England moved closer to a top seeding at Euro 2024 with a laboured 2-0 home victory against Group C makeweights Malta on Friday that will not live long in the memory of an underwhelmed Wembley Stadium crowd.
Until the 75th minute all that separated Gareth Southgate's lacklustre side from 171st-ranked Malta was an early own goal by Enrico Pepe and they endured some anxious moments in between.
Captain Harry Kane doubled England's lead with his 62nd goal for his country after good work by Bukayo Saka before Declan Rice had an effort ruled out for off-side.
England have 19 points from seven games, with Italy and Ukraine on 13. A point in North Macedonia should ensure England are amongst the top six seeds for Euro 2024.