England were made to work for their three points but were ultimately untroubled as they cruised to a 2-0 victory against Malta on Friday evening in London.  

After finding the opener almost by chance thanks to an own goal from Enrico Pep in the eighth minute, Gareth Southgate‘s side took their time before claiming their second. 

As inevitable a goalscorer in an England shirt as he is becoming in a Bayern Munich one, Harry Kane netted the match winner shortly after Southgate shuffled the pack and introduced substitutes including Cole Palmer in his Three Lions debut. 

Declan Rice thought he had struck a third less than two minutes later, but had his effort chalked off after a quick VAR review, but his effort was unnecessary as the heavy favourites performed as expected at home. 

Here, Craig Hope takes you through who impressed and who could have done more under the arch at Wembley. 

Trent Alexander-Arnold looked like a tried and tested midfielder as he was tested in midfield

Trent Alexander-Arnold looked like a tried and tested midfielder as he was tested in midfield

Cole Palmer distinguished himself with a second-half senior debut after his late promotion

Cole Palmer distinguished himself with a second-half senior debut after his late promotion

But Marcus Rashford was unable to recapture his dazzling international form in the midst of stuttered season with Manchester United

But Marcus Rashford was unable to recapture his dazzling international form in the midst of stuttered season with Manchester United

ENGLAND (4-3-3) 

Jordan Pickford 6

An early scare when Teuma fired narrowly wide, but he was a spectator that apart. Another cap, at least. What he really needed was an armchair.

Match facts

Attendance: 81,388

Referee: L Godinho (POR) 6.5

MOTM: Alexander-Arnold

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Kieran Trippier 6.5

Came into the game jaded after an intense run with Newcastle. To that end, this was perfect. He strolled through it with no fuss.

Marc Guehi 7

Recovery pace was needed one or twice and this was another impressive showing, even making allowance for the standard of opposition.

Harry Maguire 6.5

Didn’t put a foot wrong and his international place looks as assured as ever, especially when allied to resurgence in club form.

Fikayo Tomori 5 

Hardly a night to remember. Played out of position at left back, took a hefty kick before dishing one out and being booked. His reward? Hooked at half-time.

Trent Alexander-Arnold 7.5

Probing passes and always an option, even if little came from that positivity. Definitely worth persevering with in midfield role. MOTM.

Jordan Henderson 6

The usual. Hurried around and saw plenty of the ball without doing a great deal with it. Booed before the game and when being replaced in the second half. Starting to feel like an unnecessary distraction.

Conor Gallagher 6

Replaced at half-time but had done OK. Couple of purposeful bursts forward and gave his all. But more needed in terms of final-third quality if he’s to stay in the team.

Phil Foden 7

Definitely the brightest of the front three and from his wonderful first touch and cross the opening goal arrived. Lovely lay-off in build to second goal, too.

Harry Kane 6.5

Booked for first-half dive when trying to win a penalty and that looked like summing up a frustrating night until applying cute chipped finish to Saka’s square ball.

Marcus Rashford 5

So much for Rashford being a different player in England’s colours. This looked like the Manchester United version. Offered very little and did well to last an hour.

Gareth Southgate 6

Phil Foden (left) was the brightest star in England's front three and had a hand in both goals

Phil Foden (left) was the brightest star in England’s front three and had a hand in both goals

Fikayo Tomori (right) has more to do before securing his place in Gareth Southgate's Euros side

Fikayo Tomori (right) has more to do before securing his place in Gareth Southgate’s Euros side

Subs: 

Bukayo Saka (on for Gallagher 46) 7

Kyle Walker (on for Tomori 46) 6

Declan Rice (on for Henderson 61) 7

Cole Palmer (on for Rashford 61) 6.5

Malta (3-5-2): 

Bonello 6; S Borg 6, Pepe 5, J Borg 6; J Mbong 5.5, Yankam 6, Guillaumier 5 (Kristensen 59, 5), Teuma 6.5, Camenzuli 6; P Mbong 5 (Jones 59, 5), Reid 6

Subs: Attard, Shaw, Pisani, Grech, Magri, Overend, Al-Tumi, Nwoko, Muscat, Muscat, Apap

Manager: Michele Marcolini 5

IT’S ALL KICKING OFF! 

It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Daily Mail

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