England took another comfortable step on the road to qualification for next summer’s World Cup in Russia as they eased past Lithuania at Wembley.

Gareth Southgate’s first game at Wembley since succeeding Sam Allardyce on a permanent basis provided few alarms as England remain firmly in control at the top of Group F.

Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe justified his call-up at 34 for a first England appearance since late 2013 with a typically clinical finish after 21 minutes and a lively performance that suggested he still has a part to play under Southgate.

And when Southgate needed someone to break Lithuania’s stubborn resistance after the break, substitute Jamie Vardy obliged from close-range in the 66th minute, converting a subtle touch from Liverpool’s Adam Lallana inside the area.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s silence inside the stadium for the victims of last week’s London attack. There was also a tribute paid to former England manager Graham Taylor, who died in January.

Advertisements