Shaun Wright-Phillips' first competitive goal for the Three Lions put them on the road to a convincing win before half-time, with Michael Owen and Micah Richards completing a one-sided triumph after the break.

The result was a huge relief for McClaren, who had faced calls for his head during a turbulent spring campaign. He should now at least have bought himself some breathing room going into the final stages of the qualification campaign.

Scotland remained on course for the finals with a gruelling victory 3-1 victory over Lithuania.

Goals from Kris Boyd, Stephen McManus and James McFadden were enough for victory with Lithuania's goal a dubious penalty converted by Tomas Danilevicius.

Scotland's victory was a bitter blow for Ukraine when combined with their inability to beat Georgia in Tbilisi.

Ukraine had led since Oleg Shelayev's ninth-minute goal, but failed to capitalise on a string of chances and was punished by David Siradze's 89th minute goal which made it 1-1.

The result means Ukraine stay fourth in Group B, losing crucial ground on the Scots.

In Group C, Hungary put a significant dent in Bosnia-Herzegovina's qualification hopes, taking a 1-0 win on Zoltan Gera's first-half penalty.

Two late goals from Andrei Arshavin and Alexander Kerzhakov eased 10-man Russia to a convincing 3-0 victory over FYR Macedonia in Group E.

The Russians took an early lead through Vasili Berezutsky and dominated proceedings before having goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulov sent off for a foul in the box which led to Igor Mitreski missing a penalty for the visitors.

The two goals in the last 10 minutes, however, guided Russia home to leave it all to play for at the top of the pool.

Adrian Mutu scored twice as Romania beat Belarus 3-1 to remain on course for a place at Euro 2008.

Mutu opened the scoring after 16 minutes and completed the win with a penalty 13 minutes from full-time.

In between, Maxim Romashchenko equalised Mutu's first only for Nicolae Dica to restore Romania's advantage before the break.

Also in Group G, Klemen Lavric scored twice as Slovenia's 3-0 win all but condemned Luxembourg to bottom place with victory over the Principality at the Josy Barthel stadium.

Lavric scored early in each half, while Milivoje Novakovic added a first-half strike as Slovenia earned their second win of the qualifying campaign over Luxembourg, who remain without a point from eight matches, seven points adrift.

In Group F, Northern Ireland's six-match unbeaten run came to an end with a 1-0 loss to Latvia in Riga, leaving their chances of qualifying for Euro 2008 on a knife-edge.

An own-goal from stand-in skipper Chris Baird after 56 minutes separated the two teams, ending Latvia's run of seven defeats in a row.

Steffen Iversen struck three minutes into the second half as Norway secured a 1-0 victory over Moldova to boost their bid to qualify for Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland.

The win pushed Norway into second place, two points behind Group C leaders Greece, the reigning European champions.

Norway moved on to 16 points, three ahead of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who were defeated in Hungary, and two in front of Turkey, who drew in Malta but have a game in hand.

Malta went ahead once in each half through Brian Said and Andre Schrembi, but were pegged back on each occasion by goals from Halil Altintop and Sevet Cetin as Turkey rescued a 2-2 draw.

Miroslav Klose scored a goal in each half as Germany stayed in pole position in Group D following a 2-0 victory over Wales, whose slim hopes of qualification were extinguished at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.

The Czech Republic defeated 10-man San Marino in Group D to stay second after the Republic of Ireland drew 2-2 in Slovakia.

Tomas Rosicky scrambled in the opening goal, with Marek Jankulovski and Jan Koller settling matters in the second half after Alessandro Della Valle had been sent off for the hosts.

Marek Cech grabbed an injury-time equaliser to deny the Irish in Bratislava.

The visitors looked set for victory thanks to Kevin Doyle's stunning left-foot strike from 30 yards in the 57th minute. Earlier, Stephen Ireland had given the visitors a seventh-minute lead only for Maros Klimpl to get the first Slovak equaliser eight minutes before the break.

Eduardo Da Silva netted twice inside six first-half minutes for Croatia as they remained top of Group E following an easy 2-0 win over Estonia.

Goals from Wesley Sneijder and Ruud Van Nistelrooy secured Holland a crucial 2-0 win over Bulgaria in Group G in Amsterdam.

Finland shared a goalless draw with Serbia in Group A while Sweden remain top of Group F despite drawing 0-0 at home to Scandinavian neighbours Denmark.

Andres Iniesta was again his side's hero as 10-man Spain salvaged a 1-1 draw against Iceland in a rain-drenched Group F encounter in Reykjavik.

Iniesta, who scored an 80th-minute winner against Iceland in Mallorca in March, netted four minutes from time on Saturday as Spain overcame the early dismissal of midfielder Xabi Alonso to deny Iceland what would have been only their second group win.

Iceland claimed the lead five minutes before the break through Emil Hallfredsson. Joey Gudjonsson whipped in a deep cross from the right byline and Hallfredsson sent a diving header back across Casillas and into the bottom corner of the net, giving the hosts a lead they kept until the 86th minute.

World Cup winners Italy and runners-up France could not be separated as they had to settle for a goalless draw at the San Siro.

The result plays into the hands of surprise packages Scotland who are giving the World Cup finalists a run for their money in Group B. France are one point ahead of Scotland, who they face on Wednesday, while Italy are a point further back.

Poland'sJacek Krzynowek grabbed a late equaliser to draw 2-2 with Portugal and stay in control of Group A on Saturday.

The home side went ahead through Mariusz Lewandowski just before half-time but Maniche levelled for Portugal five minutes after the interval.

Cristiano Ronaldo looked to have sealed a precious win for Luiz Felipe Scolari's side with 17 minutes remaining, but Krzynowek's fortuitous late strike rescued a point for Poland.