ENGLAND returned to Wembley and helped ease the pain of their Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy with a comfortable 4-0 win over opponents Andorra.
Jesse Lingard’s double, Harry Kane and birthday boy Bukayo Saka scored to help Southgate maintain a 100 per cent record in Group I of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers.
The pre-match build up was amazing with England fans singing ‘Sweet Caroline’ while a dramatic display of a huge flag featured behind one of the goals.
This was the sixth meeting between the two sides with England yet to lose nor concede a goal against the Tricolours.
The opening 15 minutes of the game saw no shots from either team but the Three Lions having all of the ball.
As the tempo gradually increased from the home side, a goal seemed inevitable.
Then, with only 18 minutes on the clock, Lingard got the opener. Left out of the Euros final squad, the Manchester United man had not scored for his country in three years. The move started with a driven ball into the box from Saka and Lingard controlled before poking a dipping shot into the far corner.
Lingard seemed inspired by the recent arrival of Cristian Ronaldo to United as he marked his goal with a trademark CR7 goal celebration.
He ran the show in the first half for Southgate’s England, but that strike was not only England’s first goal, but their first shot too and Andorra stood their ground for the remainder of the first half.
Southgate resisted the temptation to make changes at the break, bar moving defender Reece James into midfield. The Chelsea man soon found himself in acres of space, 25 yards away from goal and a thunderbolt of a strike left the bar shaking and the England fans back on their feet. It would have been one of THE great Wembley goals.
England finally made three changes on the hour mark, Jude Bellingham, James and debutant Patrick Bamford all making way.
That was the cue for the more established Mason Mount, Jack Grealish and Kane to come on and up the pace.
With 20 minutes left to play, a dazzling link up between two of the three substitutes, Mount and Grealish ended with the Chelsea midfielder brought down in the box.
But it was Kane, not Mount, who stepped up to take the penalty and it was only going to end up in the back of the net.
The third and fourth were added in quick succession as the Saka-Lingard partnership went into overdrive.
Arsenal star Saka, who received a great reception after his brave Euro final penalty shoot-out miss, again fed Lingard and the outcome was again inevitable with a beautiful finish into the bottom corner.
A short corner from Liverpol’s Trent Alexander-Arnold then went to Lingard, who quickly lofted the ball into the path of Saka who marked his 20th birthday with a rare headed goal.
The win means England go to Poland for Wednesday’s next qualifier full of confidence.
Johnstone 6, James 7 (Grealish 8), Coady 7, Mings, 7, Trippier 7, Alexander-Arnold 7, Henderson 8, Bellingham 8 (Mount 8), Lingard 10, Saka 9, Bamford 7 (Kane 8)
Gomes, Vales, Rebes, Viera, Sanchez, Clemente, Garcia, San Nicolas, C.Rubio, Llovera, J.Rubio
REFEREE: A.Papapetrou 9