England consolidated their position at the top of their World Cup qualifying group after cruising to a 4-0 victory over Andorra at Wembley.
Gareth Southgate made wholesale changes to the team that won in Hungary three days ago. Good work from Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka created the room for Jesse Lingard to give England the lead after 18 minutes.
Reece James hit the bar early in the second half, before substitute Harry Kane converted a penalty to double England’s lead. Another goal from Lingard a few minutes later sealed the victory, with Saka adding another five minutes from time.
England now travel to Warsaw to take on Poland on Wednesday in the next round of group fixtures, while Andorra travel to Budapest to face Hungary.
'A lovely story' - Southgate and Trippier heap praise on Saka
TALKING POINT - Can England find the right formula in the next few years?
The pandemic and the decision to have a year-end World Cup has suddenly made international tournaments like buses. Qatar 2022 will be upon us in 14 months, with another Euros 18 months on from that in Germany.
It was never going to happen against Andorra, but somewhere in that run England need to address the issues that caused them to pull up just short in Russia 2018 and in the Euro 2020 final less than two months ago.
Squad depth was an issue in Russia but looks to have been resolved now; if Southgate can find either the players or the method for England to control the ball and the tempo of play in tight matches, then they have everything else required to wipe out the painful memory of 11 July 2021 and go one further.
Harry Kane of England celebrates with Bukayo Saka and Jesse Lingard
Image credit: Getty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH – Jude Bellingham (England)
In a game England were always going to win, the atmosphere was often flat. In his hour on the pitch Bellingham provided the energy and direction England needed to get going. If his development continues at this arc, he’s going to give Southgate some tough decisions to make when finding a midfield combination in the near future.
England (4-3-3): Johnstone 6; James 6, Coady 6, Mings 6, Trippier 6; Henderson 7Alexander-Arnold 7, Bellingham 8; Lingard 7, Bamford 6, Saka 7. Subs: Grealish 7, Mount 7, Kane 7
Andorra (5-3-2): Gomes Moreira 5; Rubio Gomez 5, Llovera Gonzalez 6, Vales Gonzalez 5, Garcia Gonzalez 5, Moises San Nicolas 5; Rubio Gomez 5, Rebes Ruiz 5, Clement Garces 6; Viera de Vasconcelos 6, Sanchez Alburquerque 5. Subs: Fernandez 5, Martinez 6, Garcia 6, Cervos 6, Lima 6
Jesse Lingard celebrates
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GOAL! England 1 (Lingard 18) Andorra 0 England lead, and Bellingham starts it off again. His quick feet work the ball to Lingard, who finds Saka on the left edge of the area. Saka's cross is headed meekly away to the edge of the box where Lingard kills it first time, and slightly scuffs a shot low into the bottom corner.
49’ OFF THE BAR! James has dropped into midfield it seems. From there he piles forward and, from 25 yards out, whips a delicious curler onto the top of the crossbar and away.
71’ PENALTY! Nimble footwork from Grealish and Mount works the latter into the area, and Garcia bundles the latter over from behind. The third sub, Kane, will take the kick.
72’ GOAL! England 2 (Kane 72) Andorra 0 It's there! Kane drills it low into the bottom left; he's now level with Michael Owen as the fifth highest scorer in the history of the men's national team.
78’ GOAL! England 3 (Lingard 78) Andorra 0 England go up a gear and score again. A winding, cross-pitch run from Grealish finds Saka, who in turn finds Lingard on the left edge of the area. Lingard opens up and hits a bouncing shot through the dive of Gomes Moreira and into the bottom corner.
85’ GOAL! England 4 (Saka 85) Andorra 0 Happy birthday! It's a much happier Wembley memory for Saka here. England take a quick corner to Lingard, who crosses while the Andorran defence are asleep and Saka plants a header into the net from six yards out.
Kane’s goal was his 40th for England, which puts him level with Michael Owen in fifth place of the all-time list for the men’s national team.