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BBC Sport's Alan Green
"England were always in control"
 real 14k

England midfielder Steven Gerrard
"That's my main aim, to make the number four shirt my own"
 real 56k

England captain David Beckham
"It was a team performance"
 real 56k

England coach Sven Goran Eriksson
"We had a lot of patience"
 real 56k

banner Wednesday, 6 June, 2001, 21:10 GMT 22:10 UK
Buoyant England see off Greece
Heskey speeds past Mavrogenidis
England's Heskey speeds past Mavrogenidis
Greece 0-2 England

England maintained the pressure on Germany at the top of World Cup qualifying group nine with a clinical performance in Athens.

It was a record fifth consecutive win for manager Sven Goran Eriksson since he took charge of England.

His side controlled the game and restricted their hosts to few chances.

Paul Scholes gave England the lead shortly after an hour with his 13th international goal and captain David Beckham sealed victory late on with a splendid free-kick.

  Key incidents
19 mins: Fowler's powerful header tipped over
32 mins: Owen shoots into the side-netting from close range.
63 mins: Scholes puts England in the lead with a close-range goal.
85 mins: Beckham puts victory beyond doubt with a superb free-kick.
There were several impressive performances from England.

Steven Gerrard was at his rampaging best in the centre of midfield, Ashley Cole was excellent in both defence and attack at left-back and Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen linked up well up front.

England started well and were the better side during a cagey first half.

Emile Heskey, preferred to Steve McManaman on the left wing, was a constant threat early on.

In the third minute he burst into the area after receiving the ball 30 yards from goal, but took too long to shoot and was tackled.

His Liverpool team-mate Fowler was frequently dropping deep and looking to utilise the pace of his strike partner Owen.

Scholes scored his 13th England goal
Scholes scored his 13th England goal
But he had an excellent chance of his own after 20 minutes.

Gerrard curled a first-time cross into the area and Fowler rose well, but aimed a powerful header straight at Antonis Nikopolidas from 10 yards, allowing Greece's keeper to palm over.

After half an hour Fowler turned creator, hitting a ball from deep in his own half that Owen latched on to.

He easily outstripped his marker Nikos Dabizas to break clear in the box, before disappointingly hitting a fierce shot into the side netting.


We had a lot of patience, waited and waited, and in the second half we won it well
  Sven Goran Eriksson
Another Liverpool player, Gerrard, twice snuffed out threatening Greek moves, first dispossessing Greek substitute Liberopoulos and then Theo Zagorakis as they bore down on goal.

Greece were galvanised after the interval and dominated possession for the opening 10 minutes of the second-half.

But England worked their way back into the game and took the lead after 63 minutes.

Phil Neville came infield and broke forward before releasing Heskey in the box.

He squared to Scholes, who toe-poked the ball into the net from the edge of the six-yard box for his 13th international goal.

England had a scare late on when Ferdinand, who gave an otherwise flawless performance, missed a left-wing cross.

Beckham lines up his free-kick goal
Beckham lines up his free-kick goal
The Leeds defender had Ashley Cole to thank for brilliantly tackling Yiannakopoulo when the Greek substitute found himself clear 10 yards from goal.

England restricted Greece to few other chances and extended their lead with five minutes remaining.

Beckham grabbed his third goal in four internationals with a vicious curling 25-yard free-kick that left Nikopolidis standing.


Greece: Nikopolidis, Mavrogenidis, Fissas, Dabizas, Ouzoundis, Goumas, Basinas, Zagorakis, Machlas, Karagounis, Vrizas. Subs: Lakis, Konstantinidis, Vokolos, Kateryiannakis, Yiannakopoulos, Liberopoulos, Alexandris.

England: Seaman, Phil Neville, Keown, Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Beckham, Scholes, Gerrard, Heskey, Owen, Fowler. Subs: Carragher, Martyn, Southgate, Butt, McManaman, Smith, Sheringham.

Referee: Rune Pederson (Norway).

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06 Jun 01 |  Photo Galleries
England glide past Greece
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