Southgate hails Rashford display

05 September 2017 03:42:17 EST

Marcus Rashford earned high praise from England head coach Gareth Southgate after the Three Lions claimed a 2-1 win over Slovakia in a Wembley World Cup qualifier.

The Manchester United youngster started the game in shaky fashion as his error led to a goal for the visitors within three minutes of kick-off.

Marcus showed everything he has.

Gareth Southgate

However, both he and the team as a whole improved as the game progressed and Rashford netted what proved to be the winning goal just before the hour mark - with Eric Dier having equalised eight minutes before half-time.

And Southgate was impressed by the response of Rashford to his early setback, telling ITV Sport: "Marcus Rashford showed, like the rest of the team, great character. He made the mistake for their goal, but he kept persevering.

"It's early for Marcus (in his career), so we have to keep things in perspective. He is exciting, we gave him last summer off from going with the Under-21s and he's benefited from that."

The England boss added on BBC Radio 5 live: "Marcus showed everything he has. At times he has to do better, but his work on the ball, the maturity of his performance and his ability to go past people was devastating to the opposition."

The win takes England five points clear of Slovakia in qualifying Group F, with the race for second place and a potential play-off place red-hot with two games to play.

Slovakia's loss allowed both Slovenia and Scotland to close to within one point of second place, with Slovenia thumping Lithuania 4-0 and Scotland securing a 2-0 win at home to Malta.

Scotland are now 10/1 to qualify for the World Cup finals in Russia next summer, with Wales priced at 6/5 and Northern Ireland 5/4.

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