Rooney at the double as England ease past Scots

England's Wayne Rooney (right) shakes hands with Scotland's Stevie May. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA.
England's Wayne Rooney (right) shakes hands with Scotland's Stevie May. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA.
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Wayne Rooney silenced the ferocious home supporters inside Celtic Park as England eased to victory over Scotland in the Battle of Britain.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain converted a superb deep cross from Jack Wilshere in the first half and Rooney scored his 45th England goal after the break to double the lead.

Sheffield Wednesday striker Stevie May won his first international cap, replacing Grant Hanley in the 66th minute.

Andrew Robertson pulled one back for Scotland in the dying minutes, but they could not add a second and Rooney found the net to seal the 3-1 victory over England’s bitter neighbours and rivals.

Many had questioned Hodgson’s decision to play Wilshere in a deep midfield role, but he excelled there last night, snapping at Scotland’s heels and spraying delicious long passes on the attack.

England’s full-backs got forward well and they looked sturdy at the back. Fraser Forster, making his second England start on his old Celtic stomping ground, did not have a save to make until the 55th minute.

But the biggest praise must go to Rooney, who moved above Jimmy Greaves to become England’s third-highest goalscorer of all time on his 101st appearance for the Three Lions.

His expertly-executed header was a fine way to put England 2-0 and just as he did on his 100th appearance against Slovenia, he scored at a crucial time to make sure of the victory.

England may have endured a torrid summer, but at least they end 2014 on a high.

“After the World Cup we learned that without wins and results the team gets nowhere,” said Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. “The main thing is getting results in the group and if it’s a friendly it’s important to us as well.

“We need that winning mentality and games like this are massive for everyone. As a team it’s a massive win too.”

Skipper Rooney, who now has 46 goals for his country, three shy of Sir Bobby Charlton’s record, took great pride in victory but insisted the occasion took second place to qualifying points.

For those inside the stadium it must have felt like the hottest ticket in town, but Rooney offered a businesslike assessment.

“I think it’s the least important (of the six wins), this and Norway,” he said.

“The qualifiers are the important games.

“This is a massive game, England and Scotland, but the aim is to qualify for Euro 2016.

“But to win is fantastic, against a Scotland side in good form. It’s fantastic to play in these games, we knew it was going to be a big atmosphere.

“We expected to win the game. We’re the better team and we’ve shown that tonight.”

England’s fans, vocal enough themselves, revelled in the victory, but they tainted their reputation by singing foul-mouthed provocative anti-IRA songs.

The Football Association will be forced to act, particularly when England are due to play in Dublin next June.

The main focus here should not be on the songs, though. England deserve huge praise for the way they coped with the intimidating white-hot atmosphere in east Glasgow.

This was a real test for Roy Hodgson’s young squad and they passed it with flying colours.

Hodgson said: “It was certainly a good performance. We have a lot of young players and we talked before the game about the atmosphere and support Scotland get here. We handled that well.”