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Saturday, September 4, 1999 Published at 18:53 GMT 19:53 UK

Sport: Football

Shearer leads England rout

Alan Shearer (right) celebrates his first hat-trick in an England jersey

England 6-0 Luxembourg

Kevin Keegan: "Luxembourg had to play damage limitation"
Alan Shearer hit his first international hat-trick and Michael Owen his first goal at Wembley as England romped to victory over part-timers Luxembourg in their Euro 2000 qualifier.

Shearer's Newcastle team-mate Kieron Dyer was dynamic on his debut, providing two of the skipper's goals as England demolished their lowly opposition with five goals before half-time.

Michael Owen: "Bring on Poland"
Owen added the icing on the cake for England, marking his return to international football after a four month lay-off, with a super strike in the last minute.

It means victory in Poland on Wednesday will secure a Euro 2000 play-off place for Kevin Keegan's men.

After the game Shearer hit back at critics of his recent Newcastle performances.

"I didn't need a confidence boost, I need chances," he said.

"I listened to Kevin Keegan and Bobby Robson and as long as I have pleased them, I'm happy. I don't listen to discredited people. I don't listen to anyone else."

[ image: Dyer: Dynamic debut]
Dyer: Dynamic debut
With the game won by half-time, England conserved energy on a scorching afternoon.

There were eight changes from the team which drew in Bulgaria in the last match.

Keegan had surprised many with his selection - recalling veteran Stuart Pearce, 37, and playing 20-year-old debutant Dyer at right back. Pearce became the oldest outfield player to represent England since Stanley Matthews.

Shearer has endured a tough fortnight at Newcastle. But the captain soon had a smile on his face as England ripped into Luxembourg in front of 68,000 fans.

[ image: Owen: He's back]
Owen: He's back
After 11 minutes played, Dyer, with acres of room up the right, set off on a teasing run into the box only to be felled for a penalty.

Shearer sent the goalkeeper the wrong way for his 25th international goal.

His second came on 27 minutes after Robbie Fowler had slid the ball invitingly into his path from a clever knock-down.

Then two minutes later he set up England's third when he stepped over a low Ray Parlour cross to the near post to allow Steve McManaman to side-foot home his first England goal.

[ image: McManaman: Scored two but could have had more]
McManaman: Scored two but could have had more
Shearer had his reward for his unselfishness just past the half hour.

Dyer, overlapping McManaman on the right, cheekily dodged one defender before setting up his captain and Newcastle team-mate. Shearer rifled the ball home.

With Luxembourg overrun, England made it five two minutes before half-time.

The BBC's Alan Green reports on the match
David Batty chased a long ball into the far right corner, waited for the galloping McManaman to arrive before chipping a simple cross onto the head of the Real Madrid star.

It was a more subdued England that returned after the break, with Gary Neville replacing Dyer.

England fans say what they thought of the team
In the 64th minute Keegan took the opportunity of returning Owen to the international fray, switching him for David Beckham - who has a yellow card to his name.

It looked as though Owen had missed the chance to open his Wembley account, sending a couple of chances wide, but in the last minute he looked up from 25 yards and curled a delightful shot into the far right corner to seal England's win.

England: Martyn, Dyer, Keown, Adams, Pearce, McManaman, Beckham, Batty, Parlour, Shearer, Fowler. Subs: G. Neville, Walker, P. Neville, Southgate, Sherwood, Sheringham, Owen.

Luxembourg: Felgen, Feron, Schauls, Birsens, Funck, Saibene, Theis, Vanek, Christophe, Schnieder, Posing. Subs: Besic, L. Deville, Schaack, Alverdi, F. Deville, Thill, Zaritski.
Referee: S Shmolik (Belarus)

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