COULD never have expected such an easy first half after all the pre-match talk from the opposition.
But his goal came under siege after the break and, despite an excellent save from Jovetic, he was powerless to prevent Damjanovic’s close-range equaliser.
PASSED late fitness test on an injured toe to return at right-back and showed no signs of any injury problems with a blistering early shot which required a sharp save.
Continued to get forward at every opportunity and was yellow carded when he got the wrong side of Jovetic. Booked.
THE United youngster is determined to prove that even when Cahill, Jagielka and Dawson all return from injury, he is still England’s best central defender.
Quick, strong and assured in possession for a player with little senior international experience.
HOME skipper Vucinic had questioned his place in the team but the Manchester City centre-half more than justified his selection with a solid show at the heart of defence.
Frustrated the life out of the Juventus striker and always kept his cool when Vucinic tried to rattle him.
STARTING to feel the heat from Leighton Baines, but 101 caps into his England career showed that he is still as good as any left-back in the game.
Always looking to push up in support, yet was still able to keep a close watch on the dangerous Vukcevic.
THE perfect midfield partner for skipper Gerrard — he is more than happy to sit deep and act as an extra barrier for his back four.
But sometimes you wish he would ping some of those pinpoint long-range passes which he delivers so well for United instead of always playing it safe.
PELTED with missiles as he took an early corner but had the last laugh when he delivered the ball right on to Rooney’s head for the opening goal.
Almost snatched the win with a late free-kick but there were times when it seemed his legs are starting to go.
SUN STAR MAN ... James Milner
JAMES MILNER - SUN STAR MAN
He might not catch the imagination like Walcott or the Ox, but is always guaranteed to put in a shift.
Gives greater defensive support to Johnson than the Arsenal duo. So nearly teed up second Rooney goal with devilish ball across box.
ONLY player to start every England game this season, Hodgson loves him even if others can’t really see what he brings to the team.
Link-up play was first-class and his ability to get up and down the pitch showed why he could be the long-term replacement for Lampard.
ALMOST gave England a dream start with his brilliantly improvised chip which hit the post.
Two minutes later he delivered with a simple unmarked header for his 35th international goal. Surely destined to become the first England star to score 50.
GAVE former City defender Stefan Savic a torrid time with his pace — but his touch and final ball were not always as good as they could have been.
Thought he should have had a penalty when he was clipped from behind by Savic but was instead surprised to find himself booked for simulation.
ASHLEY YOUNG (for Cleverley 77min). Introduced straight after Montenegro’s equaliser in a bid to regain the initiative but did not provide much of a threat. Rating: 5
NOT USED: Foster, Forster, Walker, Baines, Caulker, Lampard, Parker, Osman, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Defoe, Sturridge.
SWEDE seemed to blunder by booking Welbeck for diving when the striker appeared to have been clipped by Savic.
Booked four Montenegro players as they scrapped their way back into the game to equalise, but yellow-carded only two of Hodgson’s men. Ratng: 6
MONTENEGRO: M Bozovic 6, Savic 6, Dzudovic 6, Basa 6, V Bozovic 6 (Delibasic 75, 5), Zverotic 5, Novakovic 5 (Damjanovic HT, 7), Vukcevic 6 (Krkotic 62, 6), Jovetic 7, Volkov 6, Vucinic 7, Booked: Volkov, Novakovic, Delibasic, Dzudovic.