European Championship Qualifying - Group E
England2Estonia0

Euro 2016 qualifiers: England 2-0 Estonia

Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott scored his eighth international goal

England made it nine wins out of nine in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a comfortable win over Estonia at Wembley.

Roy Hodgson's side have already qualified for France next summer and even without injured captain Wayne Rooney were able to dismiss Estonia with barely an anxious moment.

Rooney received a Golden Boot from Sir Bobby Charlton before kick-off after breaking his England goalscoring record with his 50th goal from the penalty spot in the last qualifier against Switzerland at Wembley.

There was barely a moment of note in the first 45 minutes until man-of-the-match Ross Barkley picked out Theo Walcott with a superb pass to score with the last kick of the half.

And England's latest victory was sealed in the dying moments when substitute Jamie Vardy unselfishly set up a second from close range for Raheem Sterling.

Will England trust Barkley?

Ross Barkley
Man of the match: Ross Barkley was part of the England squad at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Hodgson clearly admires Everton's 21-year-old Barkley - but would he trust him enough to start with him in a vital Euros or World Cup game?

The dilemma is that while there are those who question Barkley's decision-making and occasional positional naivety, this is a player who can change games, a natural talent that can offer up moments that will unlock the best defences.

All sides of his game were on show at Wembley, but most of all the skills and bold approach that suggests England and Hodgson possess a rare gem.

Yes, there were moments when he tried the extra touch, held on to the ball too long and over-complicated matters but they were far outweighed by the moments that excited the Wembley crowd of 75,427.

Barkley had the vision and technique to pick out Walcott for his goal and demonstrated fast footwork and balance to fire one shot just wide, then bring a superb save from Estonia keeper Mihkel Aksalu.

It is more profitable for England and Hodgson to concentrate on what he can do rather than what he cannot.

The issue is whether Hodgson can harness his unpredictability into his England framework. If he can do that before the Euros next summer, and Barkley can iron out those rough edges, then he will have a potent weapon.

'Walcott's adaptability a bonus'

Walcott was on target again against Estonia to continue his development into a reliable and regular goalscorer.

His recent goal in Arsenal's 5-2 win at Leicester City was his 12th in 13 Premier League appearances, while he broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time here with a cool finish from Barkley's perfect pass.

He offers Hodgson and England variety and versatility. He played on the right here, although he was always happy to cut inside to find work.

This adaptability will be a real bonus for Hodgson at the Euros. Walcott offers pace and increasingly reliable finishing - a combination to delight any manager.

Hodgson goes easy on experiments

The England boss kept faith with many of his tried and trusted players even though his side's place in France next summer is already secured.

It may have been a night to try Jack Butland in goal, but if Joe Hart's 90 minutes was anything to go by, Stoke City's fine young keeper would have been mainly unemployed.

Hodgson also used James Milner in midfield while captain for the night Gary Cahill and forward Sterling are likely starters in France.

The time for experimentation will, Hodgson said afterwards, come in Lithuania on Monday, and it surely makes sense to work through as many options as possible.

Butland will get his chance in goal with Joe Hart not travelling, and Jonjo Shelvey will get another chance in midfield with James Milner also left behind.

England

What they said

England manager Roy Hodgson: "It was as tough as we thought it would be. Estonia were well organised and they're a team that is intelligent in the way they play.

"We had to work hard, we attacked a lot, we had a lot of the ball and had a lot of chances. I thought we were good value for our 2-0 win."

Former England winger Chris Waddle on Radio 5 live: "England did enough. Estonia were well organised but never looked like scoring. Once England got one you knew it was over.

"There will be people who say it wasn't good enough, but you can only beat what's in front of you. When we get to France we'll see how good we are."

The stats you need to know

  • England are on course to become only the sixth side to complete European Championship qualifying with a 100% record
  • England are unbeaten in 19 competitive home games, their best run since a run of 20 between 1984 and 1996
  • Ross Barkley has assisted Theo Walcott's last two England goals
  • Walcott scored his eighth goal for England, but only his second at Wembley for the Three Lions

What next?

England round off their qualifying campaign with a trip to Lithuania on Monday, 19:45 BST kick-off. They then face friendlies against Spain and France in November and Germany in March of next year.

Line-ups

England

  • 1Hart
  • 2Clyne
  • 5Cahill
  • 6Smalling
  • 3Bertrand
  • 4Milner
  • 8BarkleySubstituted forAlliat 88'minutes
  • 7WalcottSubstituted forVardyat 83'minutes
  • 11LallanaSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 73'minutes
  • 9Sterling
  • 10Kane

Substitutes

  • 12Walker
  • 13Butland
  • 14Jones
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 16Jagielka
  • 17Townsend
  • 18Shelvey
  • 19Vardy
  • 20Alli
  • 21Gibbs
  • 22Heaton

Estonia

  • 1Aksalu
  • 23Teniste
  • 17Jääger
  • 15Klavan
  • 3PikkBooked at 73mins
  • 18Mets
  • 6DmitrijevSubstituted forLindpereat 70'minutes
  • 19KallasteSubstituted forLutsat 88'minutes
  • 14Vassiljev
  • 10Zenjov
  • 9PurjeSubstituted forPuriat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Lindpere
  • 4Bärengrub
  • 5Jürgenson
  • 7Puri
  • 8Gussev
  • 11Teever
  • 12Meerits
  • 13Luts
  • 16Antonov
  • 20Kams
  • 21Baranov
  • 22Londak
Referee:
Istvan Vad

Match Stats

Home TeamEnglandAway TeamEstonia
Possession
Home64%
Away36%
Shots
Home26
Away9
Shots on Target
Home9
Away0
Corners
Home10
Away3
Fouls
Home8
Away14

Live Text

Match ends, England 2, Estonia 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, England 2, Estonia 0.

Foul by Ryan Bertrand (England).

Siim Luts (Estonia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Joel Lindpere (Estonia) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high following a corner.

Attempt blocked. Siim Luts (Estonia) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Joel Lindpere (Estonia) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Konstantin Vassiljev with a cross.

Corner, Estonia. Conceded by Chris Smalling.

Corner, Estonia. Conceded by Gary Cahill.

Attempt blocked. Sergei Zenjov (Estonia) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Sander Puri with a headed pass.

Corner, England. Conceded by Joel Lindpere.

Substitution

Substitution, Estonia. Siim Luts replaces Ken Kallaste.

Substitution

Substitution, England. Dele Alli replaces Ross Barkley.

Goal!

Goal! England 2, Estonia 0. Raheem Sterling (England) right footed shot from very close range to the top left corner. Assisted by Jamie Vardy.

Attempt missed. Sander Puri (Estonia) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Konstantin Vassiljev.

Substitution

Substitution, England. Jamie Vardy replaces Theo Walcott.

Attempt missed. Ragnar Klavan (Estonia) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Ross Barkley (England).

Ken Kallaste (Estonia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Raheem Sterling (England) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Nathaniel Clyne with a cross.

Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (England) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Harry Kane.

Attempt blocked. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (England) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, England. Conceded by Mihkel Aksalu.

Attempt saved. Ross Barkley (England) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

Foul by Raheem Sterling (England).

Sergei Zenjov (Estonia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Artur Pikk (Estonia) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Theo Walcott (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Artur Pikk (Estonia).

Substitution

Substitution, England. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Adam Lallana.

Attempt saved. Raheem Sterling (England) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by James Milner with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Estonia. Joel Lindpere replaces Aleksander Dmitrijev.

Substitution

Substitution, Estonia. Sander Puri replaces Ats Purje.

Raheem Sterling (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Karol Mets (Estonia).

Gary Cahill (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ats Purje (Estonia).

Attempt missed. Nathaniel Clyne (England) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Gary Cahill.

Adam Lallana (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Artur Pikk (Estonia).

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Friday 9th October 2015

  • SpainSpain4LuxembourgLuxembourg0
    FT
  • EnglandEngland2EstoniaEstonia0
    FT
  • MacedoniaFYR Macedonia0UkraineUkraine2
    FT
  • SlovakiaSlovakia0BelarusBelarus1
    FT
  • SloveniaSlovenia1LithuaniaLithuania1
    FT
  • SwitzerlandSwitzerland7San MarinoSan Marino0
    FT
  • LiechtensteinLiechtenstein0SwedenSweden2
    FT
  • MoldovaMoldova1RussiaRussia2
    FT
  • MontenegroMontenegro2AustriaAustria3
    FT
View all European Championship Qualifying results

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Iceland86111531219
2Czech Rep86111610619
3Turkey8332119212
4Netherlands83141310310
5Latvia8044416-124
6Kazakhstan8026516-112

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Wales853092718
2Belgium85211731417
3Israel8413149513
4Bos-Herze83231210211
5Cyprus83051213-19
6Andorra8008330-270

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain98012231924
2Slovakia9612136719
3Ukraine96121431119
4Belarus9315814-610
5Luxembourg9117423-194
6Macedonia9108618-123

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany96122281419
2Poland95313192218
3R. of Ireland95311851318
4Scotland93331612412
5Georgia9306914-59
6Gibraltar9009250-480

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England99002832527
2Switzerland96032381518
3Slovenia94141611513
4Estonia931548-410
5Lithuania9315715-810
6San Marino9018134-331

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Northern Ireland9621157820
2Romania945082617
3Hungary944185316
4Finland932489-111
5Faroe Islands9207614-86
6Greece9036311-83

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Austria98101951425
2Russia95221951417
3Sweden9432139415
4Montenegro93241011-111
5Liechtenstein9126223-215
6Moldova9027414-102

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Italy8530115618
2Norway8512108216
3Croatia84311651114
4Bulgaria822479-28
5Azerbaijan8134613-76
6Malta8026313-102

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Portugal760194518
2Denmark833285312
3Albania732275211
4Serbia7214711-44
5Armenia7025511-62
View full European Championship Qualifying tables

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