Match report and highlights: San Marino 0-6 England
Wayne Rooney equalled Sir Bobby Charlton's all-time scoring record as England secured progress to the European Championships, but it is Roy Hodgson's bemusing decision to take off his captain that will dominate the conversation.
The trip to the microstate of San Marino always looked like a great opportunity for the 29-year-old to draw level with the former Manchester United great, and so it proved on a sunny evening in Serravalle.
Rooney capitalised on a dubious early penalty decision to net past the San Marino goalkeeper, with Cristian Brolli's own goal giving England a 2-0 half-time lead as they closed in on a win which will secure their place at Euro 2016.
There was a nice, convivial atmosphere around Serravalle ahead of the match, although some thoughtless England fans overshadowed that by chanting an anti-IRA song after bellowing 'no surrender' during the national anthem.
When play got under way the awful San Marino Stadium pitch meant both sides struggle for fluency, highlighted by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's slip just before he could cut the ball back from the byline.
It was an uninspiring start to a match that saw England break the deadlock in peculiar circumstances after 13 minutes.
With a free-kick having come to nothing, there was understandable bemusement inside the ground when referee Leontios Trattou pointed to the spot.
Marco Berardi was booked for what appeared to be a push on Rooney, who stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick to equal Charlton's goalscoring record.
The forward pointed to the stand where wife Coleen and son Kai sat as he celebrated the odd, if welcome, goal, which he attempted to add to soon after.
Aldo Simoncini thwarted the England skipper, though, and then James Milner's follow-up effort as England continued to dominate without exerting much effort.
Milner and Shelvey had efforts before San Marino's goal was breached again on the half-hour mark, with Shaw's whipped cross directed into his own goal by Cristian Brolli.
John Stones failed with a header before Simoncini denied Oxlade-Chamberlain to keep the half-time margin to a respectable two goals.
It always looked a matter of when rather than if England would grab another, and it arrived a mere 15 seconds after the restart.
Oxlade-Chamberlain was the architect, sending in a right-wing cross that Barkley nodded home from close range to notch his first ever international goal.
This was always going to be Rooney's night, though, so eyebrows were raised in the San Marino Stadium when Hodgson plumped to take him off after 58 minutes.
There were a few boos from the perplexed travelling fans as Harry Kane took his place at the same time that Milner was replaced by Fabian Delph.
The Manchester City midfielder curled an effort just over soon after and then laid on the fourth to fellow substitute Theo Walcott, who prodded home under pressure with his first touch of the night.
The fifth arrived in the 77th minute and was easily the best goal of the evening. Shelvey, so impressive in midfield, played a wonderful through ball to Kane, who showed poise and skill to clip over Simoncini.
It was a fine way to end a frustrating scoreless streak and was added to a minute later when Walcott netted his second of the night.
The Arsenal forward would have secured the match ball had his 82nd minute strike not drifted inches wide, while Danilo Rinaldi called Joe Hart into a rare moment of action at the other end as England cruised to an expected victory.