Chelsea's Gary Cahill gave an imperious performance as Englan's dominant defender as the Three Lions beat a classy Slovakia side 2-1 at Wembley tonight, after going down to an early goal by the visitors.
Cahill, who was suspended fro three Chelsea games following his sending off on the opening day of the season, kept his composure and that reverberated through the England side.
England players celebrate after Marcus Rashford scores their side's second goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying, Group F match at Wembley Stadium, London.[/caption]
England went behind after just three minutes. Marcus Rashford was dispossessed outside the England penalty area. The bail was clipped perfectly into the in-running Stanislav Lobotka, who cooly slotted ball past Joe Hart from eight yards out.
The home side then exerted a period of pressure in order to restore parity, but a clipped Harry Kane shot, off target went away for a corner as did s goal-bound half volley by Dele Alli.
On 33 minutes, it was Rashford’s turn to screw his shot wide of goal.
Pressure finally told with seven minutes of the half to go.
A simple corner by Rashford on the right was met by a clipped, right-footed angled half-volley by Eric Dier and the ball zipped into the top of the Slovakia net by the near post.
Ryan Bertrand then had a blaster from just inside the visitor’s penalty area. Martin Dubravka did well to punch the venomous shot wide.
A half-chance by Henderson was scuffed wide a minute after the second half started.
Alex Oxlade-Chaberlain actually had a shot on target on 55 minutes. It was low, but failed to trouble Dubravka.
Slovakia then produced the move of the night, on the left hand side, cutting England to rib bands with quick, sharpe one-touch football. It resulted in Hart doing well to parry away Adam Nemec’s blistering half-volley from an acute angle.
Kane weaved his way to the byline on 57 minutes the resultant ball fell to club teammate Alli, who kneed the ball wide of goal.
Rashford them made up for his glaring error on 59 minutes when he smashed home a smart right-footer from 25 yards, which beat the outstretched arm of the despairing Dubravka to put the Three Lions firmly back in charge.