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The Three Lions followed up their strong display in Hungary on Thursday night, with an efficient 4-0 victory against Andorra.
A Jesse Lingard brace with a Harry Kane penalty and a Bukayo Saka secured a very comfortable victory against the minnows.
Gareth Southgate’s side have a perfect record in this current World Cup qualifying campaign, and it never looked under any threat from the visitors.
However, while the quality and the excitement at Wembley paled next to the fixtures of England’s run to the Euro 2020 final just three months ago, Southgate did treat the fans to with some new experiments within his team.
Daily Star Sport look at what Gareth Southgate got right and wrong.
Jesse Lingard’s selection
Lingard’s presence raised many question marks, but he justified his selection with a well taken brace.
His only appearance was a four-minute cameo in United’s 1-1 draw away to Southampton, but he looked fresh, sharp, and hungry against Andorra.
Lingard’s direct playing style and speed in transitions was vital to breaking the resolute Andorrans down, and he put in strong display for Southgate’s side.
James and Trent in midfield
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s range of passing and delivery has often led to many suggesting he should be deployed in midfield.
Southgate deployed the Liverpool right-back into the midfield alongside Henderson, and he dictated the game.
However, Reece James was also moved into the middle of the park in the second half.
What did you make of England's performance against Andorra? Comment below
The Chelsea star played as a defensive midfielder when he was on loan at Wigan Athletic, and while his passing was not as crisp as Arnold’s, James did smash the crossbar with a powerful drive from 25-yards.
While they will face harder challenges than the Andorrans, both players certainly gave a strong account of themselves in the midfield.
Two holding midfielders
While James and Arnold’s appearances at midfield looked promising, it was a shame another creative player was not deployed.
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Jordan Henderson is a fantastic player, but with the Andorrans barely threatening the Liverpool captain even started charging forward as an attacking midfielder just to keep himself warm.
Henderson is vital to this England side, particularly against the bigger more threatening nations, but with The Three Lions only finding the net once after an hour, the game seemed to suit Mason Mount and Jack Grealish more.
The pair were introduced with thirty minutes left to spare, along with Harry Kane, but two holding midfielders remained on the pitch at the same time.
Bukayo Saka selection
The 20-year-old winger got an outstanding reception on his first match at Wembley since his devastating penalty miss in the Euro 2020 final.
It will go a long way to helping him find his confidence after the disappointment against Italy.
However, the left winger proved he was not in the squad just for the reception as he caused havoc to the Andorrans and grabbed a well-deserved goal.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, and Jude Bellingham repeatedly found space to run into, despite the compact nature of Andorra’s defence.
And they have Bukayo Saka to thank for the creation of those spaces as he dragged them to the by-lines, to the penalty spot, and back towards the deep midfield.
It was a confident, mature display from Saka.
Not starting Harry Kane
Patrick Bamford has more than earned his England call-up, however this was perhaps not the match to start him in.
Harry Kane struggled with his finishing against Hungary, despite getting himself on the score sheet.
He would have been very frustrated with his finishing in Budapest; therefore, it perhaps would have been beneficial to deploy the England captain so he can make up for his misses from Thursday night.
Moreover, Kane’s capabilities of dropping deep and creating the space for Saka and Lingard, was desperately missed.
Bamford was unlucky to have not scored, but with England struggling to create many more chances after their first goal, Kane’s absence was deafening.
- Gareth Southgate
- Harry Kane
- World Cup
- England Football Team
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