Competition date 25 March 2021 Competition type FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Euro Qualifier
Home team England goals
  • goal scored by J. Ward-Prowse
  • goal scored by D. Calvert-Lewin
  • goal scored by R. Sterling
  • goal scored by O. Watkins
England badge
Home team score 5
Away team score 0
San Marino badge
Away team San Marino goals
Home team goals
  • goal scored by J. Ward-Prowse
  • goal scored by D. Calvert-Lewin
  • goal scored by R. Sterling
  • goal scored by O. Watkins
Away team goals
England celebrate against San Marino

Gareth's assessment

The England manager chats about his team's performance in first European Qualifier on the road to Qatar 2022

England manager Gareth Southgate

Preview and reaction

Ollie Watkins is mobbed after his debut goal against San Marino

England boss Gareth Southgate was pleased with aspects of his team's performance in their win over San Marino at Wembley.

Speaking after the game, Southgate said: “I think we did it as well as we could. I was really pleased with not only the way we moved the ball quickly and interchanged the positions, but the way we pressed when we lost the ball.

"It highlighted the mentality of the team for the full 90 minutes. Of course, it’s an opponent we should beat, but I thought they went about the job really well.

"I thought there were lots of good individual performances – we said there was high individual motivation as well as the team, and it would be difficult to pick one out.

"I thought the midfield players moved the ball really well – Kalvin Phillips, I was really pleased for him. He’s used the ball well but his athleticism around the pitch was good.

"Mason [Mount], in the first half, was excellent and I thought set the tone, and it’s good to see Jesse [Lingard] look like he’s enjoying his football again. I thought there were a lot of good things.

“The first thing you saw [when Ollie Watkins scored] was the reaction of the rest of the team – and it shows you how together they are. They know what it means to him – he’s settled in really quickly with the group, he’s a really humble boy and it was nice to be able to give him half an hour or so. And to get a goal is a fairytale, isn’t it?

“[Jude Bellingham] is player that we think is going to be an England international in the future. We feel that in that area of the pitch, although we were very happy with everybody tonight, we’re a little bit short of numbers.

“So, for us to help develop him and to be able to put him into games and train with the team, and with the development he’s getting at [Borussia] Dortmund as well, then we’re hoping that we can play a part in fast-tracking him into our group.”


Prior to this game, England and San Marino had met on six occasions over the years, during qualification for the 1994 and 2014 World Cups and for EURO 2016.

The Three Lions have won all six of those games, and we've picked out a few key encounters from those.

You can enjoy highlights of our win at Wembley from October 2014...

The first meeting

England 6-0 San Marino
17 February 1993
Wembley Stadium

It was a European Qualifier for the 1994 World Cup when the nations first met on the international stage, with Graham Taylor's team winning handsomely at Wembley.

And it was a night to remember for David Platt, as the midfielder scored four goals with Carlton Palmer and Les Ferdinand adding two more to the tally.

The return leg of that qualifying campaign yielded a 7-1 win in the principality, a game which is famous for Davide Gaulteri scoring after just eight seconds before Ian Wright's first goals for England (4), a brace from Paul Ince and another Ferdinand strike turned it around. Pictured below is Platt in action during that game.

England's David Platt in action against San Marino

Last time out

San Marino 0-6 England
5 September 2015
San Marino Stadium, Serravalle

England's last meeting with the Sammarinese came in a EURO 2016 qualifier in Serravalle, as Roy Hodgson's team plotted their route to the Finals in France the following summer.

Wayne Rooney opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the early stages before a Cristian Brolli own goal doubled the advantage.

In the second half, a Ross Barkley goal was supplemented by a Theo Walcott brace and a Harry Kane strike, in the same stadium he once scored a hat-trick while playing for Gareth Southgate's MU21s two years earlier.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scores his first England goal, against San Marino

All time high

San Marino 0-8 England
22 March 2013
San Marino Stadium, Serravalle

There were eight goals with no reply when the teams played in a 2014 World Cup qualifiers eight years ago this month.

An own goal got things rolling before quickfire strikes from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jermain Defore, Ashley Young and captain Frank Lampard gave the Three Lions a healthy advantage at the break.

And then Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and a second goal for Defoe added to the scoreline in the second half.

UEFA Nations League head-to-head

Five alive

Read our report from Wembley, as England kick-start new campaign with three points

England's Ollie Watkins strikes home his first goal for England

By Will Jennings 

England began their road to the 2022 World Cup in emphatic fashion with a dominant 5-0 victory over San Marino at Wembley.

Gareth Southgate had called on his players to entertain the nation and the Three Lions certainly delivered with a convincing performance in their Group I opener.

James Ward-Prowse, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Raheem Sterling opened up a 3-0 half-time advantage after a fluent first 45 minutes.

And a debut goal for Ollie Watkins after Calvert-Lewin’s second capped a fine attacking display as England geared up for their clashes against Albania and Poland in imperious fashion.

As expected, Southgate’s team dominated from the off and strung together several passages on the edge of the visitors’ – ranked 206 places below them – penalty area.

England's James Ward-Prowse celebrates his first goal for the Three Lions

Sterling, captain for the evening as Harry Kane sat this one out, went close with a pair of early headers while Calvert-Lewin, Mason Mount and the returning Jesse Lingard all looked lively.

And it was the in-form Lingard who drew the first save of note from Elia Benedettini when his powerful effort was parried away by the San Marino goalkeeper.

John Stones then flicked over from close range but just moments later, England were ahead.

Ward-Prowse cleverly latched on to Mount’s low cross to steer the ball past Benedettini and into the corner – marking the occasion with his trademark golf swing celebration.

And shortly afterwards, it was 2-0 when Calvert-Lewin rose highest into the Wembley air to expertly head home Reece James’ pinpoint cross.

Ben Chilwell stung the palms of Benedettini before the keeper was once again called into action to thwart Mount’s long-range effort with his feet.

England's Jesse Lingard

Sterling curled narrowly over but it didn’t take long for the stand-in skipper to get on the scoresheet, cutting in from the left after England won possession to rifle through Benedettini.

England were relentless and with Southgate’s attackers clearly enjoying themselves, Calvert-Lewin and Lingard both went close to adding to the first-half barrage.

Lingard was proving a continual menace and it took another fine Benedettini save to deny him scoring, after a fluent move with Sterling just before the break.

Kieran Trippier, Tyrone Mings, Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden were all introduced at the break as England carried on where they left off after the interval.

And it didn’t take long for Everton striker Calvert-Lewin to grab his second of the evening when he tapped in Lingard’s cross following a neat pass from Chilwell.

The lively Lingard then had another effort saved by Benedettini before Borussia Dortmund star Bellingham, 17, curled straight at the visitors’ keeper from distance.

England's team to face San Marino

Southgate handed an England debut to in-form Aston Villa striker Watkins shortly after the hour mark as the hosts continue to storm forwards.

Ward-Prowse’s set-pieces were a threat all night and the Southampton captain was narrowly denied when Benedettini – who made a string of fine saves throughout – just tipped his curling effort onto a Wembley post.

Watkins soon had his dream debut goal with under ten minutes remaining when he received possession from Foden, crafted a yard of space before firing low across Benedettini into the far corner.

England continued to press forward but had to settle for five as they warmed up for Sunday’s trip to Albania in style.

England (4-2-3-1): 1 Nick Pope (Burnley); 2 Reece James (Chelsea), 5 John Stones (Manchester City), 5 Conor Coady (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 3 Ben Chilwell (Chelsea); 8 Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United), 4 James Ward-Prowse (Southampton); 7 Jesse Lingard (West Ham United, on loan from Manchester United), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) (c); Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)

Substitutes: 17 Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid) for James 46’, 15 Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa) for Stones 46’, 23 Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund) for Mount 46’, 19 Phil Foden (Manchester City) for Sterling 46’, 21 Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) for Calvert-Lewin 63’

Substitutes not used: 12 Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), 13 Dean Henderson (Manchester United), 14 Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), 16 Luke Shaw (Manchester United), 18 Declan Rice (West Ham United), 20 Harry Maguire (Manchester United), 22 Sam Johnstone (West Bromwich Albion)

Goals: Ward-Prowse 14’, Calvert-Lewin 21’, 53’, Sterling 31’, Watkins 83’

San Marino (4-2-3-1): 1 Elia Benedettini; 11 Manuel Battistini, 5 Cristian Brolli, 6 Dante Carlos Rossi, 13 Andrea Grandoni; 21 Lorenzo Lunadei, 8 Enrico Golinucci; 20 Jose Hirsch, 9 Filippo Berardi, 3 Mirko Palazzi; 19 Nicola Nanni

Substitutes: 18 Luca Ceccaroli for Grandoni 55’, 22 Marcello Mularoni for Hirsch 55’, 4 Michael Battistini for Golinucci 71’, 2 Alessando D’Addario for Berardi 79’, 7 Mattia Giardi for Lunadei 79’

Substitutes not used: 10 Alex Stimac, 12 Simone Benedettini, 14 Tommaso Zafferani, 15 Giacomo Conti, 16 Filippo Fabbri, 17 Luca Nanni, 18 Luca Ceccaroli, 22 Marcello Mularoni, 23 Kevin Zonzini