England remain on course to finish their European Championship qualifying campaign with a 100% record after recording their ninth successive group success with an uninspiring win over Estonia at Wembley. Theo Walcott and Raheem Sterlng scored at the end of either half to illuminate a one-paced fixture which lacked a cutting edge from the outset.
Ross Barkley did impress for long periods, setting up Walcott's goal before seeing Estonia goalkeeper Mihkel Aksalu keep out his stinging drive after the break. The performance of the Everton midfielder was one of the few positives to emerge from an otherwise forgettable evening during a qualifying campaign which has barely tested Roy Hodgson's team.
Jamie Vardy and Dele Alli made their England debuts during second half cameos, the former completing his emergence from non-league. Vardy would waste little time making an impression too setting up the second for Sterling after breaking in behind before laying the ball on a plate for the Manchester City winger, who endured a mixed evening despite netting his second international goal.
Defeat for Estonia means they are now effectively unable to qualify for Euro 2016, with Switzerland having snatched second place following victory over San Marino, as Slovenia drew with Lithuania. Magnus Pehrsson's side face the Swiss in their final game, needing to win by a healthy margin and hope San Marino shock Slovenia to grab a play-off place.
With passage to the finals in France having already been assured, there was the small matter of becoming just the sixth side to finish the qualifying campaign with a 100% win record still to play for. Estonia meanwhile had something to play for themselves, with automatic qualifying not yet out of the question if they could complete their first ever win over England.
Prior to the game, captain Wayne Rooney's achievement of becoming the nation's highest international goalscorer was marked with a presentation from Sir Bobby Charlton - the former record holder. However, the Manchester United forward's involvement would end there after an ankle injury ruled him out. Harry Kane spearheaded an attacking minded team which also included Adam Lallana, Theo Walcott and Raheem Sterling.
Despite naming a team of players looking to impress, the hosts could have been forgiven for making a slow start to a game which barely had a tinge of competitiveness attached. But instead Hodgson's side made a fast start, with Walcott's volley forcing a save from Mihkel Aksalu before Ross Barkley's tame effort also testing the Estonian 'keeper.
Lone striker Ats Purje was becoming an increasingly isolated figure as England's deluge of attacking players continued to bare down on the Estonia goal - though often their approach looked disjointed and awkward within a relatively new team. Sterling notably struggled throughout the first half, as his poor club form for Manchester City continued.
Complacency soon set in, allowing Estonia rare glimpses of the England goal first has Taijo Teniste danced his way through before Chris Smalling deflected Sergei Zenjov's centre agonisingly over his own crossbar. James Milner and Konstantin Vassijev then exchanged wayward shots from range as an insipid half drew to a close.
But before the break the breakthrough came to the relief to those inside Wembley as Barkley fed Walcott, who broke the off-side trap and slid past Aksalu. The in-form Arsenal striker had stuck out during the 45 minutes and was rewarded with his 10th goal in as many starts for club and country.
The goal on the stroke of half time invigorated England and a second almost followed before the hour mark. Aksalu kept out Lallana from a nicely worked free-kick before Barkley slalomed pst three Estonian players before firing just wide.
As Chris Smalling survived man-handling Purje the game slipped into a familiar turgid patten which has defined the first period with neither team doing much to excite a crowd of 75,427. Barkley did his best to wake the crowd from their inevitable slumber but fund Askalu at his very best after he beat Teniste and Arthur Pikk on the edge of the area.
The game looked set to meander towards a low key conclusion, in keeping with the evening, but England would grab a second goal they barely deserved with four minutes left. Substitute Vardy broke down the right and his cross was converted from close range by Sterling to end any hopes of a late Estonia revival.