Oct 11, 2013 at 8pm UK at ​Wembley Stadium
Rooney (48'), Boskovic (62' og.), Townsend (78'), Sturridge (90' pen.)
Walker (54')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Damjanovic (71')
Pavicevic (50'), Volkov (53')

Match Analysis: England 4-1 Montenegro

Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at England's vital 4-1 win over Montenegro at Wembley this evening.

England remained top of Group H this evening courtesy of a 4-1 win over Montenegro that puts them one match away from World Cup qualification.

Wayne Rooney opened the scoring for England with a finish from close range shortly after the break, while Branko Boskovic turned the ball into his own net to double the hosts' lead.

Montenegro hit back through Dejan Damjanovic, who made it 2-1 shortly after Stevan Jovetic had hit the England bar with a long-range strike.

Andros Townsend capped his debut with a goal to restore the Three Lions' two-goal advantage before Daniel Sturridge made it 4-1 in second-half stoppage time with a coolly taken penalty.

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at a crucial victory for Roy Hodgson's side.

Match statistics:

Shots 27
On target 12
Possession 61%
Corners 14
Fouls 8

Shots 10
On target 2
Possession 39%
Corners 0
Fouls 12

Was the result fair?

Yes. The 4-1 scoreline perhaps makes it look a little more comfortable than it was at times, but England always looked to be on top and certainly deserved all three points. The match stats reflect the way the game went pretty accurately as England controlled the beginning and end of the first half as well as much of the second period. Montenegro only began thinking of scoring a goal themselves once they had gone behind and didn't create enough chances to warrant anything from this match.

England's performance

There will have only been one instruction before this match - go and get a win. England did that, and they put in a good performance to boot. They began the match very well and looked to have an urgency that we are not used to seeing from England. There was a little lull in the first half, but overall they looked dangerous throughout. Once they broke through the Montenegro defence and the game began to open up they took full advantage, before slowing the tempo down and easing to victory once Townsend had made it 3-1. It was one of the better performances England have had under Hodgson, and it should give them plenty of confidence going into Tuesday's match against Poland.

Montenegro's performance

Their tactics were clear from the first whistle as they placed the emphasis on defending in order to come away with a draw. They frustrated England in the first half and were disciplined, but it was a shame to see them so reluctant to attack. They were forced to open up a little once they went behind and looked dangerous, but their only real two moments of note in the game came when Jovetic hit the bar and Damjanovic scored, although the latter did also test Joe Hart with a header. In the end, they went out of the qualifying campaign with a bit of a whimper, but it is easy to see why they deployed the tactics that they did.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Andros Townsend: Not many players will have had such an impact on their England debut as Townsend did tonight. From the first whistle he was positive, always running straight at the defence and looking to take his man on. He saw a lot of the ball in the early stages and was the main reason behind England's good start. His goal was not only a fine strike, but it was incredibly important as it restored England's two-goal cushion when things could have become a little nervy for the hosts. Credit should also go to Roy Hodgson for having the courage to pick the youngster in such an important match when James Milner would have been the safer, more conservative choice.

Biggest gaffe

There is only one winner here. Branko Boskovic's own goal was calamitous, although you have to feel a little sorry for the man. He was rushing back to help his defence and reached out to put the ball behind for a corner. Instead of passing it behind with the inside of his foot, however, he only got a toe to it and poked it into the far corner beyond the despairing dive of his keeper. It was not a moment that he will want to relive, especially when you consider how different the match could have turned out if it had remained 1-0 for a while.

Referee performance

Alberto Undiano had a decent game tonight. He wasn't involved too much, with the biggest decision being saved for the final minute when he correctly awarded England a penalty. It was a solid performance by all of the officials, and neither manager can have any major qualms with them.

What next?

England: England will look to make it two crucial wins out of two when they face Poland at Wembley on Tuesday. A win in that match will book their place in next year's World Cup.

Montenegro: Montenegro's match against Moldova, meanwhile, becomes a bit of a dead rubber after today's result. That match will also take place on Tuesday.

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Andros Townsend of England scores their third goal during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifying Group H match between England and Montenegro at Wembley Stadium on October 11, 2013
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Result: Debut Townsend goal secures England win

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