GLASGOW: England continued their modern-day superiority in the 150-year rivalry with Scotland by beating their in-form hosts in a Hamdpden friendly.
The Scots last triumphed in this fixture in 1999, but hopes of a 42nd win appeared ominously faint as Phil Foden’s opener silenced the national stadium before the terrific Jude Bellingham was gifted a second three minutes later.
A shaken Scotland eventually awoke the home crowd as Harry Maguire’s lazy leg sent Andy Robertson’s cross screeching beyond Aaron Ramsdale.
However, England’s classy play and intricate movement would pay once more as Harry Kane slotted home the visitors’ third after a mesmeric Bellingham assist.
The first official meeting between these two took place on 30 November 1872 at the West of Scotland Cricket Club.
Six miles and 150 years on, this great rivalry captured the imagination of a Scottish public with a yearning for victory founded in genuine optimism.
Top of their European Championship group with five wins from five and facing an England team held by Ukraine on Saturday, head coach Steve Clarke spoke pre-match about the desire to see how much his team had narrowed the gap.
In the end, a fluid and ruthless first half from Gareth Southgate’s team offered a sobering reply. The visitors were slick, composed and in control and deserved the lead when it eventually arrived.
Kyle Walker lashed the ball towards the Scotland goal from inside the area, only for Foden’s quick thinking and feet helping the ball divert beyond Angus Gunn.
Scotland barely had a chance to gather themselves before it was two. An uncharacteristic lack of composure from Robertson saw an attempted clearance prodded towards Bellingham on the penalty spot to scud home.
The introduction of Ryan Christie after the break breathed life into a flat Scotland, and the lifeline via the unfortunate Maguire ignited a fire inside Clarke’s side as England rocked.
But Bellingham’s class would show once more. With nine minutes to go, the Real Madrid man danced by two trailing dark blue jerseys, slipped the ball to his captain, and Bayern Munich’s leading man made no mistake.