England extended their 24-year unbeaten run against Scotland as Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane struck in a 3-1 friendly win to mark the 150th anniversary of the first meeting between the nations.
Harry Maguire’s own goal briefly brought Scotland back into the contest at Hampden Park, but a winning streak that has taken Steve Clarke’s men to the brink of qualification for Euro 2024 came to an end, reports AFP.
The hosts had high hopes of a famous victory in football’s oldest international fixture after impressive wins over Spain and Erling Haaland’s Norway in recent months.
But Scotland suffered a sobering evening as even a much-changed Three Lions proved a class apart.
Gareth Southgate made six changes from the side that dropped their first points of Euro 2024 qualifying in a 1-1 draw against Ukraine on Saturday.
But the strength in depth on offer to the England boss was in evidence as Foden, Aaron Ramsdale, Kieran Trippier, Lewis Dunk, Kalvin Phillips and Marcus Rashford were those to come into the side.
Southgate hailed the 116th clash between the sides as the renewal of a “great sporting rivalry” on the eve of the game.
However, the ugly side of the animosity between the two sets of supporters was on show even before a ball was kicked.
After the English national anthem was drowned out by a chorus of booing, a minute’s silence for former Scotland manager Craig Brown was disrupted by the away fans.
Once the action got underway Scotland were second best, even if it took England over half an hour to make their dominance show in the scoreline.
Southgate questioned in his pre-match comments whether Foden has a future in central midfield.
But he ghosted in to a central position from his starting role out on the right to score just his fourth international goal to break the deadlock.
Fresh from scoring his first England goal against Ukraine, Kyle Walker was this time the creator as his driven cross was expertly turned home by his Manchester City teammate.
Just two minutes later, Scotland’s hope was extinguished by a self-inflicted blow.
Andy Robertson’s loose touch inside his own box presented Bellingham with an opportunity the Real Madrid midfielder was never going to miss in his current form.
The 20-year-old has taken the Spanish capital by storm since joining from Borussia Dortmund and now has six goals in as many games for club and country this season.
Scotland upped their intensity after the break and got their reward through another moment to forget for Maguire.
Robertson made amends for his earlier error as the Scotland captain found himself in an unusual position on the right wing and his teasing cross was turned into his own net by the Manchester United centre-back.
John McGinn then headed a glorious chance over to equalise.
But England soon regained their grip on the game with Bellingham pulling the strings in midfield.
Angus Gunn produced a fine save to deny substitute Eberechi Eze his first international goal.
But the Norwich goalkeeper was powerless to stop Kane slotting home his 59th after a slaloming run from Bellingham opened up the Scotland defence.