Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck scored two goals apiece as England moved to the top of FIFA World Cup qualifying Group H by easing past San Marino at Wembley.
The Manchester United FC forwards struck within two minutes of each other before and after the break following periods of stubborn resistance from the minnows. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain rounded off the scoring 13 minutes from time with his first senior international goal.
A crowd of 90,000 had descended on the national stadium expecting a glut of goals, yet, initially, they were not forthcoming as San Marino negotiated the first half-hour with few scares.
Faced with a sea of blue shirts in front of them, England were restricted to long-range openings, Oxlade-Chamberlain thwarted by a fine fingertip save from Aldo Simoncini before warming the goalkeeper's palms with a low drive.
Roy Hodgson's team ought to have made the breakthrough before they eventually did. First, stand-in captain Rooney somehow headed wide a cross from Tom Cleverley and Welbeck, following up after Michael Carrick had rattled the crossbar, struck the upright.
If the capacity crowd were getting restless, their anxiety eased when Simoncini sent Welbeck tumbling. Rooney converted the resulting penalty with ease. One quickly became two as Aaron Lennon – an early substitute for Theo Walcott, who was injured in a collision with the goalkeeper – crossed for Welbeck to adroitly flick into the net.
Carrick was denied his first international goal by the legs of Simoncini eight minutes after the restart, his last significant act before being replaced by debutant Jonjo Shelvey. Four minutes later Rooney stroked in his second from the edge of the penalty area, a goal which lifts him into fifth on England's all-time scoring list.
Welbeck added to the lead by turning in a low ball from Cleverley, with Oxlade-Chamberlain curling in number five after 77 minutes. A sterner test awaits Hodgson's charges in Poland on Tuesday.