England ended a tricky week in style as Harry Kane's hat-trick helped Gareth Southgate's side to an emphatic 7-0 hammering of Montenegro to qualify for Euro 2020 in their 1,000th match.
Former captains and Three Lions greats were among those in attendance on a landmark occasion at Wembley, where onlookers were not only able to celebrate 147 years of history but enjoy another glimpse at an exciting future.
Southgate's men sealed progress to the Euro 2020 finals with a match to spare as a rampant first-half display set up a 7-0 win against hapless Montenegro, with Kane's treble doing the damage in front of Sir Geoff Hurst, a man who knows a thing or two about hat-tricks.
Securing automatic qualification for next summer's tournament means all of the Three Lions' group games will be staged at Wembley, where Southgate's men will believe they can then return for the semis and final.
Southgate is under no illusions about the work still required ahead of the European Championship, but their fierce performance before the break underlined England's attacking talent in front of greats such as Paul Gascoigne, Peter Shilton and Wayne Rooney.
The threat on the latter's all-time scoring record of 53 increased against Montenegro as Kane netted a first-half treble that complemented efforts by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Marcus Rashford.
Kane scored two headers and swivelled to fire home a third to takes his tally to 31 goals, seeing him usurp Frank Lampard, Alan Shearer, Nat Lofthouse and Tom Finney in the standings.
Aleksandar Sofranac's own goal and substitute Tammy Abraham's first for his country were the only efforts in the second period of a comprehensive win secured with star Raheem Sterling watching from the stands following his high-profile skirmish with team-mate Joe Gomez.
Gareth Southgate reaction
England 7-0 Montenegro Opta stats
- This was England’s 1000th match (W569 D241 L190). The Three Lions earned their biggest home win since October 1987 (8-0 vs Turkey).
- England had scored five goals after just 37 minutes in this match, the earliest they’d reached five goals in a game since November 1946 (35 minutes against Netherlands).
- England have scored 34 goals in just nine games in 2019, their highest tally in a single calendar year since 1982 (34 in 15 games). They last scored more in a single year in 1966 (38).
- England (33) have overtaken Belgium (30) as the highest scorers in EURO 2020 qualifying so far.
- England have benefitted from 54 own goals in their 1000 matches – one more than their all-time highest goalscorer has scored (Wayne Rooney, 53).
- The average age of England’s starting XI tonight was 23y 255d – their youngest ever in a European Championships or World Cup match (finals and qualifiers included).
- Ben Chilwell became the first England defender to provide three assists in a single match since Glen Johnson against Andorra in June 2009.
- Tammy Abraham scored his first senior international goal for England, becoming the 430th different player to score for the Three Lions.
Harry Kane Opta stats
- Harry Kane’s hat-trick saw him become the first ever England player to net a hat-trick in consecutive appearances at Wembley Stadium.
- Harry Kane has now scored more goals than any other England player when starting the match as captain (24).
- Harry Kane has scored 11 goals for England in 2019 – only George Hilsdon in 1908 and Dixie Dean in 1927 (12 each) have scored more for the Three Lions in a calendar year.
- Harry Kane became the ninth England player to score 30+ goals, with his total tally of 31 making him the sixth highest scorer in the history of the men’s national team.
- Harry Kane reached 30 England goals in just 44 appearances – only Nat Lofthouse (32) and Jimmy Greaves (33) reached the 30-goal mark quicker for the Three Lions.
England 7-0 Montenegro - As it happened
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