England's edge delights Gareth Southgate as Albania are ruthlessly swept aside

Gareth Southgate was delighted to see England play with an edge against Albania - at least until they killed it off with the dominance of their first-half performance.

JOB DONE: England manager Gareth Southgate

England had been lacklustre against Hungary in their previous game but they were anything but against a weak Albanian side, securing the 5-0 win that puts them a point away from qualifying for the World Cup.

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"I thought it was a really strong team performance, particularly that first half," said the Harrogate-based manager.

"We had an edge about us and we're at our best when we have an edge. We had a collective response from our last game and we talked about that all week.

"We were very clear why we thought we hadn't got that performance and I thought we really addressed that in the first half in particular. That was really pleasing."

Harry Kane scored a perfect hat-trick, adding to first-half goals from Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson. It was a good riposte by the captain, whose club form has been much-criticised this season.

"Harry's all-round centre-forward performance was excellent, not just the goals," said Southgate.

"It was a really pleasing performance from him."

England will qualify for the 2022 winter World Cup in Qatar if they avoid defeat in San Marino on Monday, their final qualifying game.