Marcus Rashford watched from home as his England teammates secured World Cup qualification.
There was no ear-cupping from Harry Maguire this time as England breezed past a below par San Marino side in their final World Cup qualifier.
It was “embarrassing” against Albania last week, but San Marino are worse. England put 10 goals past them tonight – the first time they’ve scored that many in one match since 1964.
Tonight’s game will raise questions about what teams like San Marino gain from so-called competitive matches like this?
They lost every match in the qualification process, conceding 46 goals in 10 matches while managing to score just 1 goal.
Instead of cupping his ears and annoying Roy Keane, Manchester United skipper Maguire gave a clenched-fist salute to the England fans after breaking the deadlock. Nobody can see a fault in that.
Moreover, his goal saw him become England’s highest scoring centre-back with seven goals.
Maguire was substituted at half-time and will now return to Carrington to prepare for Manchester United’s trip to Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.
The win sees England top Group I and secure their place in the World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
Marcus Rashford, who pulled out of the squad to focus on his recovery at United, took to Twitter after the match to congratulate his England teammates.
“Love that boys,” Rashford tweeted.
Love that boys 🦁🏴 @England
— Marcus Rashford MBE (@MarcusRashford) November 15, 2021
Rashford will be on the plane to Qatar unless he picks up an injury towards the end of the season.
There are bigger questions for Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard, both whom are not getting enough football to prove themselves at the moment.
Mason Greenwood is focusing on establishing himself at United, which we respect. Southgate will wonder if the World Cup will turn his head because he could’ve done with him in the Euro 2020 final defeat against Italy.