Gareth Southgate is backing Harry Kane to break the England goals record after the captain's hat-trick against Montenegro moved him to sixth on the all-time list.

Kane scored a first-half treble as the Three Lions eased to a 7-0 win at Wembley on Thursday in their 1000th match, securing qualification for Euro 2020 in style.

The Tottenham striker's goals took his international tally to 31 – moving him ahead of Alan Shearer, Tom Finney and Nat Lofthouse - with Michael Owen next in his sights on 40.

Wayne Rooney holds the England record, having netted 53 times, but Kane is just 26, and Southgate believes he is easily good enough to end up taking top spot.

"It's an amazing feat [by Kane] when you're talking about the names [Shearer, Finney and Lofthouse]," Southgate told Sky Sports News. "It's lovely on a night like tonight that we can talk about those players.

"He is ruthless, he's got the ability to do it, he's got time. If everything falls into place for him, I'm sure he can do that [break the record]."

But the England manager warned there is still work to do if Kane is to form part of a successful England team, with the defence again looking shaky at times despite the convincing margin of victory.

"We're blessed," Southgate said. "With the likes of Harry, Raheem [Sterling], Marcus [Rashford] and then the younger ones that are coming into the mix as well, we've got incredible firepower.

"We always think we can score goals. We will always cause opponents problems.

"We've just got to make sure we get both ends of the pitch right if we're going to be serious contenders."

Asked if England will have a stronger side at the Euros than when they reached the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup, Southgate replied: "That's a difficult balance.

"We're fielding such a young team tonight, and we are young. We're still a work in progress. We're a hugely exciting attacking unit, but we've got a bit to learn about managing games.

"We've got to make sure we're tighter with our defending as a team, but the future is very, very exciting."

Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann have cited a half-time team talk from Didier Deschamps as the key to France's 2-1 win over Moldova.

Thanks to Turkey's goalless draw with Iceland in Group H's early kick-off, France already had their place at Euro 2020 secured heading into Thursday's encounter at Stade de France.

However, Clement Lenglet's early error gifted Moldova the lead, with Raphael Varane pouncing on a mistake from Alexei Koselev to pull France level.

An improved second-half display followed from Les Bleus, though it was not until Lucas Digne drew a foul from Veaceslav Posmac that the home side got their winner – Giroud slamming in from the spot.

Giroud has now scored in his past three France appearances and acknowledged the 2018 World Cup winners needed some tough love from their coach at the interval.

"I could have, we could have scored well before the penalty," Giroud told French television channel M6.

"We did not start as we should have done. We had a lack of aggression in everything we did, in the duels, in the decision-making and in the desire to do things right.

"In the second half there was much more intensity and accuracy with much better intentions so we created many opportunities.

"You have to know how to have solutions, that's what the coach stressed at half-time and he wanted more movement from our forwards.

"We tried hard to listen to him and offer more solutions in this area of our game and we created many opportunities."

Barcelona forward Griezmann echoed Giroud's comments, while lamenting his side's first-half performance.

"It's true that we did not have a good match, especially in the first half," Griezmann told reporters.

"The coach at half-time boosted us so we reacted a bit. Even if it showed that we were not well, especially in front of goal, we went on to get this victory."

Gareth Southgate said he could not understand the mixed reaction for Joe Gomez when the defender was introduced as a substitute for England days after his clash with Raheem Sterling.

Raheem Sterling criticised a section of England fans for booing Joe Gomez during Thursday's 7-0 win over Montenegro in Euro 2020 qualifying.

Gomez was jeered when introduced in the second half at Wembley, where England's dominant victory booked their place at next year's tournament.

The Liverpool defender was involved in a clash with Sterling leading up to the encounter, with the Manchester City star dropped by England after the incident.

Sterling was unhappy with the England fans who targeted Gomez, saying the 22-year-old had done nothing wrong.

"To all the England fans, I wanted to leave things at [sic] it was but tonight I have to speak again," he wrote on Twitter.

"It was hard for me to see my teammate get booed for something that was my fault.

"Joe hasn't done anything wrong & for me to see someone who keeps his head down and work hard especially after a difficult week for him to be booed when he came on tonight was wrong.

"I've taken full responsibility and accepted the consequence. I felt as though I had to say this get home safe everyone."

England's win was their sixth in seven Group A matches as they sealed a spot at Euro 2020 in what was the nation's 1,000th game.

Harry Kane scored a hat-trick against Montenegro, to go with efforts from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Marcus Rashford, Tammy Abraham and an Aleksandar Sofranac own goal.

The Czech Republic secured their qualification for Euro 2020 with a dramatic comeback win over Kosovo in Thursday's crucial Group A encounter.

Kosovo – who are guaranteed a play-off place thanks to their efforts in the UEFA Nations League – needed to avoid defeat at Doosan Arena to keep their chances of automatic qualification alive.

The visitors looked set to cause an upset when Sheffield Wednesday forward Atdhe Nuhiu put them ahead with a superb header in the 50th minute.

But the Czechs fought back, Alex Kral's stunning hit pulling them level before the midfielder provided the assist for Ondrej Celustka's winner eight minutes later as Jaroslav Silhavy's side completed the comeback to book their place at next year's tournament.

Elsewhere in Group A, leaders England wrapped up progression with a thumping 7-0 demolition of Montenegro at Wembley.

Earlier on Thursday, Turkey ensured their qualification with a 0-0 draw against Iceland – a result which also guaranteed France's spot in the finals, with the world champions coming from behind to defeat Moldova 2-1.

Despite a 6-0 win over Lithuania, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick, reigning champions Portugal must beat Luxembourg in their final match to take their place at the finals.

Spain, Belgium and Italy had already confirmed their places last month, with Ukraine, Russia and Poland having also sealed qualification.

Harry Kane says England wanted to "put on a show" in their 1000th match as they thrashed Montenegro 7-0 to seal Euro 2020 qualification in style at Wembley.

The Three Lions needed just a point to book their place at next year's tournament but had victory wrapped up before half-time, captain Kane scoring a hat-trick inside 37 minutes.

Kane's third was England's fifth of the first half, with an own goal and Tammy Abraham's first strike at international level completing the scoring after the break.

The Tottenham striker acknowledged his side had been keen to make a mark in a milestone fixture.

"It's really good. We've had one slip-up in the whole group, in the last camp, but we've responded really well," he told ITV Sport. "We got the job done here today.

"We wanted to put on a show with it being the 1000th England game - 5-0 at half-time definitely showed that."

Kane's treble moved him to sixth on the all-time England goals list with 31 - just ahead of Alan Shearer.

"We all know how impressive Shearer was at scoring goals, so it's a nice milestone to hit. But hopefully there are a few more to come," he added.

The build-up to the landmark outing was overshadowed by Raheem Sterling's confrontation with England team-mate Joe Gomez, resulting in the Manchester City forward sitting out the fixture.

But Kane is confident Sterling will be in the right mindset to return against Kosovo on Sunday.

"He's been good around the camp, he's been training really well," Kane said. "He'll be disappointed not to have played today, but I'm sure he'll be ready to go and try to get on the pitch on Sunday."

France marked their qualification for Euro 2020 with a 2-1 victory as Olivier Giroud's penalty ended Moldova’s resistance at Stade de France.

Turkey's draw with Iceland earlier on Thursday had lifted any pressure off France, guaranteeing their place at next year's tournament, and Didier Deschamps' side put in a rather underwhelming display in Paris.

With no requirement to win, France made a sloppy start - calamitous Clement Lenglet defending handing Vadim Rata a chance to put Moldova ahead.

Alexei Koselev's error gifted Raphael Varane an equaliser, though, and France moved top of Group H when Giroud sent Moldova's goalkeeper the wrong way after Lucas Digne had been scythed down.

Against the run of play, Moldova hit the front in the ninth minute as Lenglet twice failed to clear with attempted headers - Rata nipping in to steer the visitors into an unlikely lead.

Benjamin Pavard went close to an immediate equaliser with a dipping half-volley, while Giroud should have done better from Digne's cross.

Giroud did play a part in France's leveller 10 minutes before the break, standing his ground as Koselev - who wanted a free-kick - let the ball slip from his grasp, allowing Varane on hand to head home.

Kylian Mbappe seemed set to make it 2-1 early in the second half, only for his goal-bound strike to be blocked by a Moldova defender, before Giroud volleyed over from close range.

For all their domination, France's efforts looked likely to prove fruitless, until Veaceslav Posmac's reckless lunge on Digne.

Giroud made no mistake, slamming in his third goal in as many appearances to complete the comeback with 11 minutes remaining.

 

What does it mean? France join the party

France's qualification was already ensured, meaning Les Bleus - beaten finalists at Euro 2016 - will now take part in their 13th successive major international competition, and Deschamps' focus will now be on securing top spot in Group H.

Giroud's run rolls on

He may not be getting much of a chance at Chelsea, but Giroud is one of the first names on Deschamps' team sheet and, while he missed some presentable chances, still kept up his fine run of form on the international stage.

Lenglet left red-faced - but Koselev lets him off the hook

Barcelona centre-back Lenglet should have coped comfortably with a high ball by heading it back to Steve Mandanda, but Koselev helped France recover, the keeper fazed by Giroud’s presence to gift Varane an equaliser.

What's next?

Les Bleus round off their qualification campaign against Albania on Sunday, while Moldova host Iceland.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Portugal saw off Lithuania 6-0 to get back on track in their bid to qualify for Euro 2020.

Juventus forward Ronaldo was a surprise starter after being substituted before the hour in his club's last Serie A outing against AC Milan, but he showed no signs of fatigue as he reached 98 goals for his country.

Portugal lost 2-1 to Ukraine last month but were comfortable winners at Estadio Algarve on Thursday, with Goncalo Paciencia, Pizzi and Bernardo Silva also on target for the hosts.

The reigning European champions remain second in Group B, a point better off than Serbia - 3-2 winners over Luxembourg - ahead of the final round of qualifying fixtures.

Lithuania lost 5-1 in the reverse fixture and, as was the case in Vilnius two months ago, Ronaldo opened the scoring with a seventh-minute penalty after being caught by Saulius Mikoliunas.

Visiting goalkeeper Ernestas Setkus did well to keep out Paciencia but Ronaldo had doubled his tally with 22 minutes gone, bending in a first-time shot from the edge of the box.

Ronaldo was denied the chance to score a first-half hat-trick by referee Ruddy Buquet, who initially pointed to the spot following a challenge on Ricardo Pereira, only to overturn his decision following a brief discussion with one of his assistants.

However, Fernando Santos' team made certain of the three points seven minutes into the second half through Pizzi's angled shot that went in via both the crossbar and the post.

Paciencia slotted home a fourth goal after Setkus fumbled Silva's cross and the Manchester City playmaker added another to the tally seven minutes later with a low finish.

Ronaldo completed his hat-trick with another curled finish, this time low into the net, though he missed a glorious chance to add another to his tally when firing over from in front of goal.

 

What does it mean? Holders remain on course

Portugal's defeat to Group B winners Ukraine last month - ending an unbeaten run that stretched back to the 2018 World Cup - left them in direct competition with Serbia for second spot.

Santos' men turned on the style in Faro, however, and will now be guaranteed a place in next year's finals with victory in Luxembourg this weekend. 

Ronaldo closing in on another milestone

Ronaldo's consolation goal in Kiev four weeks ago saw him reach 700 for club and country. After his latest international hat-trick, he is now within two of hitting a century for Portugal. So much for a fading force, right?

Setkus slip-up opens floodgates

Lithuania were 3-0 down when Setkus parried a simple cross from Silva, gifting Paciencia a simple finish. The visiting keeper did not look comfortable all game and perhaps could have done better to keep out one of the five other goals, too.

What's next?

Portugal travel to Luxembourg for their final Euro 2020 qualifier on Sunday, while Lithuania - who finish bottom of Group B with just a point - host New Zealand in a friendly on the same day.

Harry Kane hit a first-half hat-trick as England secured their qualification for Euro 2020 with a 7-0 win over Montenegro, moving on from the Raheem Sterling-Joe Gomez saga in emphatic fashion in their 1000th match.

The build-up to the Three Lions' milestone fixture had been marred by a confrontation between team-mates Sterling and Gomez, resulting in the Manchester City winger being dropped for Thursday's game.

But against poor opponents at Wembley, England's tough week behind the scenes looked to have been forgotten momentarily.

Needing only a point to qualify, victory secured top spot in Group A as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kane, Marcus Rashford and Tammy Abraham were on target, along with an own goal in front of watching England heroes past and, in Sterling's case, present.

However, a reminder of a testing few days came in the form of a mixed reaction for Liverpool defender Gomez on his introduction from the bench late on, even as Sterling applauded his colleague from the stands.

While Gomez started on the bench, John Stones and Harry Maguire – the preferred centre-backs – were scarcely engaged in a defensive sense as Gareth Southgate's side quickly took control.

The opener arrived after just 11 minutes as Ben Chilwell picked out Oxlade-Chamberlain to rifle low into the net from the right side of the box, marking his first international start since March 2018 in style.

Chilwell was again the provider as Kane nodded in a left-wing free-kick to double England's lead, and the same two soon combined once more as the captain was left unmarked from a corner to head home.

Maguire headed straight at Milan Mijatovic but Rashford smashed in the rebound, before Kane controlled a deflected Trent Alexander-Arnold cross and slotted in his third and the hosts' fifth.

Mason Mount was denied his first England goal by an offside flag early in the second half, and the Chelsea man's blushes were spared on 66 minutes when he mistimed a close-range volley and Aleksandar Sofranac hacked the wayward shot in off the crossbar for an own goal.

There was still time for substitute Abraham to open his international account, squeezing an effort under Mijatovic from Jadon Sancho's cutback to cap the scoring.

 

What does it mean? Respite for Southgate on landmark night

Southgate, who made the bold call to leave Sterling out, would have been delighted to get back to on-field matters. It was always highly unlikely Montenegro – beaten 5-1 in the reverse fixture – would stall England's progress, but a clinical display meant this most straightforward of tasks could be celebrated in a fashion befitting the assembled greats in the stands.

Kane's tally keeps growing

Tottenham's struggles have weighed heavy on stand-in club skipper Kane in recent weeks, but his England record is remarkable, even considering the accommodating opponents here. The striker is now outright sixth on the all-time England goals list with 31 – passing the likes of Alan Shearer and Frank Lampard – and became the first player to score hat-tricks in consecutive Wembley appearances for the Three Lions.

Still gaps at the back

As has been the theme in recent outings, England were ruthless in attack but open at the back. Jordan Pickford was required to make good stops from Marko Simic and Fatos Beqiraj in the first half as Southgate still searches for a primary centre-back partnership.

What's next?

England will be glad to have wrapped up qualification before Sunday's match against Kosovo, who caused Southgate's men problems at St Mary's Stadium in September. Montenegro have now concluded a winless qualification campaign and play Belarus in a friendly on Tuesday.

Turkey ensured they and France qualified for Euro 2020 by holding out for a 0-0 draw against Iceland on Thursday.

Senol Gunes' side withstood substantial late pressure from their visitors, with Merih Demiral making a stunning goalline clearance to preserve parity in Istanbul.

The stalemate means Turkey edge to the top of Group H on 20 points, one ahead of France, who face an apparent formality at home to Moldova later on Thursday.

Didier Deschamps' world champions are three points ahead of Iceland in third and qualify by virtue of having a superior head-to-head record.

As things stand, a spot in the play-offs in March awaits Iceland.

Turkey and France join Belgium, Italy, Russia, Poland, Ukraine and Spain as confirmed participants at Euro 2020.

Spain head coach Robert Moreno insists he did not call up Wolves winger Adama Traore "on a whim" for this month's Euro 2020 qualifying matches.

Traore was surprisingly named as a replacement for the injured Rodrigo Moreno only for a hamstring issue to force him to withdraw from the squad.

It had been suggested Traore was only called up so that he would make a competitive appearance for Spain and therefore no longer be eligible to represent Mali, the country of his parents.

However, Moreno - who worked with the player at Hospitalet and Barcelona, where he made his senior debut - says he has long considered calling up Traore due to his ability to unsettle deep-lying defences.

"I'm looking for players who can create an imbalance. Adama Traore has that and is very different from others," he told a news conference.

"He suffered a little problem on Sunday. I spoke with him and he told me he couldn't come.

"Adama is very well-known because he came out of La Florida, my local club. He was at Hospitalet, where I was, and we gave him his debut at Barcelona. Nobody knows him like I do.

"He wasn't called up on a whim. We've been following him for a long time and he has been on two preliminary squad lists."

Spain, who have already qualified for the Euro 2020 finals, face Malta and Romania in their final two games in Group F.

Moreno is eager to see a more clinical edge in attack from his players given they were held by Norway and Sweden in their most recent games.

"We lacked aim in the last two games against Norway and Sweden. We create chances, but you still have to create more," he said.

"This week, we've emphasised working against teams who close things down, as I think that's how the games against Malta and Romania will be."

Moreno also suggested he could give Roma goalkeeper Pau Lopez a chance to impress, as the battle for the number-one position continues between Kepa Arrizabalaga and David de Gea.

"I said I wanted to try everyone and I'm a man of my word. It could be that Pau Lopez plays one of the next two games," he said.

Leonardo Bonucci will be glad to see Cristiano Ronaldo back on the pitch for Portugal and is not concerned by the forward's recent tough stretch at Juventus.

Juve superstar Ronaldo has been substituted in his past two club matches, reportedly leaving the stadium before full-time last time out against AC Milan.

Coach Maurizio Sarri attributed the former Real Madrid forward’s early withdrawal down to a bruised knee, yet he is in line to start for Portugal against Lithuania in Euro 2020 qualifying on Thursday.

Club colleague Bonucci is keen not to dwell on the events of recent weeks, though, happy to instead back Ronaldo to return to Turin determined to lead the Bianconeri going forward.

"I like to look forward, not back," Italy international Bonucci told a news conference. "There will be time to talk but now we are with the national teams.

"He will play with Portugal - that means he is physically better and mentally great. And I am here to represent Italy. In Turin, we will talk.

"There are still many games in which we will need the best Ronaldo. I am convinced that, for him, too, the goal is to be better than the past to achieve team and personal goals."

Ronaldo has scored six goals in 14 matches in all competitions for Juve this season.

Sarri's men are a point clear of nearest rivals Inter at the top of Serie A, while they have secured their place in the Champions League knockout stage with two group matches to spare.

England's upcoming Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro is attracting massive media attention due to a bust-up between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez, but it is also an historic occasion for the Three Lions as it will be their 1,000th international match.

Gareth Southgate's England host Montenegro at Wembley on Thursday aiming to secure a place at Euro 2020, though it will be a momentous occasion even if they fail to win.

It has taken England 147 years to rack up 1,000 fixtures and it will be the second successive century milestone reached against Montenegro.

Ahead of the landmark match, we looked at the key Opta data from England's first 999 matches.

Matches

1 – England's first international was against Scotland at Hamilton Crescent on November 30, 1872. The game finished 0-0. Montenegro were also the opponents for the Three Lions' 900th match, sharing a 2-2 draw in Podgorica.

568 – Out of 999 games, England have won 568. The first victory arrived courtesy of a 4-2 triumph over Scotland at Kennington Oval in March 1983.

114 – Scotland have been England's most frequent opponents. They have also never suffered more defeats (41) to a single country, while England have never beaten a nation more often than Wales (67).

13 – England's biggest ever win was a 13-0 victory over Ireland in February 1882. They beat the same opponents 13-2 exactly 17 years later in the Three Lions' most comfortable competitive triumph.

7 – The Three Lions' heaviest defeat was 7-1 away to Hungary in May 1954, coming just six months after getting hammered 6-3 by the Hungarians at Wembley.

Players

1,244 – Ahead of Thursday's match, 1,244 players have represented England. Nine have reached 100 caps, while 356 have just one.

125 – Goalkeeper Peter Shilton holds the record for most caps with 125. Wayne Rooney (120) is the most-capped outfield player in England's history.

17 – Theo Walcott became England's youngest-ever player in May 2006 at the age of 17 years and 75 days. He still holds that record, though Rooney is the team's most junior scorer after his effort against Macedonia in September 2003 (17 years, 317 days).

53 – Rooney is also England's record goal-scorer, having found the net 53 times, four more than Bobby Charlton.

41 – By contrast, Stanley Matthews is the oldest scorer for England, having struck in October 1956 when he was aged 41 years and 248 days.

Managers

1 – Walter Winterbottom was appointed England's first manager in 1946, with the team selection previously made by a committee. He was in charge for a record 16 years.

19 – England have had 19 permanent managers, with Winterbottom (139 matches) overseeing the most games. Sam Allardyce presided over the fewest (one).

2 – Fabio Capello and Sven-Goran Eriksson are the only non-British managers to ever take charge of England.

England manager Gareth Southgate is set to restore axed star Raheem Sterling to the starting line-up for Sunday's Euro 2020 qualifying trip to Kosovo following his altercation with Joe Gomez.

Sterling will miss Thursday's fixture against Montenegro at Wembley as punishment for his confrontation with England team-mate and Liverpool defender Gomez.

The pair clashed during Sunday's Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool and were involved in an incident in a private area of England's St George's Park training base.

While Sterling will sit out England's 1,000th match in London, the City forward is poised to return to the fold against Kosovo in Group A.

"Yes," Southgate said when asked if Sterling will start on Sunday. "Without knowing what might happen in tomorrow's game and everything else, but I can see that being the case.

"His reaction has been brilliant. He spoke to the team really well and he's trained really well and I can't fault his reaction at all.

"So, there might be observation about where he might be in terms of me and giving you an honest answer of what I think he's likely to be thinking. But in terms of how he's trained and how he's been around the guys and with us, I'm happy."

While Sterling is expected to return, it remains to be seen whether Gomez will feature as he vies with the likes of Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings and John Stones for a place in Southgate's XI.

Southgate added: "I'm not going to pick the whole team for the next two games, but whatever decision I make, what happened last Monday won't have any bearing on selection for the next two games.

"He is up against three outstanding, experienced centre-backs at his club. But he's a young defender and we've always thought highly of him as a player and as a character. So he's developing well.

"I know he'll want to play more with us, but he's already proved to us against the likes of Brazil and Germany that he can cope at the highest level and thrive at the highest level.

"Of course, when you're not getting a number of games at club level it's more difficult to come straight into the national team. But that doesn't mean we've lost faith in him because that's why we've kept him in the squad."

Sandro Tonali insisted he is "not scared" about his €300million valuation as Europe's elite eye the Brescia and Italy sensation.

Brescia owner and president Massimo Cellino said it would take an offer of €300m for the Serie A side to part with prized asset Tonali.

Tonali – who broke into Brescia's first team at the age of 17 – has been linked to Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid, Inter and Manchester United.

Asked about the price tag ahead of Italy's Euro 2020 qualifier against Bosnia-Herzegovina, the 19-year-old playmaker – who made his international debut last month – told Rai Sport: "I love President Cellino very much and he rates me highly.

"He's a great person and I hope to travel down a good road with him.

"After the match against Fiorentina, he said he wouldn't even sell me for €300m, but that doesn't scare me, even if it really is a lot of money.

"I'm confident about what we'll do this season. For now I'm not thinking about the market, I just want to help Brescia stay up."

Tonali came off the bench to make his Italy bow in the country's 5-0 rout of Liechtenstein in Euro 2020 qualifying on October 15.

The Brescia star has been compared to Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso and Daniele De Rossi – who now plays for Boca Juniors.

On those comparisons, Tonali added: "Being compared to Pirlo doesn't bother me, but I think we're very different because he had indescribable technique and quality.

"I consider myself to be like Gattuso but more technical. He's always been my role model."

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