Lithuania 0-3 England: Three Lions make it 10 wins out of 10 in European Qualifiers
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 13/10/15 10:31am
England beat Lithuania 3-0 in Vilnius to finish with a 100 per cent record in European Championship qualifying for the for the first time in their history.
Roy Hodgson's side led 2-0 at the break after a strike from Ross Barkley and an own goal by Lithuania goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis.
And the visitors made it 10 victories out of 10 in Group E thanks to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's well-taken goal just past the hour-mark.
Hodgson made eight changes from the team that started Friday night's 2-0 win against Estonia, with just Barkley, who was man of the match at Wembley, Adam Lallana and Harry Kane keeping their places as the visitors sent out their youngest starting line-up for 20 years.
But neither all those team alterations, nor the plastic pitch at the LFF Stadium - the first time that England have played a game in Lithuania - affected the visitors' march towards a perfect qualifying campaign.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Kane made an impressive start to the contest, with the 22-year-old having three efforts on goal in the opening quarter of the match that all required smart stops at his near post by Arlauskis.
England remained patient, though, and deservedly took the lead just before the half-hour mark when in-form Everton playmaker Barkley picked up possession of the ball just outside the Lithuania penalty area.
The 21-year-old made himself some space before unleashing a fiercely struck effort that flew past a helpless Arlauskis, albeit with the help of a slight deflection, and into the back of the net via the inside of the post.
It was not long before the visitors doubled their advantage, although they again needed a touch of fortune to score after Lallana's delicious flick had slipped Kane through down the left-hand edge of the Lithuanian penalty area.
And Kane's well-struck effort from a tight angle beat Arlauskis at his near post, before finding its way into the back of the net via the head of the unfortunate Lithuania 'keeper.
The game lost much of its shape after the half-time England interval as both sides made a raft of changes, with Hodgson taking the opportunity to take a look at the likes of Liverpool forward Danny Ings - making his international debut - as well as the likes of Spurs starlet Dele Alli and his club-mate Andros Townsend.
However, it was an Arsenal youngster, Oxlade-Chamberlain, who most caught the eye in the second period after scoring England's third goal with 28 minutes of the contest remaining.
Right-back Kyle Walker released the midfielder down the right-hand channel of the penalty area, and with just Arlauskis to beat, Oxlade-Chamberlain kept his cool and made no mistake by driving the ball high into the roof of the net.
In fact, the visitors should really have had more goals to show for their efforts after half-time, but a combination of wastefulness in front of goal and the enduring brilliance of Arlauskis, who made one outstanding reaction save to deny Kane early in the second period, kept the final scoreline respectable.
Hodgson and his players will not mind, however, as England stretched their unbeaten run to 15 games since their 2-1 loss to Uruguay at last summer's World Cup.
And while there will be far harder tests to come in friendly internationals in November and next year, as well as at Euro 2016, England will travel to France as the only country to have won every single qualifying game for the tournament.