Jude Bellingham stole the show with a goal and assist as England extended their 24-year unbeaten run against Scotland in a 3-1 friendly win to mark the 150th anniversary of the first meeting between the nations.
Phil Foden and Harry Kane were also on target as the Three Lions tamed the roar of Hampden Park and Scotland’s five-game winning streak on Tuesday.
The hosts had high hopes of a famous victory in football’s oldest international fixture after impressive wins over Spain and Erling Haaland’s Norway in recent months to close in on qualifying for Euro 2024.
But Scotland suffered a sobering evening as England proved a class apart.
Bellingham was the pick of Gareth Southgate’s stars as the Real Madrid midfielder revelled in the number 10 role he has shone in for the Spanish giants in the early weeks of the season.
“It’s just a freedom role really,” said Bellingham. “I know it depends on the system we play and we’ve got so many amazing players to accommodate.
“The team comes first always. I really enjoyed playing in that position today.”
Southgate hailed the 116th clash between the sides as the renewal of a “great sporting rivalry” on the eve of the game.
However, the ugly side of the animosity between the two sets of supporters was on show even before a ball was kicked.
After the English national anthem was drowned out by a chorus of booing, a minute’s silence for former Scotland manager Craig Brown was disrupted by the away fans.
‘Take your medicine’
Once the action got underway Scotland were second best, even if it took England over half an hour to make their dominance show in the scoreline.
“We knew playing against England was going to be difficult but if you want to learn as a team, you have to play against the best teams,” said Scotland boss Steve Clarke.
“We didn’t want to lose to our old enemy, but sometimes in football you have to take your medicine.”
Southgate questioned in his pre-match comments whether Foden has a future in central midfield.
But he ghosted in to a central position from his starting role out on the right to score just his fourth international goal to break the deadlock.
Fresh from scoring his first England goal against Ukraine, Kyle Walker was this time the creator as his driven cross was expertly turned home by his Manchester City teammate.
Just two minutes later, Scotland’s hope was extinguished by a self-inflicted blow.
Andy Robertson’s loose touch inside his own box presented Bellingham with an opportunity he was never going to miss in current form.
The 20-year-old has taken the Spanish capital by storm since joining from Borussia Dortmund and now has six goals in as many games for club and country this season.
Scotland upped their intensity after the break and got their reward through another moment to forget for Harry Maguire.
The under-fire Manchester United centre-back turned Robertson’s cross into his own net 23 minutes from time.
John McGinn then headed a glorious chance over to equalise.
But England soon regained their grip on the game with Bellingham pulling the strings in midfield.
Angus Gunn produced a fine save to deny substitute Eberechi Eze his first international goal.
But the Norwich goalkeeper was powerless to stop Kane slotting home his 59th after a slaloming run from Bellingham opened up the Scotland defence.
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