Needing just a point against Fifa’s lowest-ranked international team to seal top spot in Group I, Harry Maguire opened the scoring with an unchallenged header inside the first five minutes and from thereon the remainder of the match amounted to little more than a one-sided onslaught.
Bukayo Saka’s deflected shot made it two before Harry Kane scored four goals in succession - two from the penalty spot - to close in on Wayne Rooney’s all-time England goalscoring record.
There was no let-up in the second half as Emile Smith Rowe marked his first start with a goal before Tyrone Mings, Tammy Abraham and Saka completed the rout.
Here are our player ratings:
Ramsdale - 7/10: The goalkeeper could hardly ask for a more simple international debut. In fact, he might wish he had actually been able to contribute a little more, having been a virtual bystander on the edge of his own penalty for much of the match.
Alexander-Arnold - 8/10: Was not always at his fluid best in the first half, but produced a fine free-kick to set up Mings’ header before two more crosses completed a hat-trick of assists late on.
Mings - 7/10: A fixture that amounted to little more than a training ground exercise for Aston Villa’s captain, who had no danger to contend with, and then capped his night with a fine header into the far corner.
Maguire - 7/10: Sparked the onslaught with an unchallenged header inside the opening five minutes. Similarly had little to do in defence.
Coady - 7/10: Equally unflustered throughout and was rarely called upon other than to restart the attacking onslaught.
Saka - 8/10: Was a constant threat on the left flank, combining excellently with teammate Smith Rowe, and scored England’s second, although it was later ruled an own goal. He made sure to get on the scoresheet in the second half.
Phillips - 7/10: Was able to control the tempo in midfield without a flinch, rarely coming under any sort of pressure, and had little in the way of enforcing to do.
Bellingham - 7/10: Was extremely unfortunate to see his first England goal ruled out after a VAR check for a contentious foul by Abraham in the build-up. An effortlessly excellent night for the teenage midfielder.
Smith Rowe - 8/10: Marked his first start with a goal in the second half and thrived in the build-up, easily picking spaces in San Marino’s defence.
Foden 7/10 - His audacious overhead kick looked to be sailing wide but struck an arm and gave Kane the chance to score his first from the penalty spot. Had far too much quality for his opposite number.
Kane - 9/10: The night a striker dreams of and which Kane treated like a grim reaper, scoring four goals to close in on the all-time goalscoring record.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies