England beat below average Ukraine
Jay Rodriguez scored the pick of the goals as England beat a below average Ukraine side and remain 5 points clear at the top of their group.
Goals from Wayne Rooney, Jay Rodriguez and Gary Cahill secured all 3 points for England as they look on course to finish 1st in their group.
Pre-match Hodgson shocked England fans by including Southampton youngster James Ward-Prowse into his World Cup qualifying team and the young midfielder impressed on his debut for England.
England XI vs Ukraine
(4-3-3) Hart; Johnson, Cahill, Jones, Baines; Gerrard(c), Henderson, Ward-Prowse; Townsend, Rodriguez, Rooney.
Subs: Foster, Walker, Walcott, Wilshere, Lambert, Jagielka, Welbeck, Gibbs, Lampard, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Milner, Ruddy.
Ukraine XI vs England
(4-2-3-1) Pyatov; Gusev(c), Mykhalyk, Khacheridi, Makarenko; Sydorchuk, Edmar; Yarmolenko, Bezus, Konoplyanka; Seleznyov.
Subs: Koval, Ischenko, Kucher, Kalinichenko, Shynder, Morozyuk, Grechyshkin, Stepanenko, Zozulya, Lyulka, Khudzhamov
England immediately started with a very quick tempo with Gerrard starting to control the midfield, spraying passes left, right and center towards either the wingers or Wayne Rooney upfront. Ukraine couldn't contain the movement of Andros Townsend on the right and he almost put England ahead after cutting inside and firing just over the crossbar which had the alarm bells ringing in the Ukraine defence.
England then started to stretch the Ukraine midfield and England debutee James Ward-Prowse played a long ball up to Jay Rodriguez who flicked the ball up and played it fast into the six yard box for Townsend to hit against the goalkeeper and the ball ricocheted towards the head of Wayne Rooney who was calm enough to divert into the bottom left corner to give England a well deserved lead.
Minutes after Jay Rodriguez ran half of the pitch and diverted past two challenges to fire the ball at the goal which the goalkeeper looked to save but he made a hash of it and the ball hit the keepers hands and he pushed it into his own net to give England a 2 goal lead.
England carried on dominating the game and Gerrard won a corner, which he took and Gary Cahill leaped highest and smashed the ball into the back of the net to put the game beyond doubt.
Ukraine tried their hardest to get back into the game in the second half and it took them until the 88th minute where Khacheridi was able to tap the ball past Joe Hart after the England defence made a mess of a cross and gave the ball to Khacheridi who was able to give Ukraine some hope, however it wasn't enough and England won the game, which they deserved.
Roy Hodgson's Post Match Comments:
"It was a great performance by the whole team and we thoroughly deserved to win this game. I was impressed by the amount of chances we created and that we were able to finish our chances. I was really impressed with James (Ward-Prowse) as it isn't always easy to impress on your debut but he was very calm and played a great game for us today."