San Marino 0 England 6
Wayne Rooney equalled Bobby Charlton’s all-time scoring record as England secured progress to the European Championships, but it is Roy Hodgson’s bemusing decision to take off his captain that will dominate the conversation.
The trip to the microstate of San Marino always looked like a great opportunity for the 29-year-old to draw level with the former Manchester United great, and so it proved on a sunny evening in Serravalle.
Rooney capitalised on a dubious early penalty decision to net a record-equalling 49th international goal, but Hodgson’s puzzling decision to withdraw the forward 58 minutes into the 6-0 win means he will have to wait to usurp Charlton.
It was a rare talking point in a dominant if uninspiring Group E encounter, which saw the English extend their 100% record and become the first side qualify for next summer’s European Championships in France.
Rooney’s early penalty and a Cristian Brolli own goal gave England a comfortable half-time lead – added to seconds after the restart as Ross Barkley scored his first international goal.
Theo Walcott netted either side of a wonderful Harry Kane effort to add extra gloss to a forgetful victory against the side ranked 193rd in the world.