England's best wins of Capello era

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Fabio Capello confirmed on Friday that he would leave his post as England manager after the European Championships next summer, should his side qualify, of course.

England face Montenegro in Podgorica knowing only a point is needed to ensure they progress to Euro 2012, after which Capello's contract will expire.

And, despite reports to the contrary, the Italian will not spring any surprises by resigning before next year's tournament but honour his deal with the Football Association.

With tonight final qualifier of England's Capello era, GMF has decided to highlight the five best performances during the 65-year-old's three years at the helm....

Croatia 1-4 England
September 10, 2008

England announced themselves as a force to be reckoned with under Fabio Capello as they exacted revenge on the team that denied them qualification to Euro 2008.

Croatia had beaten England 3-2 at Wembley some 10 months earlier to wreck the dreams of Steve McClaren's side and cost the former Middlesbrough manager his job.

But England were a far cry from the side that was defeated on that wet north London evening, as Theo Walcott hit a hat-trick to guide the Three Lions to victory in Zagreb.

The 19-year-old was handed a start ahead of David Beckham, and put England in he lead with a drilled shot past Stipe Pletikosa. Robert Kovac was sent off for an elbow on Joe Cole, before Walcott doubled the advantage with a carbon copy.

Wayne Rooney capped of a supreme personal performance with the third, before laying the fourth for Walcott to easily dispatch.

Germany 1-2 England
November 19, 2008

England rounded off 2008 by inflicting the first defeat Germany had suffered in Berlin in 35 years.

Jermain Defoe and Gabriel Agbonlahor lead the line in a young England side for this friendly contested in the German capital's famous Olympic Stadium.

England took the lead thanks to a goal from Matthew Upson - partnering John Terry in defence - who reacted quickest to poke home a corner from the impressive Stewart Downing.

Patrick Helmes - a second-half substitute for Miroslav Klose - then headed the home side level following a mix-up at the back between Terry and goalkeeper Scott Carson.

However, the England captain was able to atone for his error when he rose highest int he opposition box to nod in the winner and make it five wins in a row for Fabio Capello's side.

England 5-1 Croatia
September 9, 2009

The reverse fixture between England and Croatia on the road to the 2010 World Cup saw the former in free-flowing form once again.

England needed only a draw at Wembley to ensure progression to the finals in South Africa, but responded with a emphatic victory against a stunned Croatia.

Only seven minutes had passed with Aaron Lennon was hauled down in the area Josip Simunic - and Frank Lampard duly dispatched the penalty.

Lennon then provided a perfect cross for Steven Gerrard 11 minutes later, and the Liverpool captain headed home to double England's advantage.

Lampard got his second just before the hour when he nodded in Glen Johnson's excellent cross and Gerrard grabbed a double of his own in similar fashion from Wayne Rooney's delivery.

Eduardo Da Silva then notched a consolation for the visitors, but Rooney got a deserved goal to complete the rout 13 minutes from time.


England 4-0 Bulgaria
September 3, 2010

England's attempts to recover from the disappointment of the 2010 World Cup began well enough as Jermain Defoe's hat-trick put Bulgaria to the sword.

Fabio Capello had come under increasing pressure following the debacle in South Africa, so an emphatic victory came as a huge relief for the England manager.

Defoe started upfront alongside Wayne Rooney, and put the home side ahead within three minutes, as the Tottenham striker neatly finished off Ashley Cole's pull-back.

It took almost an hour before England were able to register a second, and what Defoe again with the breakthrough; capping off some slick interplay between Rooney and Steven Gerrard.

Adam Johnson - on as a second-half substitute for Theo Walcott - scored his first international goal with a low drive, before Defoe completed the with four minutes remaining.

Switzerland 1-3 England
September 7, 2010

Just four days after the comprehensive win at Wembley, England were impressive on the road once again with a slick win at the St. Jakob-Park in Basel.

Wayne Rooney responded to allegations surrounding his private life with the opening goal on 10 minutes shortly before Theo Walcott was stretchered off with an ankle injury.

The Arsenal winger's replacement - Adam Johnson - made it his second England strike in as many outings with 21 minutes remaining with a superbly converted goal following Steven Gerrard's precise pass.

Two minutes later and the hosts had a got themselves on the scoresheet thanks to a thunderous long-range effort from teenager Xherdan Shaqiri.

However, Darren Bent came off the bench for Jermain Defoe to add a third for England with 88 minutes on the clock.

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