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sábado, 8 de outubro de 2016
England 2-0 Malta: Daniel Sturridge and Dele Alli give Gareth Southgate victory - 5 things we learned
The Liverpool striker and Spurs midfielder both scored in the first half to give the caretaker boss three points on his first game in charge
Dele Alli and Daniel Sturridge gave Gareth Southgate a winning start to his interimEngland reign.
Alli stabbed home from close range on 38 minutes after Sturridge had headed the Three Lions in front nine minutes earlier.
The win for Southgate, in charge for four games, would have been even more emphatic but for some heroic goalkeeping form English-born Andrew Hogg for Malta.
The 31-year-old, born in Kingston-Upon-Thames, kept out Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Jesse Lingard as England dominated during the first half.
Alli also put an 85th-minute chance over the bar from six yards out with the goal at his mercy.
England now go to Slovenia on Tuesday for their next Group F World Cup qualifier.
Here are 5 things we learned...
1. Rooney could not even justify his place in midfield against Malta
He gave ball away with his first few passes. He was lucky to stay on the pitch after his challenge on Malta captain Andre Schemer and he just could not do all the things that Henderson managed so easily.
Remember this was against Malta. Rooney forced a decent save from Hogg with his 52nd-minute free kick. But against a better team he’d be a passenger.
It is surely reaching the point now where the England would be doing him a favour by leaving him out.
The Liverpool midfielder’s crossing was on point, both for Sturridge goal and that Dele Alli header that preceded it.
In fact, it was Henderson’s drive into the box that created the kerfuffle from which Alli netted the second.
Again, this was only Malta, but Henderson performed a player of his quality should.
3. Malta’s keeper had a blinder
But for Andrew Hogg the scoreline would have been far higher in England’s favour by half time. Hogg flung himself to his right to keep out Rooney after eight minutes.
He then stopped Jesse Lingard on 33 minutes and both Daniel Sturridge and Rooney either side of half time.
Hogg revealed before the match that he felt sorry for his England counterpart Joe Hart after his treatment by Pep Guardiola. You almost felt sorry for him as the most overworked player in the Malta team.
4. The public still haven’t given up on England
After yet another uninspiring major tournament the public could have been forgiven for preferring Strictly Come Dancing in the warmth of their living rooms or some of the other internationals on TV.
But the FA managed to shift 81,781 tickets for a qualifier against Malta. Maybe we are just gluttons for punishment.
5. Daniel Sturridge reminded us that we still do have competition for places up front
We all know how exciting Marcus Rashford is.
But if you’re able to replace goalscorer Sturridge with Footballer of the Year Jamie Vardy you can’t be going too far wrong.
The execution and placement of Sturridge’s header was superb (yes, even allowing for the fact that we were playing Malta). The Liverpool striker will have enjoyed the opportunity to remind a few people that he is still around.