The 116th edition of the world’s oldest international fixture came with both sides in the enviable position of knowing it was a case of when rather than if they qualified for Euro 2024.
Scotland have won all five of their group games and headed into Tuesday’s so-called friendly dreaming of a memorable victory against England and a Georgia draw with Norway.
That result would have seen them wrap up their place at next summer’s Euros, but the hosts’ win in Oslo was compounded by a disappointing loss to Gareth Southgate’s men in Glasgow.
This match commemorated the nations’ first meeting 150 years ago and ended with England racking up their 49th win in this fixture thanks to a confident display.
Scotland have had an impressive recent record on home soil, but Southgate’s side got back to winning ways after Saturday’s drab qualification draw against Ukraine.
Foden – the subject of so much pre-match discussion – quickly adjusted his feet to direct home the opener in the first half, with Bellingham capitalising on a wretched Andy Robertson pass to rifle home three minutes later.
The half-time scoreline did not flatter England, although Harry Maguire was teased mercilessly by the Scotland fans following his introduction and turned a Robertson cross into his own goal to lift the roof. But home hopes of a comeback were short-lived as the visitors went up a few gears as brilliant Bellingham set up skipper Kane to wrap up a comfortable friendly win.
Bellingham revealed he had been motivated by his performance against Ukraine.
He said: “I wasn’t happy with how I played in Poland against Ukraine. I showed a level that probably wasn’t anywhere near my best and I think that’s the motivation always, to try to get back to your best – and I think that was close to it tonight.
“Like I said, I used the last performance as a bit of motivation. It was more than a friendly game and it means so much to the fans and the bragging rights and all those kind of things, so I knew that I wanted to be near my best today so that the England fans could go home happy.”
Foden slammed over the first noteworthy chance from a Marcus Rashford cutback and Bellingham penalty appeals for a hefty Ryan Porteous challenge were ignored due to offside in the build-up.
Kyle Walker struck across the face of goal and an exceptional team move may have ended with a Kane opener but for Jack Hendry’s intervention.
However, Scotland’s goal would be breached in the 32nd minute. Bellingham’s pass behind was met by a smart Rashford touch under pressure wide to Walker, whose driven ball was turned home smartly by Foden from six yards.
Three minutes later and England were gifted another. Bellingham backheeled to Foden on the left and ran into the box, where Robertson passed straight into the Real Madrid man’s path for him to lash home after the initial cross had been stopped.
Scotland built pressure and were rewarded on 67 minutes when red-faced Maguire turned Robertson’s cross past Aaron Ramsdale.
But Bellingham soon helped England score their third, keeping his cool to set-up Kane.