England's Jordan Henderson produced a ridiculous statistic against Malta

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England were always going to be expected to beat Malta with relative ease at Wembley on Saturday evening, and so they did.

Caretaker manager Gareth Southgate's first game in charge of the Three Lions was an easy way for the former Middlesbrough defender to acclimatise himself to management at international level.

The expectation was that England would come under no trouble from a very inexperienced Malta side that were dispatched 2-0. But while the scoreline doesn't necessarily suggest a dominant performance, the statistics prove how comfortable an evening it was for the Three Lions.


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With 80% possession and ten shots on target, the stats were enough to tell anyone who didn't see the match that England were far and away the best team on the pitch.

But while it was a good night for the team overall, one man was able to, in effect, outplay the whole Malta team.

Not given the recognition he deserves at times, it was Jordan Henderson who produced the most astonishing statistic of the night.

The Liverpool midfielder completed 165 successful passes - five more than that of Malta's entire team.

Although it was a productive night for the 26-year-old, Henderson will have much tougher tests to come in the following months; including when the pass masters themselves, Spain, travel to Wembley for a friendly in November.

Southgate's long-term future as England boss will not be determined by the performance of his players against a lowly-ranked Malta side. Instead, it will be the team's performances in the hotly-anticipated World Cup qualifier with Scotland and friendly against two-time European Champions Spain, that will seal his fate.

Nonetheless, Saturday showcased the gulf in class between the two nations and Southgate will be hoping for the game to pan out similarly early next week, when England travel to another small nation, in Slovenia.

But while England will, again, anticipate a victory on away soil, no one will be expecting Henderson to repeat a similar statistic this time around.

Should Gareth Southgate be handed the England job on a permanent basis? Have your say in the comment box below.

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Wayne Rooney
England Football
Adam Lallana
Theo Walcott
Daniel Sturridge
Jordan Henderson
Joe Hart
Gareth Southgate

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