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5 things we learned from England’s victory over Albania

Harry Kane celebrated a hat-trick as England beat Albania 5-0 at Wembley.
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

England coasted to victory over Albania as Harry Kane’s hat-trick all but secured World Cup qualification.

The Three Lions eased to a 5-0 Wembley win, meaning they need just a point away to minnows San Marino to be sure of a place in Qatar next winter.

Here, the PA news agency looks at what we learned from a fine display from Gareth Southgate’s side.

Three and easy for record-breaker Kane

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While he struggles for goals at Tottenham this season, captain Kane continues to be England’s talisman and hit a perfect first-half hat-trick under the arch.
It saw the forward move clear as England’s all-time goalscorer in competitive fixtures and his total of 44 goals for his country sees him draw level with Jimmy Greaves. Kane is now nine short of Wayne Rooney’s all-time record and will be desperate to play in Monday’s game in San Marino in an attempt to get even closer to the top.

Southgate marches on

Gareth Southgate has now managed England 67 times.

Gareth Southgate has now managed England 67 times. (Attila Trenka/PA)

Only Sir Bobby Robson, Sir Alf Ramsey and Walter Winterbottom have now managed more England games than Southgate. He drew level with Sven-Goran Eriksson on 67 games following this easy win and boasts two more victories than the Swede, who he played under for the Three Lions. In fact, only Fabio Capello and Sam Allardyce, who was in charge for just one match, have a better win percentage than Southgate.

Henderson stakes his claim

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Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson was not fully fit at the start of Euro 2020 as Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice took their chance. But the 31-year-old showed Southgate here that he is still fighting for a place in his starting line-up going into a World Cup year. Not only did he grab his second England goal but he was assured in possession and provided an assist for Kane to head in his first of the night.

All over bar the scoring

England also beat San Marino 5-0 back in March.

England also beat San Marino 5-0 back in March. (Adrian Dennis/PA)

Despite this comfortable win, England’s place at the 2022 World Cup is still not confirmed. They need at least a point from their trip to San Marino on Monday, with even a shock defeat to the team sitting bottom of the FIFA rankings still possibly enough to see them over the line. It remains to be seen what kind of team Southgate names, with the likes of Conor Coady, Tyrone Mings and Trent Alexander-Arnold aiming to start as goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale awaits his debut.

Out on his ear – Maguire hits back

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Harry Maguire retained the faith of Southgate despite struggling for form at Manchester United. The defender repaid that trust by heading England in front with his third goal of this World Cup qualification campaign – cupping his ears in celebration as he seemingly aimed a barb at those who have criticised him of late. Former United captain Roy Keane was no impressed with the gesture, telling ITV Sport: “That’s embarrassing, he’s been a disgrace the last few months for Man Utd.”