Late flurry helps laboured England beat Malta

Amid the chaos of Deadline Day England put in the grind at St George's Park training complex

Harry Kane scored a brace to help Gareth Southgate's lacklustre England to a 4-0 win over minnows Malta in their 2018 World Cup qualifier on Friday.

The three late goals shouldn't gloss over a disappointing display by England, whose build-up play was ponderous and only improved once Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford came on as a halftime substitute to inject some directness in the visitors' play. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.

As ever with England, the bicep around which the captain's armband will be stretched is focusing attentions, with Kane and Jordan Henderson among those in contention to succeed Rooney as full-time skipper. Question is if they can be successful in joining the likes of Japan, Brazil and Iran, who have already sealed berth at Russian Federation 2018 after successfully bagging automatic qualification.

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With the England squad departing for Malta on Thursday afternoon, it was felt it was in the player's best interests to return to his club. Kane's point-blank header was saved by Malta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg with Phil Jones denied his first goal for his country when his header was disallowed just before the half hour mark after a foul from Gary Cahill on the goalkeeper.

The deadlock was broken in the 52nd minute as Malta failed to clear a cross and Alli found Kane who emphatically finished past Hogg to score a vital goal for his side. A Harry Kane double and further goals from Ryan Bertrand and Danny Welbeck, were enough to secure the three points.

Kane, though, said people should realise that Malta had set out to stifle and frustrate England - it is the first time in three meetings an England side has beaten the Maltese by more than a goal.

Sharapova advances again at US Open
Svitolina breezed through the first set before posting a 6-0, 6-7 (5), 6-3 victory over Siniakova, the world's 42nd-ranked player. After the final point, Sharapova dropped to her knees as a replay appeal showed what she already knew.

Indeed, if this kind of lifeless, tentative performance is repeated at Wembley on Monday against second-placed Slovakia then England could well find themselves playing catch-up in Group F before long.

In June, the brilliance of Mbappe and Dembele enabled France to weather the mid-game dismissal of Raphael Varane and beat England 3-2 at Stade de France, but rather than being cowed, Kane was inspired.

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