England cruised to a comfortable, if not particularly inspiring, 3-0 victory over Peru at Wembley tonight courtesy of goals from Daniel Sturridge, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka.
Those looking for an indication as to how Roy Hodgson's men are to outfox and outgun the more illustrious of their opponents at this summer's World Cup will still be searching for answers, but the Three Lions were undeniably dominant.
The opening 15 minutes left plenty to be desire from a neutral perspective, and it wasn't until Peru had two chances around the quarter of an hour mark that England began to apply overwhelming pressure in a bit to control proceedings. Hodgson may have been worried about the ease with which the visitors sliced open his back four to put striker Jean Deza through on goal, only for Joe Hart to come rushing out to quell the danger.
Sturridge could have oh so easily have opened the scoring only a few moments later, only to fire wide of the far post with his favoured left foot after a mazy run from Adam Lallana forced the ball to fall to his feet in the box. However the Liverpool man made amends soon after, as he curled home a wonderful effort into the top right hand corner of Raul Fernandez's goal in the 32 minute to put England 1-0 to the good.
The remainder of the first half saw a continuation of the home side's overriding influence on the game, though Peru did come close once more when Hart was forced to pull of a smart stop with his feet merely minutes before the break.
The second half offered much of the same with regards to entertainment value, as Hodgson's men continued to boast the lion's share of possession, without threatening to turn their dominance into goals. There was yet another momentary scare for England in the 62th minute after Glen Johnson's poor touch allowed Peru a run on goal. Fortunately for the 29-year-old full-back, Jagielka was there to provide a timely block.
From there on in it was all England, and any lingering doubts as to whether their South American opponents could stage an unlikely comeback were put to bed in the 64th minute, as Cahill smartly headed home from a Leighton Baines corner. Only five minutes later and the Everton set-piece specialist provided another assist, this time for club team-mate Jagielka, who capitalised on a Fernandez mistake in the Peru goal to prod into an empty net after the goalkeeper fumbled from a corner.
In truth there was little else for England fans to cheer, bar the ocassional paper aeroplane finding its way from the stands into the pitch. Anything other than a cruise-control would have had fans reaching for the panic buttons, but it will take a lot more for Steven Gerrard and co. to trump the likes of Italy and Uruguay when they travel to Brazil next month.
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