England 5-0 Albania: Harry Kane bags hat-trick in Wembley thrashing

    England are now just one point away from sealing their place at the 2022 World Cup after beating Albania 5-0 at Wembley Stadium.

Much-maligned Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire opened the scoring after heading home from close range after a delightful Reece James free-kick.

England’s other Harry doubled the Three Lions lead just under ten minutes later after Kane was on the end of Jordan Henderson ’s chipped cross to the back-post.

The same duo then swapped roles for England’s third, as Kane turned provider to assist what was just Henderson’s second ever goal for his country.

Kane then sealed his brace with a fierce left-footed effort to end the tie as a contest just after the half hour mark.

The Tottenham talisman completed the perfect hat-trick with an acrobatic effort on the verge of half-time.

Here are the main talking points as England place themselves on the cusp of qualification for Qatar.

England’s skipper showed little signs of the kind of form that has left him with just one league goal for his club this season, putting three past Albania in the opening 45 minutes.

Harry Kane was too much for the Albanian defence to handle all evening

Harry Kane was too much for the Albanian defence to handle all evening

England’s skipper showed little signs of the kind of form that has left him with just one league goal for his club this season, putting three past Albania in the opening 45 minutes.

Kane scored three in the space of 27 minutes – notching a header followed by a left-footed effort and capped off with a spectacular right-footed volley to draw level with Jimmy Greaves Three Lions goals record.

Now on 44 strikes for his country, Kane is just nine goals short of record goal-scorer Wayne Rooney ’s tally of 53.

However, Kane did surpass Rooney with one record – the most goals scored for England in competitive fixtures.

Often a striker for the big occasion, with World Cup qualification still on the line – Kane stepped up and delivered for his country.

Few could have begrudged Harry Maguire his moment of joy after a torrid spell for his club in recent weeks.

Maguire has been widely criticised by all quarters for both his on-field efforts and post-match comments in the wake of the 5-0 home humbling against Liverpool, but appeared to send a message to his critics after his goal this evening.

Heading home with aplomb after James’ inviting free-kick, Maguire wheeled away with a huge grin and his fingers in his ears – suggesting he has taken no notice of the recent comments made about him from fans and pundits alike.

The celebration was dubbed 'embarrassing' by pundit and United legend Roy Keane, who claimed Maguire's recent performances at club level have been 'disgraceful'.

He was rarely tested for the remainder of the evening such was the level of dominance from the hosts, but Maguire will be delighted to get a solid showing under his belt.





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