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Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Two Lions Star For England

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Leighton Baines inspired England to an 8-0 win in San Marino, while Leon Osman made his competitive international bow on Friday evening.

The Everton left-back terrorised the minnow nation, laying on assists for three of the Three Lions' strikes to give manager Roy Hodgson plenty to ponder as World Cup qualification continues.

As early as the 12th minute, Baines powered forward and delivered a low and dangerous ball that defender Alessandro Della Valle could only steer into his own net with former Everton man Wayne Rooney lurking.

Goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jermain Defoe followed before Baines teed up Ashley Young for a powerful 25-yard screamer into the roof of the net.

And there was still time for another before the interval, with Baines' charge to the byline and neat cutback finding Frank Lampard and the skipper providing a cool finish.

Leon Osman then made his competitive international debut by coming onto the pitch as a 55th-minute substitute, moments after Wayne Rooney had made it six from a free-kick.

Further goals from Defoe and Daniel Sturridge came during the Three Lions' stroll, with Tuesday's opponents Montenegro running out 1-0 winners in Moldova to stay top of Group H.

Meanwhile, Marouane Fellaini played the full 90 minutes of Belgium's crucial 2-0 win in Macedonia.

Nikica Jelavic had been an unused substitute for Group A rivals Croatia in their 2-0 victory over Serbia earlier on Friday, so a result for Belgium was vital.

Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard grabbed the goals, while Fellaini's Blues cohort Kevin Mirallas remained on the bench.

Also in Group A, Steven Naismith was another unused substitute at Hampden Park, as Scotland were defeated 2-1 by fellow Brits Wales.

But there was a full 90 minutes and a clean sheet for Seamus Coleman as his Republic of Ireland side drew 0-0 over in Sweden in Group C.

Bryan Oviedo's Costa Rica took on the United States - missing Tim Howard - in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Despite severe snow in Denver, the game went ahead, although there was a pause in play in the second half. The US prevailed in the difficult conditions with Clint Dempsey grabbing the only goal of the game.

Oviedo played the opening 73 minutes of the contest, and will be eyeing more action on Tuesday against Jamaica.

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