England manager Roy Hodgson has hailed the brilliance of Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, following the 2-0 win over Estonia, last night.
The Three Lions maintained their 100 percent qualifying record as they registered their ninth consecutive victory in the qualifiers courtesy of goals from Theo Walcott and Raheem Sterling.
Barkley was at the center of everything that the England team created and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. The 21-year-old assisted Theo Walcott’s opener at the stroke of half-time.
The England team were without the services of Wayne Rooney, who was suffering from an ankle injury. Although the record scorer for England was commemorated for his achievements before the game by Sir Bobby Charlton, who presented Rooney with a golden boot for surpassing him.
Theo Walcott threatened Mihkel Aksalu with a well-struck volley from outside the box as England struggled to break down a resilient Estonian defence. Barkely then found Walcott’s run with an exquisite pass, which the Arsenal FC striker tucked away with ease.
Raheem Sterling doubled England’s lead in the 85th minute, when Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy squared up the former Liverpool FC winger.
He deserves a lot of credit and a lot of plaudits for the way he played — Hodgson on Barkley
Speaking in his post-match press conference, as quoted by the national team’s official website, Hodgson said:
a I think Ross Barkley has been important to the group for a long time and hea s been maturing over a long period of time.
a Wea ve seen it in his performances for Everton and his performances for England too.
a It was great for him to play as well as he did tonight for England in an important qualifying match.
a I thought there were other very good performances apart from his, so I imagine it wasna t an easy job to choose the man of the match but Ia m pleased that Ross has got it.
a He deserves a lot of credit and a lot of plaudits for the way he played.a
Hodgson then confirmed that the Three Lions will be without the services of Wayne Rooney, Gary Cahill, Michael Carrick, Joe Hart and James Milner for the final qualifier against Lithuania, which serves as a mere formality for the already qualified English team.