Harry Kane scored a hat-trick as England secured their third consecutive Euro 2020 qualifying victory on Saturday evening, registering a comfortable 4-0 win over Bulgaria at Wembley.
The Three Lions were never really troubled by their opponents, who sit bottom of Group A after picking up two points from their opening three games, and sealed maximum points thanks to Kane’s treble plus another goal from Raheem Sterling.
Kane netted his 23rd, 24th and 25th international goals to put England back on top of Group A above Kosovo, and also provided the assist for Sterling.
Bulgaria’s plan was to frustrate England but Krasimir Balakov’s side gifted the hosts a soft goal midway through the first half.
Goalkeeper Plamen Iliev’s pass was intercepted by the lively Sterling, whose cut-back was tucked into the back of the net by Kane.
- The 10 greatest managers in PL history
- List of 20 best managers in Europe is being slated
- Check out our new GIVEMESPORT homepage
It was a disastrous goal for the Bulgarians to concede and you can watch it here…
The 2018 World Cup Golden Boot winner then added to his international tally from the penalty spot early in the second half after Marcus Rashford was brought down inside the box.
He then set up Sterling for the red-hot Manchester City winger to notch his fifth goal of this qualification campaign.
Clear-cut chances were in short supply during the opening 45 minutes. Jordan Henderson lashed a volley wide early on shortly before Kane had a goal disallowed for offside.
But England’s overall performance was poor - and former Manchester United captain Roy Keane, on punditry duty for ITV Sport, went in hard on Gareth Southgate’s side during the half-time interval.
“Where do I start?” the fiery Irishman began. “Too slow, players taking too many touches, not good enough movement. Not great body language, feels like an end-of-season game. If you start the game like England did - lacklustre - it’s a long old day for them, so I’ve been really disappointed.
“We spoke before the game about England’s pace, movement, but we’ve not seen any of it - bar Sterling, who is the only one playing with any sort of tempo.
“I know Gareth’s a placid guy but I think he’ll be fuming watching that.”
He added: “The attitude from some of the players is shocking.”
Perhaps England’s players were listening to Keane’s words because they stepped it up in the second half.
Two goals in six minutes from Kane and Sterling effectively killed the game off.
Rashford did brilliantly for England’s second goal, winning the penalty which led to Kane doubling England’s advantage…
That goal puts him in 14th place on England’s all-time leading top scorers list alongside 1966 World Cup hero Geoff Hurst.
The 26-year-old then showed his creative prowess by setting up Sterling…
And he went on to complete his hat-trick after England were awarded another penalty...
Mason Mount and Jadon Sancho were both given minutes by Southgate in the second half but the game was over by this point.
For England, it was another three points in the bag and another step closer to booking their place at next summer’s European Championships.News Now - Sport News