Wayne Rooney silenced the ferocious home supporters inside Celtic Park as England eased to victory over Scotland last night.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain converted a superb deep cross from Jack Wilshere in the first half and Rooney scored his 45th England goal after the break to double the lead.
Andrew Robertson pulled one back for Scotland in the dying minutes, but they could not add a second and Rooney found the net to seal the 3-1 victory over England’s bitter neighbours and rivals.
England’s fans, vocal enough themselves, revelled in the victory, but they tainted their reputation by singing foul-mouthed provocative anti-IRA songs.
The FA will be forced to act, particularly when England are due to play in Dublin next June.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was quick to hail England’s growing “winning mentality”.
“After the World Cup we learned that without wins and results the team gets nowhere,” he said.
“The main thing is getting results in the group and if it’s a friendly it’s important to us as well.
“We need that winning mentality and games like this are massive for everyone. As a team it’s a massive win too.”
Rooney added: “To win is fantastic, against a Scotland side in good form. It’s fantastic to play in these games, we knew it was going to be a big atmosphere.
“We expected to win the game. We’re the better team and we’ve shown that tonight.”
Many had questioned Roy Hodgson’s decision to play Wilshere in a deep midfield role, but he excelled there last night, snapping at Scotland’s heels and spraying delicious long passes on the attack.
But the biggest praise must go to Rooney, who moved above Jimmy Greaves to become England’s third-highest goalscorer of all time on his 101st appearance for the Three Lions.
His expertly-executed header was a fine way to put England 2-0 and just as he did on his 100th appearance against Slovenia, he scored at a crucial time to make sure of the victory.
England may have endured a torrid summer, but at least they end 2014 on a high.
The England fans behaved well in the build up to the match by joining in with a minute’s applause for Scotland supporter Nathan McSeveney, who died from a fall here on Friday.
But they let themselves down by singing “F*** the IRA” for at least five minutes.
The home fans whistled and booed as tensions rose. There were a couple of heated moments on the pitch too. Shaw needed treatment after a meaty challenge and Danny Welbeck tussled with Steven Whittaker.
Scotland thought they should have had a penalty for a handball by Gary Cahill, but referee Jonas Eriksson waved play on.
Robertson raised the spirits of home fans by swinging in a teasing cross, but there was no-one there to tap in.
Any hopes of a Scotland opener were dashed 32 minutes in though. Wilshere pinged a long cross from deep and Oxlade-Chamberlain glanced the ball past Marshall.
Scotland made three changes at half-time, with Darren Fletcher, Craig Gordon and James Morrison coming on.
It was Gordon’s first appearance for four years. His first act was to pick the ball out of the net.
Robertson failed to clear an England free-kick and Rooney expertly nodded home.
Charlie Mulgrew earned a booking for a rash challenge on Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Chris Smalling would have put the result beyond doubt had he converted a free header. At the other end Fraser Forster made his first save of the night from Russell Martin.
England looked set to ease to victory, but Scotland pulled one back through Robertson.
But just two minutes later Rooney turned home Adam Lallana’s cross to move within three goals of Bobby Charlton’s record and put the result beyond doubt.
SCOTLAND: Marshall (Gordon 45),Whittaker, Martin, Hanley (May 66), Robertson, Maloney (Russell 81), Mulgrew, Brown (Fletcher 45), Anya (Bannan 61), Naismith, Martin (Morrison 45).
ENGLAND: Forster, Clyne, Cahill (Jagielka 45),Smalling, Shaw (Gibbs 66), Milner, Wilshere (Barkley 87), Downing (Lallana 45), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Lambert 80), Rooney, Welbeck (Sterling 66).