Harry Kane and Jordan Henderson were among those who impressed as England cruised to a 5-0 win over Albania at Wembley on Friday.

Albania looked to take the game to England, but the hosts went ahead in the ninth minute, as Harry Maguire nodded the ball in from Reece James’s free-kick to make it 1-0. Shortly after, Kyle Walker nearly handed the visitors a way back into the game as Myrto Uzuni lapped up his stray back pass before Jordan Pickford bailed his teammate out with a smart stop.

That was as good as it got for Albania, as England doubled their lead through Harry Kane, who headed in a dinked cross by Jordan Henderson. Henderson then got on the score sheet himself, with Kane turning provider this time around before the Liverpool captain danced his way around the Albanian defence and scored a superb close-range goal.

Before the first half ended, England added two more goals, with Kane completing his hat-trick. The England captain first scored his second of the night with a thumping finish with his left foot before saving the best for last, as he completed his treble with an exquisite overhead kick from Phil Foden’s cross.

England were in cruise control mode after the interval, although they did come close to scoring on a couple of occasions. The Three Lions now need just one point to confirm their place at the FIFA World Cup 2022. With the game being against minnows San Marino, England practically have both their feet in Qatar already. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Gareth Southgate’s men.

Jordan Pickford: 7/10

Friday proved to be a largely quiet evening for Pickford, who was a joyful spectator as England cruised to a 5-0 win. He was called into action when Kyle Walker produced a horrific pass that was pounced on by Myrto Uzuni, but he was alert to make a smart save and kept a deserved clean sheet.

Kyle Walker: 6/10

Like the rest of the England defenders, Walker did not have a lot of defending to do. However, he very nearly gave a goal away as Uzuni almost capitalised on a tame back pass before Pickford made a superb save to keep the effort out.

John Stones: 6/10

With England in total control of the proceedings, Stones did not have much to do on the night. He did win each of his five aerial duels while facilitating efficient build-up play from the back, completing all but three passes.

Harry Maguire: 7/10

Maguire has been under all sorts of pressure at the club level. However, when he takes the field for England, the Manchester United captain just becomes a more composed individual. He even scores a lot of goals, doing so against Albania on Friday with a thumping header early in the game.

Reece James: 8/10

James is in the form of his life right now, and he is making sure that he is capitalising on it every time he steps on a football pitch. The 21-year-old was alert to whatever little threat there was on his side of the field. More importantly, he was a major threat on the ball, setting things in motion with the delivery to Maguire for the opening goal. He even came close to scoring, only to miss his effort from close range.

Jordan Henderson: 8/10

Henderson has done well to overcome the blues of the loss to West Ham United this past weekend. The Liverpool captain was in his element on Friday, driving England forward with elan and playing a couple of key passes, one of which yielded the assist for Harry Kane’s opener. Henderson even scored one himself, with Kane laying the final pass for him this time around.

Kalvin Phillips: 7/10

Phillips had one or two iffy moments on the ball, but on the whole, he was precise when building play up from midfield, completing 91 per cent of his attempted passes. More importantly, he was typically industrious when Albania had possession, as he harried the visiting players with his relentless pressing. Job well done.

Ben Chilwell: 7/10

Chilwell was not as busy as Reece James on the right flank, but he still managed to carry a lot of threat on his side of the pitch. The 24-year-old linked up smartly with the rampant Raheem Sterling, and apart from a couple of sloppy touches, this was a professional showing.

Phil Foden: 8/10

Foden only had an assist to show for his efforts on Friday, but he was relentless in the final third. Along with Sterling, the 21-year-old played the most key passes in the game (three), getting the assist for Kane’s third goal with one of those. He even came close to scoring once but could not find the net.

Harry Kane: 10/10

One of those perfect nights for Kane, who scored three goals and provided the assist for the goal that Henderson scored. To cap off a brilliant night, the treble he netted for a perfect hat-trick, as he opened his tally with a header from Foden’s cross before scoring with his left foot after receiving the ball from Sterling.

Kane then saved the best for last as he found the back of the net with a right-footed overhead kick. The England captain is on a different level altogether for his national side, especially in qualifying fixtures.

Raheem Sterling: 8/10

Sterling might not have too much to show for his efforts in the game. However, he played a key role in ensuring Albania were all over the place, which in turn helped his teammates to their goals. The 26-year-old did grab an assist, though, as he provided the final ball before Kane scored his second.


Tammy Abraham: 6/10

On for Kane, Abraham did not see much of the ball in his near half-hour spell on the pitch.

Jack Grealish: 6/10

Introduced in place of Manchester City teammate Foden, Grealish kept things simple and helped see the game out.

Jude Bellingham: 7/10

On for Phillips, Bellingham was a bundle of energy in the middle of the park in the final quarter of the game. The teenage prodigy even played a couple of key passes and set up a fine chance for James.

Trent Alexander-Arnold: N/A

Sent on in place of James, Alexander-Arnold did not make much of an impact, with England in cruise control mode.

Emile Smith Rowe: N/A

On for Sterling to make his debut, Smith Rowe was a bright spark in his cameo and completed each of his attempted passes. He should get his full debut against San Marino.

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