Match ends, England 3, Scotland 0.
World Cup qualifying: England 3-0 Scotland
Gareth Southgate took a significant step towards being appointed England's full-time manager and intensified the pressure on Scotland counterpart Gordon Strachan in the process with a comfortable World Cup qualifying win at Wembley.
Southgate knew victory would press his claims to succeed Sam Allardyce on a permanent basis - and England delivered with a display that was unconvincing but easily enough to beat Scotland.
Daniel Sturridge's stooping, instinctive header from Kyle Walker's driven cross put the hosts ahead after 24 minutes and Liverpool team-mate Adam Lallana did the same from Danny Rose's delivery five minutes after the break.
James Forrest and Robert Snodgrass missed opportunities for the visitors before Lallana added England's second - and Gary Cahill's 61st-minute header from Wayne Rooney's corner only increased Strachan's agony.
England now top Group F while Scotland languish in fifth, with their hopes of qualifying for the 2018 tournament in Russia fading fast.
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All sealed for Southgate?
England's interim manager deflected all talk about his future in the build-up to this qualifier - but he will know he is effectively in an impregnable position after this win against a very average Scotland side.
Southgate's biggest supporters would be hard-pressed to suggest this performance hinted at a golden future for England, but it is surely enough to earn the 46-year-old the chance to plot the way ahead to the next World Cup.
He was under a little pressure after a poor performance in the goalless draw in Slovenia, but this was just what he needed - in result terms at least - and it is now surely only a matter of time before his appointment is confirmed, irrespective of the result of Tuesday's friendly against Spain at Wembley.
All over for Strachan?
It was almost impossible to find an optimistic Scot at Wembley before kick-off. Sadly, their worst fears were confirmed as the pressure mounts on Strachan.
The combative 59-year-old was subjected to heavy criticism after a draw at home to Lithuania and a 3-0 loss in Slovakia even before this latest reverse.
There was no lack of heart or effort from Scotland, but there is quite simply a lack of quality in their squad, reflected in the eight changes he made here, to no avail, in an attempt to find a spark.
Strachan may ask, with some justification, if anyone else could do better with what he has at his disposal, but whether the Scottish Football Association and Tartan Army agree is another matter.
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England still rebuilding after Euros
England are now in a commanding position and should have no problems reaching the World Cup from this point, but they are still a work in progress.
This was a convincing victory margin, but the worry remains that the defence would be seriously troubled by quality opposition.
Scotland missed two chances to level before England extended their lead through Lallana, while some of their attempts to play out from the back looked like an alien concept to Southgate's players.
However, the result, England's position in the group, Lallana's growing maturity and the clinical manner in which they took their opportunities were all positives.
Scotland's lack of quality exposed
Scotland's mix-and-match side never looked like having the class to overcome England and that lack of quality was exposed in crucial moments.
Leigh Griffiths wasted a glorious opportunity to play in Snodgrass in the first half, while Forrest should have scored with a shot he dragged wide just after half-time. Snodgrass also had a shot blocked by Stones.
Scotland's commitment cannot be doubted but this is a squad desperately short of quality - and so it proved at Wembley.
Man of the match - Adam Lallana
What the managers said
England manager Gareth Southgate: "What I'm really pleased is that I was given the task of picking the job up in a very difficult situation for everybody and I feel like we've prepared the team really well. I've enjoyed that.
"The rest is out of my hands. I've loved it. I've really enjoyed the role. I've enjoyed the responsibility. I've enjoyed the challenge of every part of it."
Scotland manager Gordon Strachan: "That's what you get from world-class players, I'm afraid, when you're on the other side.
"I'm really down for the lads in a way, but proud of them in what they tried to do. I do feel for that group in there. That wasn't fair."
The stats you need to know
- Daniel Sturridge has scored in four of his past six starts for England at Wembley (four goals).
- Seven of England's past eight goals against Scotland have been headers, all scored by different players - Danny Welbeck, Rickie Lambert, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill.
- England are unbeaten in their past 33 qualifying matches (W25 D8) since a 1-0 defeat by Ukraine in October 2009.
- Scotland conceded from all three of England's shots on target.
- England have scored three or more goals in three consecutive games against Scotland for the first time.
England's defence is likely to face a much tougher test when they host Spain in a friendly at Wembley on Tuesday (20:00 GMT kick-off). Scotland do not play again until 26 March when they entertain Slovenia in another qualifier.
- 5CahillBooked at 57mins
- 10RooneyBooked at 90mins
- 9SturridgeSubstituted forVardyat 75'minutes
- 2AnyaSubstituted forPatersonat 79'minutes
- 11MorrisonSubstituted forMcArthurat 66'minutes
- 10SnodgrassSubstituted forRitchieat 82'minutes
- 9GriffithsBooked at 56mins
- Cüneyt Çakir
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, England 3, Scotland 0.
Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner from a direct free kick.
Wayne Rooney (England) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Wayne Rooney (England).
Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Eric Dier (England) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Scott Brown (Scotland).
Raheem Sterling (England) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by James McArthur (Scotland).
Attempt blocked. Raheem Sterling (England) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jamie Vardy.
Substitution, Scotland. Matt Ritchie replaces Robert Snodgrass.
Corner, England. Conceded by Darren Fletcher.
Corner, England. Conceded by Grant Hanley.
Attempt blocked. Eric Dier (England) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Raheem Sterling (England) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Scott Brown (Scotland).
Substitution, Scotland. Callum Paterson replaces Ikechi Anya because of an injury.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Ikechi Anya (Scotland) because of an injury.
Substitution, England. Jamie Vardy replaces Daniel Sturridge.
Adam Lallana (England) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Lee Wallace (Scotland).
Attempt missed. Robert Snodgrass (Scotland) header from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by James Forrest following a set piece situation.
Foul by Danny Rose (England).
Ikechi Anya (Scotland) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Kyle Walker (England).
James Forrest (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Raheem Sterling (England) right footed shot from very close range is too high. Assisted by Jordan Henderson with a cross.
Substitution, Scotland. James McArthur replaces James Morrison.
Foul by Danny Rose (England).
Robert Snodgrass (Scotland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Scotland. Conceded by Kyle Walker.
Goal! England 3, Scotland 0. Gary Cahill (England) header from the left side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Wayne Rooney with a cross following a corner.
Corner, England. Conceded by Ikechi Anya.
Attempt blocked. Adam Lallana (England) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kyle Walker.
Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Scotland) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a set piece situation.
Gary Cahill (England) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Gary Cahill (England).
James Forrest (Scotland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.