Centurion Wayne Rooney scores as stuttering England beat Slovenia

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Wembley Stadium – England 3 (Rooney pen 59, Welbeck 66, 72) Slovenia 1 (og 57)

In a fairly dire first half, neither side managed a shot on target, with Welbeck and Rooney having perhaps the best chances, both skying high over the bar.

The second half was, thankfully, brighter. The first shot on target – a Phil Jagielka header straight at Samir Handanovic – was delayed until just before the hour, but when the goals arrived they came in quick succession.

Jordan Henderson’s headed flick past Joe Hart gave the visitors a fortuitous lead on 57 minutes, but Rooney won a penalty directly after the kick-off, clipped by Bostjan Cesar after a powerful run with the ball. He converted it himself, despite the keeper getting a hand to it, to mark his 100th international appearance with a goal.

Adam Lallana, who had a poor game overall with some desperately dire set pieces, played a pivotal role in the second two goals; first a lovely turn and shot which rebounded to Welbeck, who stabbed it into the net as he fell to the floor, and then a weighted ball out to Kieran Gibbs on the left, which led to a one-two between Raheem Sterling and Welbeck who then lashed it home.

England now have maximum points in their first four qualifiers ahead of Tuesday’s friendly with neighbours Scotland.

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Wayne Rooney celebrates his penalty (Getty)

KEY MOMENTS

21′ HALF-CHANCE! Welbeck chests it down beautifully for Rooney, but the half-volley is always rising.

56′ SHOT ON TARGET! Jagielka heads it at the keeper, who holds, but that absolutely is a shot on target. The first of note.

57′ GOAL! England 0-1 Slovenia: Jordan Henderson scores an own-goal. It’s a terrific touch, though. He jumps ahead of his man and flicks that past Hart. It all came courtesy of a free kick given away by Adam Lallana on the left.

59′ PENALTY! GOAL! England 1-1 Slovenia: Straight from the restart, Rooney goes on a mazy dribble and is clumsily taken down in the box by Cesar. Rooney takes, the goalkeeper gets a touch to the ball, but it’s into the net.

66′ GOAL! England 2-1 Slovenia: Welbeck deserves that. Rather scrappy – Handanovic deals limply with Lallana’s effort, and though his defence try to clear, it’s only as far as Welbeck on the edge of the box, who hits it as he falls to the floor.

72′ GOAL! England 3-1 Slovenia: A beautifully worked goal, and a great finish from Welbeck. A good ball from Lallana to Gibbs on the left, and a wonderful one-two between Welbeck and Sterling before it’s lashed home.

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Danny Welbeck – England vs Slovenia – Euro 2016 Qualifier at Wembley on November 15, 2014

KEY STATS

England have lost only one of their last 31 qualifying games – and that was a dead rubber against Ukraine in 2009.

Danny Welbeck has now scored five goals in England’s last four games, and he is also the leading scorer in Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Wayne Rooney now has 44 goals for England, equal with Jimmy Greaves, and just five short of Sir Bobby Charlton’s record.

TALKING POINT

Liverpool fans won’t have felt their players covered themselves in glory today. According to calculations, the trio of Sterling, Henderson and Lallana lost the ball 41 times in the first half alone.

[MATCHCAST – ENGLAND V SLOVENIA, AS IT HAPPENED]

MAN OF THE MATCH

Daniel Welbeck – England: Some may mock him, but he was tenacious and tireless, holding the ball up well. And he scored twice. Difficult not to rate him highly.

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