England cruise to win in Lithuania and complete perfect campaign

Monday 12 Oct 2015
Harry Kane congratulates Ross Barkley on his opener

England made it a perfect 10 out of 10 in Euro 2016 qualifying with a routine 3-0 victory in Vilnius in their final game in Group E.

A first half strike from Ross Barkley got Roy Hodgson’s men on their way against Lithuania, before a Giedrius Arlauskis own goal made it two before half-time. 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain smashed home a third just after the hour mark to secure maximum points in qualifying, as England finished the game with another clean sheet – their eight this campaign.

Lithuania 0-3 England

UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifier
Group E
Monday 12 October 2015
LFF Stadium, Vilnius, Lithuania

It was a fairly straightforward night for an experimental line-up, Hodgson having made eight changes to the side that faced Estonia at Wembley three days earlier. Barkley, Harry Kane and Adam Lallana were the only players to start again. 

Jack Butland was in goal making his second senior appearance just over three years after his first, while Phil Jagielka made his bow as captain, leading the team out in the absence of Wayne Rooney and Gary Cahill.  

England dominated throughout, with Jonjo Shelvey and Barkley keen to get on the ball in the early stages and dictate the play.

But like in so many of their group games, they faced a stubborn resistance from the home side.

Ross Barkley powers his strike towards goal

Ross Barkley powers his strike towards goal

However, it was only a matter of time before they added to their impressive scoring tally in qualifying and three more goals made it 31 for the campaign.

Two Harry Kane drives inside the opening 15 minutes forced saves from Giedrius Arlauskis, while his turn and shot midway through the first half also worked the Watford stopper down to his right. 

But with the half-hour mark approaching, Barkley scored a fine goal to put the Three Lions in front. 

Receiving a pass from Kane 25 yards out, the Everton midfieder side-stepped his marker and took the ball into space. A wave of his right foot sent sent the ball flying into the net, via a slight deflection and the post.  

Butland was called into action for the first time soon after as Lukas Spalvis found room on the corner of England’s box. His left-footed strike across goal was good, but the Stoke City keeper’s dive dealt with the situation.

Harry Kane lines up one of several shots in the first half

Harry Kane lines up one of several shots in the first half

Moments later England went further in front, and this time Kane won his duel with Arlauskis. After a neat one-two with Lallana on the edge of the area, Kane drilled a left-footed shot that hit the foot of the post, and the keeper, before going in for an own goal.

Although that did not go down as Kane’s fourth for his country, he should have scored seven minutes after the break. 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain crossed from the right and the Tottenham striker’s first effort was parried by Arlauskis. With the keeper still on the floor and the ball back with Kane six yards out, the goal was begging, but Linas Klimavicius, flying in, deflected the shot over.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hammers home England

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hammers home England's third

With an hour played, Kane made way for Liverpool’s Danny Ings to come on for his senior debut, and he came close to a first goal when his low snapshot from range was stopped by Arlauskis. But that came after Oxlade-Chamberlain had netted the third to clinch the three points.

After another attack broke down, Kyle Walker swept up the loose ball and made a beeline for the box before slipping a pass into the path of the Arsenal winger. From 12 yards out, Chamberlain crashed a powerful strike into the top corner, with the keeper helpless. 

With the qualifiers done and dusted, England can now look forward to a series of high-profile friendlies between now and June, starting in November against Spain and France, as they begin to prepare for the tougher challenges at Euro 2016.

Danny Ings replaces Harry Kane to win his first senior cap

Danny Ings replaces Harry Kane to win his first senior cap

England's next home game is against Euro 2016 hosts France at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday 17 November. You can get tickets online now via TheFA.com/tickets

Lithuania: 1 Giedrius Arlauskis, 2 Linas Klimavicius, 3 Georgas Freidgeimas, 5 Tomas Mikuckis, 10 Vykinta Slivka, 11 Arvydas Novikovas, 17 Arturas Zulpa, 18 Mindaugas Panka (captain), 19 Lukas Spalvis, 22 Flodor Cernych, 23 Vytautas Andriuskevicius

Subs: 8 Egidijus Vaitkunas on for Andriuskevicius 81, 9 Deivydas Matulevicius on for Spalvis 85

Subs not used: 21 Vytautas Cerniauskas, 12 Emilijus Zubas, 4 Viadas Slavickas, 7 Deividas Cesnauskis, 9 Deivydas Matulevicius, 13 Deimantas Petravicius, 14 Linas Pilibaitis, 15 Mantas Kuklys, 16 Emestas Veliulis, 20 Rolandas Baravykas

Coach: Igoris Pankratjevas

England (4-3-3): 1 Jack Butland; 2 Kyle Walker, 5 Phil Jones, 6 Phil Jagielka (captain), 3 Kieran Gibbs; 8 Ross Barkley, 4 Jonjo Shelvey, 11 Adam Lallana; 7 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 10 Harry Kane 9 Jamie Vardy.

Subs: 18 Danny Ings on for Kane 59, 20 Dele Alli on for Lallana 66, 17 Andros Townsend on for Barkley 73

Subs not used: 12 Chris Smalling, 13 Tom Heaton, 14 Theo Walcott, 15 Nathaniel Clyne, 16 Ryan Bertrand, 19 Raheem Sterling

Manager: Roy Hodgson

Goals: Barkley 29, Arlauskis 35og, Oxlade-Chamberlain 62

Bookings: Vardy 78

Referee: Kenn Hansen (Denmark)

Assistant referees: Lars Rix and David Vang Andersen (Denmark)

Fourth official: Henrik Larsen (Denmark)

By Jamie Bradbury FA Editor In Vilnius, Lithuania