England v Albania ratings: Harry Kane 10, Reece James 8; Frederic Veseli 4

Three Lions on the brink of World Cup finals after Wembley thrashing

Harry Kane scored a first half hat-trick as England all but secured World Cup qualification with a 5-0 thrashing of Albania.

A first sell-out Wembley crowd in two years witnessed a one-sided final home match of a memorable year in which the Three Lions went agonisingly close to winning the European Championship.

Friday’s win means Southgate’s side only need to avoid defeat in San Marino – the world’s worst side – on Monday to confirm their place in Qatar, where the 2018 World Cup semi-finalists will be among the favourites.

England showed their quality in a ruthless, free-flowing first half, with Harry Maguire sending a message to the critics when celebrating his headed opener at Wembley.

Kane has also been far from his best of late but the skipper put that right against Albania, scoring a perfect hat-trick as he followed up a headed opener with a left-footed strike and right-footed stoppage-time scissor kick.

The Tottenham striker moved on to a record 39 competitive goals for England and level in the all-time goalscoring rankings with the late Jimmy Greaves on 44.

Kane also provided the assist for Jordan Henderson’s goal in an outstanding first half followed by a controlled second period as the Three Lions avoided exerting unnecessary energy.

Player ratings for the game can be seen in the picture gallery above. To view the next image, click on the arrows or swipe if on a mobile device.

Updated: November 13th 2021, 3:59 AM
EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS