(Action Images via Reuters)Friday 12 November 2021 19:38, Matt VerriSweet Caroline, a lights show... Wembley pulling out all the stops for the big crowd tonight. Players are in the tunnel, not long to go now. Roy Keane on Kane’s formFriday 12 November 2021 19:35, Matt VerriThe ITV pundit is not exactly full of sympathy for Kane and his failed move over the summer... “He needs to snap out of it. He plays for Spurs, he should be used to disappointment.
Powerful run from James, eventually loses the ball. Foden slides in Henderson on the right, he gets to the byline and stands up a lovely ball into the box. Kane is completely free in the six-yard box, and it’s the simplest of headers. England already entirely in control. Dan Kilpatrick at WembleyFriday 12 November 2021 20:05, Matt VerriAlbania should be level after the most careless back pass from Kyle Walker. Myrto Uzuni just took the shot too early. There was no-one near him, so he could have advanced another few yards and given Jordan Pickford less time to read the shot. Friday 12 November 2021 20:04, Matt Verri14 mins: Wow, how are Albania not level?! Walker with a dreadful backpass, and Uzuni is clean through on goal. He almost had too much time, but he’s taken the shot in a bit of a rushed manner. Really good save from Pickford, but Uzuni should not have given him a chance.
Bellingham and Grealish also brought on by Southgate, with Foden and Phillips making way. Friday 12 November 2021 21:07, Matt Verri60 mins: Mexican waves in full flow at Wembley. On the pitch... there’s not much happening. Almost time for some substitutions for England, you feel. Dan Kilpatrick at WembleyFriday 12 November 2021 21:04, Matt VerriThe second half was always in danger of being subdued after England’s 45-minute rout but the hosts still look threatening, and Kane in particular appears in the mood to do more damage. Friday 12 November 2021 21:02, Matt Verri55 mins: Another free-kick for England... Albania have not covered themselves in glory defending these kind of situations. Foden and James stand over it.
England eventually win it back... Albania are still trying to press them as much as they can. Friday 12 November 2021 20:53, Matt Verri47 mins: Two subs for Albania at the break. Sure Ramadani and Mihaj are delighted to be brought on to deal with this. Brighter start from the visitors though, Pickford into action early. Simple enough save.
Friday 12 November 2021 20:19, Matt Verri30 mins: Goal stands... and it’s very nearly four just seconds later! England straight back on the attack, Sterling slides it into the box, and Kane’s effort is well-blocked as it looked certain that he would score. The home side are absolutely rampant. GOAL! England 3-0 Albania | Jordan Henderson 29’Friday 12 November 2021 20:17, Matt VerriWhat a brilliant goal! Henderson plays it into Kane on the edge of the box, and he plays it back to the Liverpool man. He drives into the box, cuts it back onto his left foot to wrong-foot the defender, and then tucks it away wonderfully with his weaker foot.
It’s clipped in to the back post, and Maguire has a free run onto the ball. He’s not going to miss with the header from there. Dan Kilpatrick at WembleyFriday 12 November 2021 19:56, Matt VerriRaheem Sterling had a strong case for at least a free-kick after that barge from Kumbulla. The Man City forward and Harry Kane are England’s biggest goal threats and both bang out of form, so it’s encouraging to see Sterling being so positive in the early exchanges. Friday 12 November 2021 19:56, Matt Verri6 mins: Rain now falling heavily at Wembley. Reece James has his first break into Albanian territory, but Veseli does well to cover and stop the Chelsea man getting a cross into the box. Bare down for Albania, physios on to help him out.
Maguire with a header, Henderson with a lovely finish, and Kane with a ruthless hat-trick. Albania have had yellow cards, forced substitutions, and terrible defending. (Action Images via Reuters)GOAL! England 5-0 Albania | Harry Kane 45+2'Friday 12 November 2021 20:36, Matt VerriWHAT. A. GOAL. Albania very nearly score an own goal, but it drops clear and goes behind for a corner. Kane peels off to the back post from the corner, his marker gets nowhere near him, and it’s an outrageous scissor-kick past the helpless goalkeeper. Hat-trick for Kane, a stunning way to get there. James Robson at WembleyFriday 12 November 2021 20:33, Matt VerriIt’s not happening for Sterling tonight. He just can’t get his range in with his passing.
Penalty? Free-kick? Neither given. Friday 12 November 2021 19:51, Matt Verri2 mins: Referee not going to be giving many soft free-kicks it would appear. Chilwell goes down assuming he’ll get the decision, no whistle. Uzunu does the same for Albania, but the official gives it the other way. Kick-off! Friday 12 November 2021 19:49, Matt VerriEngland looking to put that disappointing performance and result against Hungary behind them, and effectively secure World Cup qualification. Albania get us underway! Friday 12 November 2021 19:43, Matt VerriTeams are out onto the pitch. Very decent amount of Albanian fans at Wembley, and they help produce a hearty rendition of their national anthem.
Good luck to Southgate if he wants to take Kane off at any point. He’s really enjoying himself out there. Friday 12 November 2021 20:32, Matt Verri43 mins: Losing count of how many goals Kane could have had. Foden with a backheel into the path of James, and he whips in a cross. Kane makes a great run and diverts it towards the far post with a diving header, but doesn’t quite get enough on it. Dan Kilpatrick at WembleyFriday 12 November 2021 20:30, Matt VerriAlbania are having a dreadful night but Kane has not looked this sharp since the European Championship. The captain has already passed Wayne Rooney as England’s top scorer of competitive goals and you wouldn’t bet against him getting a hat-trick tonight.
”Kick-off approachingFriday 12 November 2021 19:30, Matt VerriJust about 15 minutes to go until kick-off at Wembley, where it’s a sell-out. The crowd will be expecting a win, and an exciting one at that. (The FA via Getty Images)Kane fully focused againFriday 12 November 2021 19:23, Matt VerriAfter a summer full of distractions, Harry Kane believes he is back on the right path and the goals will soon follow.
England vs Albania LIVE! World Cup qualifier match stream, latest team news, lineups, TV, prediction todayEngland vs Albania - LIVE! England are back in action at Wembley, as Gareth Southgate’s side continue to move closer to officially securing qualification for the 2022 World Cup. The Three Lions need four points from their final two matches in Group I to confirm their place in Qatar, so a win against Albania tonight would leave England requiring just a point from their trip to San Marino on Monday.
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Poland are currently three points behind England in the group, although Albania are only two points further back and so have not completely given up their own hopes of qualifying. The last international break ended in a stumbling performance for Southgate’s men, drawing 1-1 at home to Hungary, and so they will be keen to get back to winning ways this evening. Harry Kane and Mason Mount scored in the reverse fixture earlier this year, a 2-0 win in Tirana, and the England captain will be looking to put a frustrating start to the season behind him by adding to his tally of 41 international goals.
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Maguire enjoyed that one... Friday 12 November 2021 20:03, Matt VerriJames Robson at WembleyFriday 12 November 2021 20:01, Matt VerriIt was a brilliant cross from James for Maguire’s goal. England should get plenty more opportunities to get the ball into the box from set pieces given how robust some of Albania’s challenges has been. Friday 12 November 2021 20:00, Matt Verri11 mins: Should be two! Ball is loose in the Albanian half, and Foden is onto it. He drives forward, nobody comes to close him down, and so he lets fly from the edge of the box. Well over the bar, wild effort. Should have done better. Bare off for Albania with an injury, Laci on in midfield in his place. GOAL! England 1-0 Albania | Harry Maguire 9'Friday 12 November 2021 19:58, Matt VerriEngland into the lead early, and it’s Harry Maguire with the goal! Gjasula is into the book for a really poor challenge, and it gives England the free-kick in a dangerous position.
James Robson at WembleyFriday 12 November 2021 19:54, Matt VerriI would have liked to have seen Bellingham start tonight, given the absences England have got. Has to be said there is still an element of caution in Southgate’s starting XI with three at the back and Henderson and Phillips in midfield. Friday 12 November 2021 19:53, Matt Verri4 mins: That is surely a bit too lenient though! Sterling breaks into space, beats a couple of defenders for space, and Kumbulla seemingly shoves him over right on the edge of the area.
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