European Championship Qualifying
EnglandEngland2EstoniaEstonia0

Euro 2016 qualifiers: England 2-0 Estonia

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Wembley Stadium
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

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 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

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 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

  1. Post update

    Match ends, England 2, Estonia 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, England 2, Estonia 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Bertrand (England).

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

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

  6. Post update

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

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

    Corner, Estonia. Conceded by Chris Smalling.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Estonia. Conceded by Gary Cahill.

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Corner, England. Conceded by Joel Lindpere.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Estonia. Siim Luts replaces Ken Kallaste.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, England. Dele Alli replaces Ross Barkley.

  14. 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.

  15. Post update

    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.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, England. Jamie Vardy replaces Theo Walcott.

  17. Post update

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

  18. Post update

    Ross Barkley (England).

  19. Post update

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

  20. Post update

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

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Friday 9th October 2015

  • SpainSpain4LuxembourgLuxembourg0
  • EnglandEngland2EstoniaEstonia0
  • North MacedoniaNorth Macedonia0UkraineUkraine2
  • SlovakiaSlovakia0BelarusBelarus1
  • SloveniaSlovenia1LithuaniaLithuania1
  • SwitzerlandSwitzerland7San MarinoSan Marino0
  • LiechtensteinLiechtenstein0SwedenSweden2
  • MoldovaMoldova1RussiaRussia2
  • MontenegroMontenegro2AustriaAustria3

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
6North Macedonia9108618-123

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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