2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers: Slovakia 0-1 England

A late goal from Lallana at the end of stoppage time gave the first three point in the road to Russia 2018 for England. It was not pretty and and somewhat difficult for a team who played with one man up when Slovakian’ captain Martin Skrtel a few instants after the hour-mark. The win brings the three points to the newly appointed head coach following the Euro 2106 debacle [2-1 loss to Iceland in the round of 16 – image below]

“It was pretty nerve-wracking at the end because the 10-men scenario means you must win. It [was] difficult to break them down. They [Slovakia] are going to try that bit harder [against England], they’re going to defend that bit longer, but I thought we got what we deserved.

It looked like it wasn’t going to be our night. We hit the post, we had 20 attempts at goal, they had seven. We have dominated the game, and in the end got a very important win. We [had] to push both full-backs on, we had to get the wide men coming in between the lines to break down two banks of four.

They were clearly not going to do much attacking [with 10 men]. We broke them down pretty well I thought, apart from the final finish. Finally we did get the goal and it’s [Lallana’s] first goal for England, so good luck to him.”