Saturday’s Euro 2016 qualifying action belonged to Wayne Rooney as the Manchester United striker equalled Sir Bobby Charlton’s England scoring record in their 6-0 thrashing of San Marino.
The 29-year-old opened the scoring with a penalty for his 49th international goal, but could not reach the magic 50 mark before he was substituted on the hour with Tuesday’s visit of Switzerland in mind.
An own goal doubled England’s half-time lead, before Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, Tottenham Hotspur hero Harry Kane and Arsenal forward Theo Walcott – twice – found the net to cap a victory which secured the Three Lions qualification for France next summer ahead of any other country.
Roy Hodgson’s men are now six points clear of Switzerland at the top of Group E and have a 100% record after seven games of qualifying. Victory at Wembley this week will guarantee England top spot.
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The Swiss opened up a gap to the rest of the group with a 3-2 victory over Slovenia last night. Three goals in the final 15 minutes – including two from Josip Drmic – sealed a memorable comeback.
Estonia leapfrogged Slovenia into third courtesy of a 1-0 win over Lithuania, which was the same scoreline by which Russia beat Sweden, and Austria beat Moldova to strengthen their Group G positions.
Montenegro also still stand a chance of qualifying from that competitive pool following a 2-0 victory over Liechtenstein, with former Manchester City striker Stevan Jovetic bagging the second goal.
A current Premier League star was at the centre of controversy in Spain’s 2-0 win over Slovakia, with Chelsea forward Diego Costa winning a debatable penalty in Group C’s top-of-the-table match.
The 26-year-old went down under the challenge of goalkeeper Matus Kozacik, despite there appearing to be little contact, and Andres Iniesta stepped up to add a spot kick to Jordi Alba’s headed opener.
After Slovakia’s first dropped points of the campaign, the two nations are level on 18 points, with Ukraine three points back in third after knocking off Belarus 3-1 for a fifth win in six games.
Elsewhere in Group C, a 90th-minute winner from Sebastian Thill snatched lowly Luxembourg their first international victory since September 2013 as they inflicted a 1-0 defeat on Macedonia.
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