There were hopes that the historic rivalry between Scotland and England would lead to an interesting match at Parkhead on Tuesday, but not even that could hide the fact that this was ultimately an international friendly. Despite four goals being scored, it was a game in which peculiarly little happened, as England ran out comfortable 3-1 winners over their neighbors.
The match got off to a pretty unspectacular start: despite being high in tempo, it was sadly lacking in quality. Save for a poor Danny Welbeck shot that David Marshall comfortably held onto in the opening five minutes, and a drilled Andrew Robertson cross that narrowly missed the outstretched leg of Scott Brown midway through the first period, there was little in the way of attacking inspiration.
Tellingly, when England did take the lead just past the half-hour, it was the result of a long punt and some poor defending. Jack Wilshere's deep cross was misread by all but attacker Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who slipped in behind the hosts' defenders to glance the ball just inside Marshall's far post. It was the only real moment of excitement of the entire opening period, and the visitors held their lead to the break.
It was one they doubled within three minutes of the restart, thanks to another scrappy goal. A drilled cross ricocheted up off Scotland defender Charlie Mulgrew and onto the head of Wayne Rooney, who nodded powerfully past substitute goalkeeper Craig Gordon for a 2-0 lead. It was an unfortunate goal for the spectacle, taking most of the urgency and zip out of Scotland's play.
However, just when it seemed the game was dying a slow and painful death, Scotland worked a goal from nowhere, with Robertson slotting in at the near post after a smart one-two with substitute Johnny Russell. It looked like we may well get a grandstand finish after a pretty painful 83 minutes of football, but, unfortunately, Rooney went and ruined things once again.
Within a couple of minutes of Robertson's goal, England's captain had restored his side's comfortable advantage, slotting into an open goal after Adam Lallana tidily cut the ball back from the byline.
Scotland: Marshall (Gordon 46'); Robertson, Hanley (May 66'), Martin, Whittaker; Mulgrew, Brown (Fletcher 46'); Anya (Bannan 61'), Naismith, Maloney (Russell 81'); Martin (Morrison 46').
Goals: Robertson (83').
England: Forster; Shaw (Gibbs 66'), Smalling, Cahill (Jagielka 46'), Clyne; Downing (Lallana 46'), Wilshere (Barkley 87'), Milner; Welbeck (Sterling 66'), Rooney, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Lambert 80').
Goals: Oxlade-Chamberlain (32'), Rooney (47', 85').