England win emphatically in San Marino? You don't say! The Three Lions came away from the tiny republic with eight goals and they could easily have scored double digits. Joe Hart first touched the ball in something like the 26th minute, by which point the visitors were already 1-0 up.
Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain had rattled the crossbar early on with a lovely volley after being fed by Wayne Rooney, but it was actually San Marino who scored first. It was in the wrong goal, mind -- Alessandro Della Valle's desperate attempt to prevent a Leighton Baines cross from reaching Rooney ended up wrong-footing Aldo Junior Simoncini to give England a 1-0 advantage in the 12th minute.
It was a lead that the visitors were never going to relinquish. Oxlade-Chamberlain got the second after dancing through the Sammarinese defence and blasting past Simoncini, and it was nearly three seconds later after Ashley Young set up Jermain Defoe for a tap-in that was rather nonsensically ruled out for offside.
Defoe would get his goal anyway after Oxlaide-Chamberlain picked out the Tottenham Hotspur striker with an intelligent knock-down at the far post, and Ashley Young got in on the party with a 25-yard screamer that went in off the underside of the crossbar. And Frank Lampard popped up with the inevitable fifth, slotting home from near the spot as San Marino's defence once again collapsed.
And all of that was before half time. Regular service continued after the interval, with Wayne Rooney playing the 'shoot from long range' game and finally getting himself on the scoresheet with a wonderful curling free kick. Daniel Sturridge came on for the Manchester United talisman shortly thereafter and got his first England goal with a point-blank far post header, and Defoe notched his second with a smart finish following fine work by Kyle Walker.
Defoe then missed a couple of chances for a hattrick, putting a header a few inches the wrong side of Simoncini's right post before sending an angled shot well wide from a decent position. It ultimately didn't matter very much. Granted, the competition amounted to an amateur side, but England looked superb -- we'll see if they can keep that form going in Montenegro.
Oh and there was this:
@itvsport So stop being that rude and ignorant.— San Marino FA (@SanMarinoFA) March 22, 2013