Sunday 11 December 2016

Drab England missing that killer touch

England 2 Malta 0

Independent.ie sportsdesk

Published 09/10/2016 | 02:30

Dele Alli of England scores his teams second goal. Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Dele Alli of England scores his teams second goal. Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

England put a tough fortnight behind them with a predictably straightforward victory against Malta, getting Gareth Southgate's interim reign off to a solid if unspectacular start.

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Overcoming a side ranked 176th in the world is hardly a yardstick with which to measure success or progress, but there were flashes of promise as the first half came to a close.

Daniel Sturridge of England scores the opening goal. Photo: Getty
Daniel Sturridge of England scores the opening goal. Photo: Getty

The speed of thought and feet seem to bamboozle Malta at times, with only wayward finishing and some fine goalkeeping preventing England from adding to Daniel Sturridge's header and a Dele Alli effort before half-time.

The second half was a drab affair by comparison but Alli should have added another late on, with the overall frustration culminating with Wayne Rooney being booed by some of the Wembley crowd after missing late on.

Gareth Southgate, Interim Manager of England celebrates his team's second goal. Photo: Getty
Gareth Southgate, Interim Manager of England celebrates his team's second goal. Photo: Getty

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