Owen double fires England
Michael Owen scored twice as England scored a superb 3-0 win over Russia at Wembley to keep their Euro 2008 qualifying dreams alive.
By Stephen Bramley
Last Updated: 17/10/07 12:16pm
Michael Owen scored twice as England took a huge stride towards the Euro 2008 finals with a 3-0 win against Russia at Wembley.
Owen netted in the seventh and 31st minutes to become only the fourth player, after Jimmy Greaves, Sir Bobby Charlton and Gary Lineker to score 40 times for England.
Rio Ferdinand completed the rout six minutes from time leaving England in second spot in Group E two points clear of Russia ahead of next month's return meeting in Moscow.
The result completed a marvellous few days for England boss Steve McClaren men, who followed up Saturday's win over Israel with an even more emphatic display against Guus Hiddink's men.
Again Owen grabbed the limelight with his first half brace but Gareth Barry and
Emile Heskey again rewarded McClaren for the faith he placed in them with outstanding contributions on a great night at Wembley.
McClaren surprised no-one by sticking with same side which brushed aside Israel on Saturday.
England took a deserved lead after seven minutes when Owen neatly controlled Barry's right wing cross and coolly slotted home via the upright.
Heskey and Shaun Wright-Phillips had chances to extend the lead before Owen rifled home his second past Vaitcheslav Malafeev after Heskey's flick on.
In between Russia thought they had an equaliser when Konstantin Zyryanov turned and fired beyond Paul Robinson, but Swedish referee Martin Hansson disallowed the goal for handball when replays clearly showed the ball had come off the striker's chest.
Russia looked menacing after the break and Dmitry Sychev twice went close.
Robinson was also forced to turn away a 15 yard drive from Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.
But England weathered the storm and Rio Ferdinand rubbed salt into the visitors' wounds late on when he added a third.
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|7||Shots on Target||3|
|8||Shots off Target||5|