Roy Hodgson lauded a ‘perfect’ night as England jetted off to continue their World Cup preparations in sunnier climes, with a 3-0 win over Peru at Wembley behind them.
Daniel Sturridge sent Hodgson’s side on their way with a stunning first half strike before former Sheffield United defender Phil Jagielka and fellow ex-Blade Gary Cahill added one apiece in the 65th and 70th minutes respectively.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though and had it not been for the excellent Joe Hart and some last-ditch defending from Jagielka, Peru would have scored the goal their attacking display perhaps deserved.
Nonetheless, manager Hodgson felt his side were well worth their victory.
“We had to be very patient. We were dominant throughout. It is a perfect end to a perfect two weeks,” he said. “When you play against teams who get 10 men behind the ball you have to be patient and keep going but I was never in any doubt we would win the game.
“I knew they would tire and I think 3-0 is the minimum we can accept from the game.”
On the positives from the match, Hodgson, whose side now head off for two games in Miami against Equador and Honduras, to complete their preparations for the opener against Italy, added: “We gained a wonderful send-off to the World Cup. When the game was over at 2-0 we took the opportunity to change some of the senior players and give some of the younger ones a chance.”
Among those younger players to come on were Barnsley-born John Stones and ex-Sheffield Wednesday loanee Ross Barkley.
Twenty-year-old Stones, who is on the stand-by list for the World Cup squad, earned his first cap, coming for Leighton Baines on 75 minutes.
Sturridge, who was named man of the match and was comfortably England’s biggest attacking threat, says the squad will travel confident they can perform in Brazil.
“For everyone it is not about going there (Brazil) to make the numbers up,” he said. “I am a winner and the players are winners - it doesn’t mean we are going to win it out there but we are winners.”
On the game, he added: “It was difficult to be fair because they defended well and they were very compact.
“We had worked very hard throughout the week and there wasn’t the match sharpness as much as we would have liked.
“But it was great to be out there and we are happy with the result.”
On his goal, Sturridge said: “It is not important about myself, it is about the team and our preparation; putting in a shift tactically and technically to be in the best shape for the first game.”