albania

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Harry Kane answered his critics with a first-half, excellent hat-trick as England moved to the brink of World Cup qualification with a thumping 5-0 win over Albania at Wembley.

Gareth Southgate’s aspect now want only a level from Monday’s journey to San Marino to e book their place at Qatar 2022.

With final month’s disappointing draw at dwelling to Hungary contemporary within the reminiscence and Albania third within the group, there was potential for this Friday night time Qualifier to be a nervy one for England, however a surprising five-goal blitz within the opening 45 minutes blew their opposition away.

Kane (18, 33, 45+2) put his Premier League struggles to 1 aspect and feasted on some woeful defending from the guests to turn into England’s all-time high scorer in aggressive matches, and, though he may have scored as many as six in that first interval, his gorgeous deflected scissor-kick for his third felt like an emphatic response after his early-season struggles for Tottenham.

Harry Kane’s first-half hat-trick has put England one level away from World Cup qualification

Harry Maguire’s header (9) had set England on their approach and Jordan Henderson (28) additionally grabbed his first Wembley objective to the delight of a sell-out nationwide stadium throughout a outstanding first half, which additionally featured a scare on the different finish when Kyle Walker’s terrible back-pass compelled Jordan Pickford to avoid wasting brilliantly from Myrto Uzuni with the rating at 1-0.

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Unsurprisingly, the second half didn’t dwell up the thrill of the primary however it introduced a world debut for Arsenal’s rising star Emile Smith Rowe. He shall be dreaming of a spot on the airplane to Qatar subsequent November however England supporters will already be reserving their flights.

With Poland profitable in Andorra, England want only a level away to San Marino, the world’s lowest-ranked aspect, on Monday to substantiate their place on the World Cup.

England participant scores

England: Pickford (7), Walker (6), Stones (6), Maguire (7), James (8), Henderson (8), Phillips (6), Chilwell (6), Foden (6), Kane (8), Sterling (7).

Subs used: Grealish (6), Bellingham (6), Abraham (5), Smith Rowe (6), Alexander-Arnold (6)

Man of the match: Harry Kane.

The way it occurred…

With regular rain falling at kick-off, there was drama at each ends inside 5 minutes, with Raheem Sterling’s appeals for a free-kick on the sting of the field remarkably ignored by referee Ruddy Buquet earlier than Pickford clattered into Uzuni outdoors his field.

England staff information

England made 5 adjustments to the aspect which drew 1-1 of their final World Cup Qualifier in opposition to Hungary, with Luke Shaw (concussion), Mason Mount (dental) and Declan Rice (sickness) unavailable, whereas Tyrone Mings and Jack Grealish dropped to the bench.
As a part of a swap to 3-4-3, in got here wing-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell, centre again Harry Maguire, midfielder Jordan Henderson and attacker Phil Foden.

Albania have been forceful within the problem themselves, and Klaus Gjasula was rightly booked for a reckless deal with from behind on Kane – however England made them pay from the ensuing free-kick, with Reece James’ pinpoint supply powered dwelling by Maguire, whose personal celebration gave the impression to be a message for his detractors.

England's Harry Maguire celebrates after scoring against Albania
England’s Harry Maguire celebrates after scoring in opposition to Albania

That objective eased the nerves for the house aspect, with Phil Foden taking pictures over moments later, however Walker virtually handed Albania an equaliser when his horrible back-pass was picked up by Uzuni. Pickford stood up nicely, although, and his very good one-on-one cease saved England forward.

Albania – who had been compelled into two early subs due to accidents – have been regretting that missed alternative simply 4 minutes later, when Henderson stood his cross up for Kane to move dwelling England’s second.

Harry Kane scores England's second goal against Albania
Kane scored together with his left foot, head, and proper foot throughout the first half

Sterling virtually broke by way of and Kane didn’t convert from shut vary because the hosts turned up the warmth, with Albania goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha parrying away a long-range effort from the captain earlier than Maguire headed one other set-piece over.

Jordan Henderson celebrates his goal for England against Albania
Jordan Henderson celebrates his objective for England in opposition to Albania

Albania’s first-half resistance fell other than there, although, with Henderson’s one-two with Kane splitting the guests’ backline huge open for the Liverpool man to attain his second worldwide objective, earlier than Kane produced a trademark hammered end into the far nook 5 minutes later.

That objective took him previous Wayne Rooney as England’s high scorer in aggressive video games and, though he shot throughout the face of objective after which headed huge, he made it 39 in matches which matter in first-half stoppage time in acrobatic trend from a nook.

Inevitably, the second half couldn’t dwell as much as the goal-fest of the primary, with the supporters making their very own leisure with Mexican waves, and Southgate taking the chance to offer Kane, Foden and Kalvin Phillips an early night time.

He additionally used the chance handy Smith Rowe a primary cap following his late call-up to the squad however with England taking their foot off the gasoline there have been solely uncommon forays into the Albania field, with Sterling and sub Jack Grealish entering into harmful areas.

For boss Southgate – who displayed his tactical flexibility with a swap to a again three and seems set to signal a two-year extension to his England contract – this was a satisfying night time’s work.

Assuming Monday’s San Marino journey goes to plan, his attentions will quickly be turning to how he can encourage his aspect to take one step additional than they did at this summer season’s European Championships once they arrive in Qatar this time subsequent yr.

What the managers stated:

England boss Gareth Southgate: “I assumed it was a extremely sturdy staff efficiency, notably that first half. We had an edge about us tonight and we’re at our greatest when we’ve an edge. We would have liked a collective response from our final recreation. We’re clear why we felt we did not get that efficiency [against Hungary] and we addressed that within the first half.

“What happy me most about Kane tonight was his all-round efficiency. We all know he’ll rating objectives. I appreciated the best way he was aggressive in his maintain up play, he was working in behind, his hyperlink play was on tune tonight. He was helped by good motion round him from Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden particularly and the wing backs charging ahead.”

Albania boss Edoardo Reja: “We have now to go with England for his or her efficiency, they have been fired up, decided, a robust bodily staff. Maybe we have been too smug within the set-up of the sport and pressed them too excessive and left area. Once you go away area for staff like England you’ll concede objectives.”

Opta stats – Kane’s large objective haul

Harry Kane scores England's second goal against Albania
Kane scored together with his left foot, head, and proper foot throughout the first half
  • England have scored 42 objectives in 2021, their most ever in a calendar yr, overtaking the 39 objectives they scored in 1908.
  • Harry Kane has now scored 39 objectives in aggressive matches for England, overtaking the earlier file of 37 scored by Wayne Rooney.
  • Harry Kane turned the primary participant to attain an ideal hat-trick (header, left-foot, right-foot) for England since David Platt in February 1993 in opposition to San Marino.
  • Harry Kane has scored 12 objectives for England in 2021 – no participant has ever netted extra for the Three Lions in a calendar yr (George Hilsdon in 1908, Dixie Dean in 1927 and Kane in 2019 additionally scored 12).
  • Harry Maguire scored his sixth objective for England, with 5 of these coming together with his head. Solely Harry Kane (12) and Raheem Sterling (5) have extra objectives in 2021 for the Three Lions than Maguire (4).
  • Solely Jimmy Greaves (six) and Gary Lineker (5) have scored extra hat-tricks for England than Harry Kane (4), whereas Kane has gone degree with Greaves in joint-fourth place on 44 objectives in England’s historical past.
  • England’s beginning XI tonight had 451 caps between them, essentially the most for an England beginning XI below Gareth Southgate and most since September 2013 vs Ukraine (471).

What’s next and how to follow England’s World Cup Qualifiers

Comply with San Marino vs England – England’s last World Cup Qualifier – on Monday (kick-off 7.45pm) with our dwell blogs, and watch free match highlights on the Sky Sports activities web site and app, in addition to the Sky Sports activities Soccer YouTube channel.

When and where is the 2022 World Cup?

The 2022 World Cup is happening in Qatar within the winter months fairly than the standard summer season ones, because of the warmth.

The event kicks off on Monday November 21 on the Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor with a match that may characteristic the host nation.

The ultimate shall be performed on the Lusail Stadium in Doha per week earlier than Christmas on Sunday December 18.

What is the World Cup format and schedule?

The event will characteristic 32 groups in eight teams of 4.

4 matches shall be performed every day throughout the group stage, which is able to run over a 12-day interval and see winners and runners-up progress to the spherical of 16.

Matches will solely be assigned to explicit venues after the finals draw, so organisers can select optimum kick-off occasions to go well with tv audiences in several nations, in addition to supporters out in Qatar.

The finals draw is scheduled to happen in April 2022, after the March window for worldwide fixtures.

In contrast to at Euro 2020, there shall be a third-place play-off recreation on December 17.

Group stage: November 21- December 2
Spherical of 16: December 3-6
Quarter-finals: December 9/10
Semi-finals: December 13/14
Remaining: December 18

When will the matches kick off?

FIFA has confirmed the primary two rounds of matches will kick off at 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 10pm native time (10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm in the UK).

Kick-off occasions within the last spherical of group video games and knock-out spherical matches shall be at 6pm and 10pm native time (3pm and 7pm UK time).

The ultimate is scheduled to kick off at 6pm native time (3pm UK time)

What are the venues?

The group video games will happen throughout eight stadia: Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa Worldwide Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Lusail Stadium, Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, Training Metropolis Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium.

What happens to the Premier League in 2022/23?

The Premier League has confirmed key dates for the 2022/23 marketing campaign, with the season adjusted to accommodate a World Cup that takes place in the course of the home calendar.

The season will begin per week sooner than regular on August 6 2022, with 16 matchdays happening as much as the weekend of November 12/13, earlier than the event kicks off on November 21.

The Premier League will resume on Boxing Day following the World Cup last, which takes place on December 18.

The ultimate match spherical of the 2022/23 season shall be performed on Could 28 2023.

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