In Review

No problems for England as they stroll past Lithuania at Wembley

Jermain Defoe and James Vardy knock in the goals to keep the Three Lions on the road for Russia 2018

England 2 Lithuania 0

It was a stroll in the park for England, who cruised past Lithuania with goals from Jermain Defoe and James Vardy in Sunday's World Cup 2018 qualifier at Wembley.

Victory keeps the Three Lions firmly in control of Group F, but, pleasing as it was for Gareth Southgate, this wasn't a match that helped much in the development of his squad. It's the problem England face between now and next summer, when, barring a catastrophe of epic proportions, they'll go to the World Cup in Russia having topped their group.

Having won four and drawn one of their matches, England currently lead Slovakia by four points. Remarkably, Southgate's side have yet to concede a goal, an indication of how easy their group is but worrying considering the quality of the opposition they'll face in 14 months' time.

Next for England is June's match against Scotland at Glasgow's Hampden Park, followed by Malta's visit to Wembley, neither of whom are likely to cause Southgate's men many sleepless nights in the coming months.

Still, you can only beat what's in front of you and England did that on Sunday, wearing down a stubborn but limited Lithuania.

Just about the only talking point to arise from the match was the appearance of Defoe, the first sight of him in an England shirt since 2013. The 34-year-old repaid his manager's faith and put the Three Lions ahead on 21 minutes, when he fired home Raheem Sterling's pass.

Vardy, on for Defoe on the hour mark, made it 2-0 to England on 66 minutes with his first touch of the ball, the Leicester striker benefiting from a deft assist in the build-up from Liverpool's Adam Lallana.

"Job done," was how Southgate summed up the win, the England manager rightly refusing to get carried away with the result.

"I am not going to eulogise over the performance," he said. "The group is in our hands, which is the most important thing.

"We still have a lot to do. The home games are the important ones in terms of direct opposition in positions two and three but... overall, the week has been positive.

"The players can see the direction in which we want to head. For sure we'll play better than we did today."

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