Marcus Rashford - from zero to hero

Tottenham Hotspur and England star Eric Dier jokingly criticised Marcus Rashford's mistake that led to Slovakia scoring the opening goal in Monday night's World Cup qualifier in a hilarious post-match interview.

Slovakia manager Jan Kozak has labelled England's emerging crop of youngsters as "the future of football" ahead of the teams' World Cup qualifier on Monday.

England forward Dele Alli is sweating on possibly disciplinary action after allegedly giving referee Clement Turpin a middle-finger gesture in the 2-1 win over Slovakia at Wembley.

Marcus Rashford was culpable in conceding possession for the goal but recovered superbly to inspire England to a win that leaves them five points clear at the top of Group F with just two rounds of games to play.

"We will make some changes but the core of the team is pretty much established and I don't think that would surprise too many people, really", the England boss told BBC Radio 5 live.

Jones has struggled with injuries in recent years and the game against Slovakia will mark only his eighth competitive appearance for England but Southgate believes the centre-back, who made his national debut in 2011, can boost his team.

"We were in control for most of the game then", Dier said.

"A fantastic show of character after making a mistake to score and then score the victor which got us closer to the World Cup where hopefully he will shine".

England could not find the third goal that would have killed off the visitors but they did enough to earn three vital points.

With two games remaining of the European qualifying campaign for next year's Russian Federation tournament, England are now five points clear of the second-placed Slovaks in Group F. Looking ahead, I think that in the match at Wembley the victory is closer to the British.

"We have seen lots of England's home games and they have fantastic quality. They have unusual way of communicating", Southgate said. But with a place atop of Group F with two matches to play on offer at Wembley a renewed sense of ambition would be duly rewarded.

Poland stayed first by beating Kazakhstan 3-0, visiting Denmark got a hat trick from Thomas Delaney in a 4-1 thrashing of Armenia, and Stevan Jovetic scored for Montenegro in its 1-0 win over Romania, but his nation dropped below the Danes on goal difference with two rounds remaining.

It was England who did move in front four minutes later, with Rashford picking up the ball from Henderson before taking a touch and rifling a low strike into the far corner from the edge of the box.

  • Angelo Rivera