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Defoe hat-trick gives England the perfect start

England began their Euro 2012 qualification campaign with a comfortable 4-0 victory over Bulgaria at Wembley and went some way to banishing the memories of a wretched World Cup. If the highlight was Tottenham's Jermaine Defoe becoming the first England player to claim a hat-trick in two years, the one disappointment of the night was Defoe's Spurs team-mate Michael Dawson leaving the field with what seemed a serious injury.

Whilst Switzerland will pose a sterner test on Tuesday, at least this result lifts some of the pressure off coach Fabio Capello.

The Italian got the best possible start when Defoe netted after only three minutes from an Ashley Cole pass and then just as Bulgaria were enjoying their best spell of the game added a second just after the hour mark.

Moments earlier Bulgaria had almost levelled but England's impressive keeper Joe Hart saved from Stanislav Angelov.

This two goal cushion gave England confidence and with the visitor's now committed to attack the Three Lions added two more with breakaway strikes.

Substitute Adam Johnson made sure of the points in the 83rd minute before Defoe received Wayne Rooney's pass to collect his hat-trick with four minutes remaining.

ENGLAND: Hart, Glen Johnson, Jagielka, Dawson (Cahill 56), Ashley Cole, Walcott (Adam Johnson 74), Gerrard, Barry, Milner, Defoe (Young 87), Rooney.

Subs Not Used: Foster, Gibbs, Carrick, Bent.

BULGARIA: Mihailov, Ivanov, Milanov, Manolev (Minev 66), Iliyan Stoyanov, Yankov, Angelov, Stiliyan Petrov, Martin Petrov, Bojinov (Rangelov 63), Popov (Peev 79).

Subs Not Used: Vladislav Stoyanov, Kamburov, Domovchiyski, Genchev.

Booked: Popov

England scorers: Defoe 3 , 61 , 86, Johnson 83

Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)

Venue: Wembley Stadium Attendance: 73,246

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