European Championship Qualifying

Lithuania 0-3 England

By Phil McNultyChief football writer in Vilnius
Hodgson impressed by maturing Barkley

England completed the perfect 10 wins from 10 in their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with an easy victory in Lithuania.

Manager Roy Hodgson fielded an England team with an experimental look - but it still had far too much class for the very limited Lithuanians, whose manager Igoris Pankratjevas resigned immediately after the match.

Ross Barkley's deflected shot gave England the lead before Harry Kane's effort rebounded in off the back of Lithuania keeper Giedrius Arlauskis after striking the post to make the outcome a formality even before half-time.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's powerful shot rounded off a comfortable night for England that was only marred by brief skirmishes between rival groups of fans that had to be broken up by riot police.

England, who qualified for next summer's tournament in France with two matches to spare, are only the sixth team ever to reach the finals with a 100% record.

Have England and Hodgson had the credit they deserve?

England's flawless record in qualifying has often been damned with faint praise shaped by the standard of opposition they faced.

There is an undoubted element of truth in the claim that England were handed a very favourable Euro 2016 draw - certainly very favourable for Hodgson after a World Cup that was little short of a debacle.

Hodgson's reputation as England manager would have been in serious danger with any significant defeats early on after that. Instead he was able to rebuild in a relatively comfortable group.

England beat Lithuania
Hodgson's starting XI against Lithuania had only won a combined total of 140 caps going into the match

The bottom line, however, is that England have done everything asked of them and a flawless record in qualifying - in which they scored 31 goals and conceded just three - must not be dismissed lightly.

It should also be placed in the context of the problems faced by other so-called bigger nations. Netherlands - World Cup semi-finalists in 2014 - have struggled desperately, the highly rated Belgians were beaten by Wales, while Spain lost in Slovakia a year ago - their first qualifying defeat in eight years.

Tougher tests - much tougher tests - lie ahead and it is likely the true measure of England's progress since they went out at the group stage in Brazil will only be revealed once Euro 2016 begins and they face high-quality opposition in a competitive environment.

To question theirs and Hodgson's record in this qualifying group would be churlish and undeserved. They have completed the mission without a blemish and for that they deserve credit.

Barkley growing in stature

England's Ross Barkley
Barkley scored two goals and provided two assists in his five appearances in the qualifiers

Hodgson insists he is proud at including - and keeping - Barkley in his squad from his early days as a teenager, even when he has been out of the Everton side.

Will his pride extend to putting the wonderfully gifted 21-year-old in England's starting line-up at Euro 2016?

It is a question that is growing in significance as Barkley, after a man-of-the-match performance in the 2-0 win against Estonia at Wembley on Friday, backed it up with another eye-catching display in Vilnius.

Barkley broke the deadlock with a deflected shot and almost added another with a header as his influence on England grows.

Hodgson still gets irked when reminded of his public criticism of Barkley following his performance in a friendly against Ecuador in Miami before the 2014 World Cup.

Then, he accused the media of having an "obsession" with Barkley before criticising the number of times he gave the ball away.

England and Barkley have moved on and Hodgson has since been very generous with his praise of the player.

He may, however, face a further "obsession" with Barkley if he continues to put in performances that will increase the clamour for him to be a first choice at Euro 2016.

Kane looks the part

England striker Harry Kane
Kane has scored three goals and provided one assist in his six appearances

Kane was unable to claim England's second goal after his left-foot shot hit the near post and rebounded in off the back of Arlauskis - but he can be pleased with his night's work.

The Tottenham striker gave an industrious display before being replaced by Danny Ings, showing a willingness to take every opportunity that came his way, forcing three saves from the keeper before his fourth attempt ended in a goal.

Hodgson wanted to see what Kane could give him in the absence of captain Wayne Rooney and he will be well satisfied as the 22-year-old showed mobility, composure on the ball and that pleasing knack of getting into scoring positions at international level, a habit that brought him three goals before this match.

Man of the match - Ross Barkley

Another excellent performance from a young player growing in international stature with every England game. Elegant, powerful and possessed of the ability to produce the unexpected - with a goal to decorate his display.

Hodgson 'proud' of perfect record

England manager Roy Hodgson: "This is an achievement. I am very proud of the players' performances. I thought it was excellent, in the first half especially. There was a lot of hard work put in, the quality of play was good and 10 wins out of 10 is very satisfying - we've got to take a lot of pride in that.

"I can't fault anyone tonight - a good performance, dominant and a nice way to end the qualifying campaign.

"It would have been a surprise if we had not qualified. But the upcoming friendlies are better, stronger sides. We'll see how we deal with that."

Stats you need to know

  • England have won every one of their qualification matches for a finals tournament for the first time since the 1954 World Cup qualifiers
  • Barkley has scored five goals in 14 appearances for Everton and England this season; he had scored five in his 63 games before this
  • Oxlade-Chamberlain was the 10th different England player to score in the Euro 2016 qualifiers
  • No team has benefited from more own goals in the Euro 2016 qualifiers than England (three - level with Scotland)
  • Giedrius Arlauskis' own goal was the 50th own goal scored in England's favour
  • England have won 12 successive qualifiers (World Cup and Euro combined)
  • They are unbeaten in their past 29 qualification matches, winning 22 and drawing seven, since their last defeat in October 2009 - a 1-0 defeat in Ukraine

The perfect 10

After England became the sixth side to reach the European Championship finals with a perfect 100% record, here's a reminder of the previous teams to achieve the feat - and how they fared the following summer.

France (Euro '92)

Played eight, won eight, scored 20, conceded six. France entered Euro 92 in buoyant form and boasting a side of Jean-Pierre Papin, Eric Cantona, Didier Deschamps and Laurent Blanc.

What could go wrong? Everything. The French drew 0-0 with England in a bad-tempered group match before losing to Denmark and it was an early au revoir. Like England, they went out in the group stage.

England v France
England brought the winning run of France's 'Class of 92' to an end in Sweden

Czech Republic (Euro 2000)

Finalists in 1996, the Czech Republic won all 10 of their qualifiers on the road to Euro 2000, winning their group by a massive 12 points.

However, defeats by co-hosts Netherlands and France meant it was group stage and out for a team including Tomas Rosicky, Pavel Nedved, Jan Koller and Karel Poborsky.

France (Euro 2004)

Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry, Marcel Desailly et al - the irrepressible French team of 2002-03 cruised to a 100% record before meeting - and beating - England in the opening group game.

Remember that? Wayne Rooney was brilliant, Zidane scored twice in the last minute...

But the pesky Greeks put paid to France's chances in the quarter-finals on their way to a remarkable win.

England v France Euro 2004
Zidane's France beat England at Euro 2004 - but could not beat Greece

Spain and Germany (Euro 2012)

Four years ago, Germany and Spain each put their respective opposition to the sword twice en route to the finals in Poland and Ukraine.

The Germans were in particularly ruthless mood, scoring 34 times on their way to the tournament.

But when it came down to it, Spain were the men to beat, picking up the trophy for a second consecutive time after thumping Italy - conquerors of Germany - in the final.



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Arlauskis
  • 3Freidgeimas
  • 5Mikuckis
  • 2Klimavicius
  • 23AndriuskeviciusSubstituted forVaitkunasat 82'minutesBooked at 89mins
  • 18Panka
  • 17Zulpa
  • 11NovikovasSubstituted forPetraviciusat 63'minutes
  • 10Slivka
  • 22Cernych
  • 19SpalvisBooked at 84minsSubstituted forMatuleviciusat 86'minutes


  • 4Slavickas
  • 7Cesnauskis
  • 8Vaitkunas
  • 9Matulevicius
  • 12Zubas
  • 13Petravicius
  • 14Pilibaitis
  • 15Kuklys
  • 16Veliulis
  • 20Baravykas
  • 21Cerniauskas


Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Butland
  • 2Walker
  • 5Jones
  • 6Jagielka
  • 3Gibbs
  • 4ShelveyBooked at 78mins
  • 7Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 11LallanaSubstituted forAlliat 67'minutes
  • 8BarkleySubstituted forTownsendat 73'minutes
  • 9VardyBooked at 79mins
  • 10KaneSubstituted forIngsat 59'minutes


  • 12Smalling
  • 13Heaton
  • 14Walcott
  • 15Clyne
  • 16Bertrand
  • 17Townsend
  • 18Ings
  • 19Sterling
  • 20Alli
Kenn Hansen

Match Stats

Home TeamLithuaniaAway TeamEngland
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Lithuania 0, England 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Lithuania 0, England 3.

  3. Post update

    Phil Jagielka (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Deivydas Matulevicius (Lithuania).

  5. Booking

    Egidijus Vaitkunas (Lithuania) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Andros Townsend (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Egidijus Vaitkunas (Lithuania).

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Dele Alli (England) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jonjo Shelvey.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Lithuania. Deivydas Matulevicius replaces Lukas Spalvis.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jamie Vardy (England) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Andros Townsend with a cross.

  11. Booking

    Lukas Spalvis (Lithuania) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Post update

    Andros Townsend (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Lukas Spalvis (Lithuania).

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Georgas Freidgeimas (Lithuania) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Lithuania. Egidijus Vaitkunas replaces Vytautas Andriuskevicius.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Dele Alli (England).

  17. Post update

    Vykintas Slivka (Lithuania) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Vykintas Slivka (Lithuania) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  19. Booking

    Jamie Vardy (England) is shown the yellow card.

  20. Booking

    Jonjo Shelvey (England) is shown the yellow card.

As It Stood


2Czech Rep96121612419




6North Macedonia10118618-124


3R. of Ireland105321971218


6San Marino10019136-351


1Northern Ireland10631168821
5Faroe Islands10208617-116


2Football Union of Russia106222151620




View full European Championship Qualifying tables

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