ENGLAND – Almost two months after the painful defeat in the final of the European Championship, England returned to Wembley to take another step in their qualification for the World Cup in Qatar with a half-throttle win over Andorra (4-0) in which Jesse Lingard shone a lot, with a double and an assist.
Gareth Southgate revolutionized the eleven he produced in the victory against Hungary, aware that the weakness of the Andorrans would not jeopardize any type of experiment. And he was right. He made eleven changes, including the entry of goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, the first Championship footballer in three years to play for England, Patrick Bamford, Leeds United’s top scorer, and Jesse Lingard, one of those discarded from the Euro.
The Manchester United player was the first to claim his claim, the first to knock down some Andorrans who held the guy for 15 minutes, until Lingard caught a ball at the penalty spot and crossed it next to Gomes’ left post. Three years after his last goal for the national team, he celebrated it as Cristiano Ronaldo, his new teammate. England’s ’10’ was unleashed and just two minutes later he made his second, stinging her in front of the goalkeeper, but was annulled for offside of course.
It was Lingard’s match, most of the offensive actions passed through him and when he had to land a kick to cut off the English advance, the facturita was his turn. The attacker was eager to show himself, aware of what his absence in the Euro meant and how difficult it will be in a United full of stars.
But despite Lingard’s brilliance, England had trouble generating offensive football. Bellingham was correct, and so was Saka. Bamford only had one in 45 minutes and the truth is that Andorra held up well in defense.
Reece James opened the second half with a shot to the crossbar, but it was all isolated sparks. England lacked continuity and Southgate tried to find it in a triple change with Harry Kane, Mason Mount and Jack Grealish. So it was. Between Mount and Grealish they created the 2-0 penalty, converted by Kane. The Tottenham striker is already just thirteen points away from equaling Wayne Rooney’s record as the top scorer in English history.
The entrance of the fantastic three gave oxygen and ideas to the ‘Three Lions’ and Lingard took advantage of it, first with a dry shot from outside the area that Gomes could not stop with which he completed his double, and then with a center that Bukayo Saka connected to the network.
4-0 for England, who saved the goals for the end and that each time Qatar is closer, since they lead group I with 15 points, six more than Albania.