Farewell Wayne, it was a blast - England hammer USA 3-0 in Wembley friendly
The Wayne Rooney show has ended - 120 caps, 53 goals and a final England victory - 3-0 against an awful USA side at Wembley tonight. Rooney was even denied a goal deep into added time.
Both managers opted to play young side but the gulf in class between the countries was palpable. How anyone is going to make America great again, on the football field, at least is anyone’s guess.
But for England’s coach Gareth Southgate, the match was all about ensuring their were no injures to any players who he could be contemplating playing on Sunday against Croatia, again at Wembley in the Nations League.
It’s a game where England could top their group with a victory, which includes Spain or finish bottom if they lose.
Chelsea Ruben Loftus -Cheek impressed when he came on and Deli Alli and Harry Winks performed well, suggesting more game time in the Three Lions shirts are all well within their capabilities.
As for the game, it was a rather tepid, one-side affair.
England started the brighter, camped in the USA half - forcing two early corners.
The second saw goalkeeper Brad Guzan produce an athletic save from a free Dele Alli header. However Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner went out of play before swerving back in.
Calum Wilson, making his debut missed a spotter on 9 minutes, when Jesse Lingard sent in the perfect right byline cross. Bournemouth’s hit man swung his right boot at the ball and completed,Evelyn missed it.
A minute later and Wilson thought he had got a penalty, when Guzan was a tad late in a challenge. The strike collapsed to the
But Spain referee Jesus Gill Manzano pointed not to the spot but for a goal kick instead.
Guzan, 34, who plays for Atlanta United parried away a Lingard piledriver as the Three Lions pulverised the USA defence.
England restricted the visitors to almost nothing, but on 25 minutes Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pullisic raced straight through the heart of the England defence. Only a strong Jordan Pickford block prevented acute embarrassment.
Perhaps spurred on by the mishap, England raced up the other end, Alli slid the ball to Lingard, who was on the left apex of the USA penalty area. And after one touch to his right, curled the perfect ball past the despairing dive of Guzan and into the back of his net.
Two minutes later and right back Alexander-Arnold, fed by Jason Sancho, zipped a right-footed daisy-cutter across Guzan, again from the edge of the penalty area, and into the other side of his net, as England went on a goal rampage - two goals in as many minutes.
Wilson produced a fine chest down and drag back before letting fly with a lo, left-footer six minutes before the break. But his shot wasn’t powerful enough to trouble Guzan. England boss Gareth Southgate replaced Pickford with Southampton’s Alex McCarthy at half time - the only change.
But on 56 minutes he made three - one including Wayne Rooney, realising his 120th cap and farewell appearance at international level.
The other two in the sideshow were Eric Dier and Jordan Henderson.
Off came Alli, Ben Chilwell, and Lingard. The USA brought on Tyler Adams for Julian Green soon after.
All the changes for the Three Lions had a detrimental effect on their performance, which allowed the USA to gain control of possession.
An intruder managed to get onto the pitch on 68 minutes to embrace Rooney and he was swiftly escorted off by an eagle-eyed steward.
Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek entered the fray on 70 minutes replacing Winks.
Rooney had a chance two minutes later but his left-footed effort was poor.
A sparkling move orchestrated by Loftus-Cheek almost reaped dividends for Wilson but his effort squeezed inches wide of goal.
But the South Coast man was rewarded when Delph’s left wing cross was coolly volleyed home from close range to make it 3-0.
It was his last touch of the game as he was about to be replaced by Marcus Rashford anyhow.
Rooney became the youngest player to play for England when he came on as a sub at West Ham’s Boleyn Ground, against Australia on February 17, 2003.
England: Pickford, Alexander-Arnold, Chilwell, Delph, Keane, Dunk, Sancho, Winks, Wilson, Alli, Lingard
Subs: Butland,. Rooney, Kane, Walker, Henderson, Sterling, Barkley, Rashford, Stones. McCarthy, Dier, Loftus-Cheek
USA: Guzan, Yedlin, Liazga, Brooks, Wood, McKennie, Pulsic, Weah, Green, Villafaria, Trapp
Subs: Horvath, Adams, Carter-Vickers, Delgado, Lletget, Saief, Moore, Acosta, Cannon
Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano (Spain)