Lingard’s brace steers England to comfortable 4-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Andorra
By Paul Lagan at Wembley Stadium
England 4 v Andorra 0
A brace by Jessie Lingard and strikes from Harry Kane - from the penalty spot - and Bukayo Saka’s late header - his first for England- ensured the Three Lions didn’t slip on any bananas and remain firmly in control of their World Cup qualifying group.
Andorra is a lovely place to visit, especially as a stopover for those driving from England down to Spain, but as a footballing nation they would be off most people’s itinerary.
That said, they came to Wembley more in hope than expectation of not getting a hammering, and 4-0 will sit well with them.
For England, this was Gareth Southgate’s second string. All were on show for the big event on Wednesday away to Poland.
None, with the exception of Lingard will expect to be close to starting.
Jessie Lingard does like a goal at Wembley, whether it’s in the FA Cup Final for Manchester United or a World Cup qualifier for England, the striker has a knack of putting the ball between the sticks of the opposition.
It took, Lingard 18 minutes to clip home the first goal for England. He though he had lobbed goalkeeper Josep ones three minutes later for his second, but was rightly judged to have been offside.
Andorra couldn’t believe their luck, that they reached half-time only 1-0 down.
But the Three Lions were hardly pulling up too many trees to plunder the spoils their technical superiority demanded.
Reece James, the Chelsea right back, playing in midfield for England, almost got his first full international goal just after half-time, but his thunderous right-footer from long range crashed off the visitors’ crossbar.
With ex-Chelsea youth player Patrick Bamford, making his debut, he would have hoped to have netted a couple. But while he had chances, he did not capitalise on them.
And when his number came up on 62 minutes to be replaced by Harry Kane, the Leeds United striker trundled off the pitch. He knew he had the chance to impress - whether he did enough to impress England boss Gareth Southgate remains to be seen.
Another who came on, Chelsea’s mason Mount took a Capoue Le of minutes to adjust to the slow tempo if the game, before adding some pace and attracting a push in the back on 70 minutes.
It happened in the penalty area and up stepped Kane to plonk the ball into the right hand corner of the Andorran’s net to double the score.
Lingard, refreshed by the added input es I’d Kane, mount and jack Grealish, notched up his second on 79 minutes - a simple tap and shot from the edge of the penalty area, was enough to elude Gomes’s left hand dive and the ball nestled in the side netting to gibe the Three Lions a more deserving scoreline.
Kane miscued a shot but still hit the post two minutes later - but he was well offside when receiving a delicate Grealish pass.
Arsenal Bakayoko Saka got in on the action with six minutes left - a simple byline cross from a quick, short corner saw the youngster head home unchallenged to make it 4-0.
Teams: England, Johnstone, James, Tripper, Alexander-Arnold, Coady, Mings, Bellingham, Henderson, Bamford, Lingard, Saka
Subs: Pope, Pickford, Walker, Shaw, Stones, Maguire, Rice, Phillips, Mount, Kane, Sterling, Grealish
Andorra, Gomez, Vales, Rebes, Marcin Vieira, Sanchez, Clemente, Christian Garcia, San Nicolas, Chus Rubio, Llovera, Jordi Rubio
Subs: Iker, Pires, Martinez, Emili Garcia, Lima, Xavier Vieira, Moreno, Martinez, Fernandez, Marc Garcia, Bernal
Referee: Anatasios Papapetrou (Greece)