HARRY KANE’S hat-trick helped England maintain their 100 per cent start to Euro 2020 qualifying with a resounding 4-0 win over Bulgaria.

The England skipper converted two successful penalties and also turned home Raheem Sterling’s cross from close range as he claimed his second treble on the international stage, with his first having come against Panama in last year’s World Cup finals.

Sterling also scored in the second half as England moved back to the top of the Group A standings, overtaking Kosovo, who they face in Southampton on Tuesday night.

Gareth Southgate’s side were dominant throughout, although they were only really able to cut loose in the second half as Bulgaria’s initial resistance subsided.

The pattern of the game was established in the very early stages, with Bulgaria pulling all ten outfield players behind the ball and stringing their back four across the edge of their own penalty area.

However, for all that the opponents were extremely limited in their ambition, they were still able to fashion the game’s first opening five minutes in. Marcelinho set up Wanderson in the area, but the midfielder didn’t really get hold of his shot and Wearsider Jordan Pickford was able to make a routine save.

England dominated possession from that point onwards, but struggled to make it count. Jordan Henderson hammered a first-time volley wide of the target, and when Kane slotted home in the 19th minute, he was rightly flagged offside.

Four minutes later, however, and Kane was finding the net in a legitimate fashion. Bulgaria’s attempts to play out with a short goal kick backfired when Sterling nipped in to win possession, and when the Manchester City forward cut the ball back from the byline, Kane was left with the simple task of converting from the edge of the six-yard box.

England went close to claiming a second when Kane’s header from Kieran Trippier’s cross was saved by Plamen Iliev, but having threatened early on, the visitors created a second first-half scare when Strahil Popov crossed from the right and Galin Ivanov directed a free header straight at Pickford.

Pickford was called into action again at the start of the second half, parrying Wanderson’s low shot at his near post, and within a minute of that save, England were doubling their lead at the other end.

Nikolay Bodurov swept Marcus Rashford’s legs from under him as the Manchester United striker turned in the box, and Kane stepped up to convert with authority from the spot.

Kane turned provider for England’s third goal, which came just six minutes later, squaring the ball across the six-yard box from the left-hand side to enable Raheem Sterling to convert from close range. Having gone more than three years without an international goal, Sterling has now scored six in his last seven outings for his country.

Kane boasts six from six after completing his hat-trick with his second successful spot-kick of the afternoon with 18 minutes left. He earned the penalty himself, with Kristian Dimitrov hacking him down as he was about to shoot, and made no mistake as he drilled past Iliev’s right hand.