By Calum Goddard (@calumgoddard)
In this World Cup 2018 qualifying match up Scotland travelled to London to take on England at Wembley stadium. This iconic fixture was met with equal tradition from the fact it was Remembrance Day. Wembley stadium was decorated with poppies to remember the fallen men from the First and Second World Wars.
Both teams put out their strongest 11 in a game steeped in tradition. Gareth Southgate was took no chances with his team lineup, as victory would push him ever closer to securing the permanent role as England manager. There were three changes from the side that played the majority of the euros, Jordan Henderson filled the void in midfield for the injured Dele Alli, whilst Daniel Sturridge took striking responsibilities from Harry Kane, who has recently returned from injury with Tottenham Hotspur and John Stones swapped places with Chris Smalling at the Centre-back position.
Manchester United veteran Steven Fletcher wore the captain’s armband for Scotland and Hull City attacker Robert Snodgrass started for Gordon Strachan’s side, whilst ex-Cherries midfielder Matt Richie could only make the bench.
England had a fairly wobbly start to the match with the two centre-backs Gary Cahill and John Stones struggling to deal with Scottish striker Lee Griffiths. However, it really didn’t take England long to get going with Raheem Sterling finding some space outside the box to push the ball forward, creating an opportunity for Walker to cross a driving ball into the box that met the head of Daniel Sturridge, who powered the ball home to put England 1-0 up 24 minutes in.
The rest of the first half posed little opportunity for England and it was Scotland who almost got back in the game with Lee Griffiths’ shot 2 minutes later being blocked away.
In the second half England looked a lot more fluid and threatening on the attack, restricting Scotland from getting into the game. 50 minutes in and Danny Rose provided a beautifully weighted ball to meet the head of Adam Lallana to make it 2-0 to England.
It didn’t take long for the Three Lions to add to their tally, with Gary Cahill glancing a header off a Wayne Rooney corner to make it a hat-trick of headed goals for the home side.
Ex Bournemouth midfielder Matt Ritchie replaced Robert Snodgrass in the 82nd minute, but wasn’t able to impact the game and it ended 3-0 to the Three Lions. A very dominant performance from Gareth Southgate’s side who comfortably took the three points,. Bournemouth attacking midfielder Jack Wilshire was unused in the display as he stayed on the bench for the full 90 minutes.
England Starting XI: Hart, Walker, Rose, Cahill, Stones, Dier, Henderson, Sterling, Rooney, Lallana, Sturridge (Vardy 75″)
Scotland Starting XI: Gordon, Wallace, Berra, Hanley, Anya (Paterson 79″), Brown, Fletcher, Morrison (McArthur 66″), Forrest, Griffiths, Snodgrass(Ritchie 82″)