Wayne Rooney's record masks uninspiring England performance

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Wayne Rooney became England’s all-time leading goal scorer last night, but the quality of football evident last night certainly did not befit such a momentous occasion.

England drearily came to win by two goals to nil, with only two moments of quality separating the sides.

Harry Kane’s introduction in the 57th minute made the difference.


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Kane immediately provided a focal point to England’s attack, which seems an odd thing to say when a player who has scored 50 goals for his country in Wayne Rooney, is on the pitch.

Rooney’s recent toying with a deeper role for Manchester United has not led to a change in position for England’s most successful striker.

But there seemed to be an imbalance in England’s attacking play and a vacuum up-front that was only filled when Kane was brought on for Jonjo Shelvey.

A great piece of play from Luke Shaw, who seems to be starting to fulfil his great potential for his club and country, left Kane in space in the box, and, with his second touch, he clinically drilled the ball into the near corner.

Rooney dispatched a brutal effort to beat the Swiss goalkeeper from the penalty spot, to surpass Sir Bobby Charlton’s record, after Raheem Sterling was brought down in the box.

Whilst England’s attack looked lacklustre and short of ideas at times, Chris Smalling’s excellent display typified a defensive effort that was a vast improvement from the nervousness and vulnerability that has been as reliable a feature of England’s team as Wayne Rooney’s goalscoring.

It is quite unusual, being an England fan, to be able to enjoy the fact we have got out of the group stage with a couple of games to spare. Let’s hope we can say the same when the Euros finally come around next year.

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England Football
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