Rooney scores on 100th cap as England beat Slovenia
It took almost an hour, and a Jordan Henderson own goal for England, to come out and play and take the simple initiative to attack.
On his 100th cap, Wayne Rooney struck his 44th Three Lions goal, albeit from the spot to go level with Jimmy Greaves. That, however, was after Henderson decided to head the ball over a helpless Joe Hart from a Slovenia free-kick, with any communication from the home side, seemingly lacking.
Following a drab first half, that saw Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck’s efforts the best of a bad bunch, the latter went on to bag a brace after England’s latest centurian levelled from the spot, after he won a penalty.
His initial was the result of a shot from Lallana, which Samir Handanovic saved with his leg, before the ball ricocheted into the Arsenal man’s path. It transpired that his less than clean finish from close range was to his advantage, as England went ahead.
England’s third goal was arguably the move of the match; Kieran Gibbs, buccaneering down the left found Welbeck square in the area, who exchanged with Raheem Sterling before dispatching neatly passed Slovenia’s keeper, to make it five goals in four Euro 2016 qualifying wins.
Following the win, manager Roy Hodgson said: “In the first half it wasn’t one of our better performances. We needed to do more but I think we saw that in the second half.
“I think we were good value for the victory and had several outstanding individual performances. In a football match there’s two teams, there’s an opposition working hard to stop you. We’re not disappointed in any way about our performance.
“It’s nice to send the crowd home with four wins before Christmas. Overall it was good in terms of keeping our shape and discipline.”
England: Hart, Gibbs, Cahill, Jagielka (Smalling 89′), Clyne, Henderson, Wilshere, Lallana (Milner 79′), Sterling (Oxlade-Chamberlain 84′), Welbeck, Rooney
Goals: Rooney (penalty 59′), Welbeck (66′, 72′)
Slovenia: Handanovic, Struna, Ilic, Cesar, Brecko, Kirm (Ljubijankic 78′), Mertel, Kurtic (Rotman 75′), Kampl, Birsa (Lazarevic 63′), Novakovic
Goals: Henderson (OG 58′)