England manager Roy Hodgson was impressed with his players’ unquenchable thirst for goals in San Marino after overseeing a historic 8-0 win in Serravalle last night.
After just 12 minutes Alessandro Della Valle’s own-goal opened the floodgates and England promptly added four more before the break.
And, with various fringe players pushing for a place in the starting 11 for Tuesday’s decisive meeting with Montenegro in Podgorica, the continued zeal that yielded three more goals after the interval has given Hodgson plenty of food for thought.
He said: “It couldn’t have been much better could it?
“I thought it was a very, very good, professional performance and obviously we are a class above our opponents.
“It was good that so many players got a chance to play, those that don’t always play in the team.
“Even at 5-0 we kept playing and doing the same thing in the second half.
“Had the player not scored the own-goal then Wayne Rooney would have scored at the end of the move. I though t we had battered them before that.
“Often when you’re leading by that margin at half-time the second halves tend to die out but this one didn’t.
“I thought we continued to play very good football and we were good value for our three goals in the second half.”
Left-back Leighton Baines reckoned the game was done and dusted after 45 minutes as goals from Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Jermain Defoe, Ashley Young and Frank Lampard heaped further woe on San Marino after Della Valle’s unfortunate own-goal.
The Everton defender said: “I thought it was a professional job and we got a goal early on which helps, then after that we got a few more and the game was won at half-time.”
Goals from Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge then preceded Defoe’s second as England cruised to their biggest ever World Cup qualifying victory. Montenegro lead Group H by two points.