Marcus Rashford ensured there was no blue Monday at Wembley as he helped England take one step closer to next summer’s World Cup.
The Manchester United man showed both his character and ability to inspire the Three Lions to victory over Slovakia on what could’ve been a tricky evening.
After all, it was Rashford who was robbed of possession just outside his own area to aid Slovakia’s early opener from Stanislav Lobotka.
- European Qualifier
- Monday 4 September 2017
- Wembley Stadium connected by EE
- Live on ITV
But Rashford, recalled by Gareth Southgate along with fellow scorer Eric Dier, didn’t let that affect him and produced a match-winning display by assisting the equaliser and then scoring a memorable winner to earn a deserved standing ovation when he came off in the 83rd minute.
The win means Gareth Southgate’s men remain firmly in control of their qualifying group with just two games against Slovenia and Lithuania to come in October.
It didn’t begin quite as planned though, as Slovakia made an electric start to the game and caught England cold within three minutes. When Vladimir Weiss’s cross from the right was half-cleared, Rashford’s attempted dribble clear was foiled by Lobotka who nicked the ball off him.
The Celta Viga forward sharply turned to exchange passes with Adam Nemec, who chipped a return ball into the box for Lobotka and he made no mistake by slotting past Joe Hart to give his side a dream start.
England had to rally themselves into contention and Rashford led by example, proving a driving force from then on, with his whipped and pacy corners causing chaos for Slovakia.