England defeated the minnows of San Marino 5-0 at Wembley last night, including captain Wayne Rooney's 42nd goal for his country, to keep them on track for the European Championships in 2016. San Marino's population is smaller than the capacity inside the London stadium and their footballing pedigree is basically non- existent, so from the start it was a matter of how many by not whether they would triumph. In truth it was a largely workmanlike performance that they gave, as it took the introduction of Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain and Adam Lallana at half time to provide some much needed impetus to their play.

By the final whistle the scoreline was a fair reflection of the gap in class between the two sides as the home team could and perhaps should have scored more. Coach Roy Hodgson will have been pleased to get the win, get some confidence and can now move on to the more onerous ties to come away from home in the group, starting in Tallinn on Sunday when Estonia are their hosts.

In a largely forgettable first half, England probed and were neat in their play but could not find any major gaps in their opponents' eleven man defence, but still went in two goals to the good. Their opening goal was simplicity itself when it came in the 24th minute, as Phil Jagielka headed in from a corner with keeper Aldo Simoncini falling over his own player's feet but getting nowhere near the England centre half.

They almost scored again in the 41st minute when Danny Welbeck's goalbound shot was smartly turned over the bar by Simoncini, who was having a mixed night between the posts. It didn't take them much longer to add to the scoring though as after Rooney had been kicked in the face by Andy Selva, he picked himself up and confidently slotted the resultant penalty into the top corner.

Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lallana's introduction in the second half put England straight on to the offensive and when the 'Ox' proved too strong for the defence down the flank four minutes in, his cross was slid in by Welbeck to add the third goal. On 57 minutes it took a great save from the keeper to keep a glancing header from Oxlade-Chamberlain out when the ball looked to have gone past him.

The near misses continued when on the hour Rooney tried to lob Simoncini after being played in over the top but could not find the elevation to score.

England looked to have scored their fourth a minute later when the 'Ox' hit a powerful shot that took a slight deflection on its way into the net. The referee consulted his officials and the goal was disallowed, as the ball had skimmed off Lallana's ankles while standing in an offside position on the way in.

Andros Townsend was introduced on 65 minutes and produced another of his lively cameo performances for England, as it took him only six minutes to finally get his side's fourth goal. He cut in from the right side and hit a fizzing left foot shot that nestled in the bottom corner before the keeper could get down in time.

There was time for more goals, but England managed only one, as an attempted cross from Rooney on 76 minutes was deflected into his own net by Alessandro Della Valle.

In the other games played last night in their group, England's expected main rivals for top position, Switzerland, created several good chances but ultimately fell to their second defeat of the qualifiers. Slovenia's penalty 11 minutes from time was good enough to defeat them 1-0. Lithuania matched that scoreline against an Estonian side that were reduced to ten men near the end. That leaves England level on points in the group with Lithuania, but top on goal difference, with neither side having conceded a goal so far.