Published 12 November 2021 4 min read
England Men's Senior Team
England 5-0 Albania
- H. Maguire (9′)
- H. Kane (18′) (33′) (46′)
- J. Henderson (28′)
UEFA EUROPEAN QUALIFIER Group Stage
Friday 12 November, 07:45 PM Wembley Stadium
HT: 5 - 0
- K. Gjasula (8′)
- S. Cikalleshi (21′)
- A. Ismajli (25′)
- Q. Laçi (67′)
England captain Harry Kane hits a first-half hat-trick as Three Lions smash Albania by 5-0 at Wembley
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England remain firmly on course to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, after thrashing Albania 5-0 at Wembley.
A five-star first-half performance from the Three Lions, including a 27-minute perfect hat-trick from Harry Kane, blew the visitors away.
Harry Maguire and the excellent Jordan Henderson also found the net as the hosts ran riot to stay top of Group I.
Kane became the first player to score a 'perfect hat-trick' for England since David Platt in 1993 against San Marino, to keep his team three points clear of Poland with one game to play.
And just a point against San Marino in the final group game on Monday evening will book the team’s flight to Qatar next winter.
Manager Gareth Southgate opted for a return to the 3-4-3 system used against Germany and Italy at EURO 2020 earlier this year and it worked a treat.
Clad in their all-blue change strip, the Three Lions started positively with Raheem Sterling having an early penalty appeal waved away, before their very first attempt opened the scoring.
For the second game running it was a centre-half who broke the deadlock too, when Maguire got in front of his marker to head England into the lead from Reece James' free-kick just nine minutes in.
An undercooked back-pass from Kyle Walker, gave Albania a great chance to level, letting striker Myrto Uzuni in, but Jordan Pickford stood firm to keep the lead intact.
And the hosts were two to the good just minutes later, after excellent work from Henderson, a one-two with Phil Foden and a perfect cross for Kane to convert with a bullet header.
The Liverpool midfielder was in rampant mood and after clever build-up with Kane, he waltzed into the Albania area and produced a cool finish to make it 3-0.
In the absence of Declan Rice, the England number eight was a laying down a marker with an all-action display.
That goal knocked the stuffing out of the visitors, with the Three Lions flying forward at every opportunity.
Only a first-class save from Albania stopper Thomas Strakosha prevented Kane from making it 4-0 as Southgate’s team piled on the pressure.
But the Spurs striker soon got his second after firing into the far corner with his left foot, to all but end the game as a contest after Albania had given the ball away cheaply to Sterling who duly set his skipper up.
As is often the case after such a rampant first half, the second period was played at a calmer pace, with chances few and far between for both sides.
A nasty head clash between teammates John Stones and James saw the Manchester City defender receive extensive treatment, but thankfully both were able to play on.
And Southgate handed a debut to Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe, who replaced Raheem Sterling to get 15 minutes of senior football for his country and become the 1264th player to do so.
The full-time whistle brought a standing ovation from much of Wembley, as Southgate and his team took a major step towards another major tournament adventure in 12 months’ time.
England (3-4-3): Jordan Pickford (Everton), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), John Stones (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Reece James (Chelsea), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Kalvin Phillips (Leeds), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Substitutes: Tammy Abraham (Roma) for Kane, Jack Grealish (Manchester City) for Foden, Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund) for Phillips, Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool) for James.
Substitutes not used: Sam Johnstone (West Brom), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal), Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa), Conor Coady (Wolves), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
Goals: Maguire 9, Kane 18, 33, 45+1, Henderson 28.
Albania (3-4-1-2): Thomas Strakosha, Adrian Ismajli, Marash Kumbulla, Frederic Veseli; Lorenc Trashi, Klaus Gjasula, Keidi Bare, Elseid Hysaj, Nedim Bajrami, Sokol Cikalleshi, Mytro Uzuni
Substitutes: Ylber Ramadani for Bajrami, Kastriot Dermaku for Kumbulla, Enea Mihaj for Trashi, Qazim Laci for Bare, Odise Roshi for Uzuni.
Substitutes not used: Etrit Berisha, Erion Hoxhallari, Ermir Lenjani, Endri Cekici, Gentian Selmani, Bekim Balaj, Odise Roshi, Albi Doka.