Last Gasp Lallana Snatches England Winner


Slovakia's players were floored as England wildly celebrated going top of the fledgling Group F table - and the moment left a beaming smile on the face of their relieved new manager.

"I am happy where I'm playing and I think I'm doing a good job". "It was only when we went a man down that they created more".

Wayne Rooney hit a low shot straight at Kozacik as the captain became England's most capped outfield player, surpassing the record he held with David Beckham, by making a 116th appearance. There were signs in the second half that with the introduction of Dele Alli, who failed to fire at Euro 2016, that England are moving in the right direction.

At times during the game in Trnava, the Manchester United star seemed to have a free role as he roamed around the pitch in search of possession.

Allardyce had talked about the challenge of bringing pride back to England but despite a few tactical tweaks, most notably playing Wayne Rooney in a deeper role, it was all far too familiar even after the Slovaks were reduced to 10 men by the sending-off of skipper Martin Skrtel.

The 22-year-old, a part of the much-maligned squad in France this summer, played the full 90 minutes as Allardyce's side began their World Cup qualifying campaign with a narrow victory in Trnava, courtesy of Adam Lallana's last-minute victor.

New England manager Sam Allardyce would probably agree with that but Lallana did more than just grab the victor against Slovakia.

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'I am using his experience to its maximum on the field as captain and football player and encouraging him to play as a captain and play very, very well which I thought he did.

"We are all delighted for him", he added.

'He says: "You can play me anywhere you want me to play and I will try and play there".

With questions being asked of his position in the United starting line-up already this season, it doesn't bode well for a man who announced last week that he would retire from global football after the 2018 World Cup.

Before the game, Allardyce said he had no intention of telling such an experienced worldwide where to play and so the decision for Rooney to drop deep, as he also did under Hodgson at Euro 2016, was presumably the player's.

Rooney himself insists the debate over his role for England has been taken out of proportion. He read it very well, we won the game and dominated the game, outplaying the opposition.