England 5-1 Croatia

England secured qualification for next summer's World Cup in South Africa in the most emphatic style as they thrashed Croatia at Wembley.
The goalless stalemate between Belarus and Ukraine left England needing only a draw to confirm their place in South Africa - but they emphasised their progress under coach Fabio Capello with an outstanding display to record an eighth successive win of a flawless qualifying campaign. 
Croatia ended England's hopes of reaching Euro 2008 under Capello's predecessor Steve McClaren by winning at Wembley, but there was never any chance of a repeat in an encounter that was totally one-sided from the opening exchanges. 
England have taken huge strides forward under Capello since that rain-soaked night in November 2007 and the end of the McClaren reign, while Croatia are a pale shadow of the side Slaven Bilic brought to Wembley for their previous visit.
And the gulf in class between the two teams was immediately obvious - even taking into account the absence of Croatia's gifted playmaker Luka Modric. 

Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon made an early claim for a place on England's right flank in next summer's South African showpiece with an electrifying first 45 minutes that set the platform for victory.Even hard-to-please Capello cracked smiles in his technical area, while Bilic cut a miserable figure yards away as the scene of one of his greatest triumphs turned into a nightmare.


England: Green, Johnson, Terry, Upson, Ashley Cole, Lennon (Beckham 80), Barry, Lampard, Gerrard (Milner 81), Rooney, Heskey (Defoe 60).
Subs Not Used: Foster, Brown, Bridge, Crouch. 
Booked: Terry. 
Goals: Lampard 8 pen, Gerrard 18, Lampard 59, Gerrard 66, Rooney 77. 

Croatia: Runje, Srna, Krizanac, Simunic, Pranjic, Mandzukic, Vukojevic, Pokrivac (Rakitic 45), Kranjcar, Eduardo (Klasnic 74), Olic (Petric 45).
Subs Not Used: Subasic, Drpic, Cale, Leko. 
Booked: Simunic. 
Goals: Eduardo 73. 

Att: 87,319 
Ref: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain).