Five minutes into the game Danny Welbeck took a shot, which was wide of the post. Just after the midway point of the first half Raheem Sterling hit a shot, which was saved by Junior Simoncini. Moments later England took the lead. From a corner kick, Simoncini got his bearings wrong and Phil Jagielka headed the ball into an empty net.
England were awarded a penalty a minute latter after Welbeck was brought down. Wayne Rooney stepped up and slotted the ball past the keeper to make it 2-0. That was Rooney’s 42nd goal for England. Surely it is just a matter of when he breaks Sir Bobby Charlton’s record rather than if. The score remained the same at the break.
In the 49th minute, Manuel Battistini tried to clear the ball but it was charged down by second half substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who crossed the ball and the Welbeck tapped the ball in to make it 3-0 to England.
England were cruising and the opportunity was there for them to fill their boots with goals.
They should have made it four. Oxlade-Chamberlain had a shot, which was going in but Adam Lallana stuck his foot out, touched the ball and the referee’s assistant raised his flag for offside.
Kieron Gibbs got on the end of Andros Townsend’s cross with a header but it was save by the busy Simonchini. Minutes later Townsend got hold of the ball and jinked past the San Marino defenders before unleashing a shot which nestled in the bottom corner of the net to make it 4-0 to England.
With less than a quarter of an hour to play, Townsend played Rooney in and his shot took a deflection off a San Marino defender and in to make it 5-0 to England.
Although it was a useful workout for England, they could have scored more goals but were in a hurry to get the ball into the box rather than a slow build up. They can get away with that against a side like San Marino but one of the cardinal sins in football is giving the ball away too often. Against the quality sides England will pay. There were also times when Jack Wilshere and Rooney tried to beat to many players in the box rather than passing the ball to a teammate better positioned.
They say you can only beat what is put in front of you and that is what England did. Rooney is now just 7 goals away from equaling Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 49 goals. He will surely break it. He can start by scoring some more goals against Estonia away on Sunday in their next qualifier.