Liverpool duo Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson were in fine form throughout England’s 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Malta.
England 2-0 Malta
World Cup Qualifier, Wembley Stadium
October 8, 2016
Goals: Sturridge 28′, Alli 38′
The Three Lions, under temporary charge of Gareth Southgate, welcomed Malta to Wembley Stadium on Saturday evening as they continue their efforts to secure a place at the World Cup in 2018.
After the controversial departure of Sam Allardyce, Southgate made a number of changes as he named his first starting lineup as England manager.
This saw Manchester United winger Jesse Lingard make his international debut and Theo Walcott return alongside him, while both Henderson and Sturridge earned starts in a 4-2-3-1 system.
Henderson was joined by Wayne Rooney in midfield, while Sturridge took up a focal role in attack, supported by Lingard, Walcott and Dele Alli.
Against lowly opposition, England dominated throughout with goals from Sturridge and Alli sealing a comfortable victory in northwest London.
Sturridge netted the opener, heading home after an excellent cross from Henderson, while the latter was also involved in Alli’s strike on 38 minutes, bursting into the box with a powerful run to cut apart the Malta defence.
The Reds striker was withdrawn midway through the second half, with the contest already decided, as Henderson and his England team-mates saw out another comfortable win.
While there is little to be taken from a 2-0 win over Malta, the respective roles of Henderson and Sturridge are encouraging for Liverpool supporters.
Sturridge’s ability to interchange with the likes of Lingard and Walcott, regularly drifting out to the right flank, suggest he is more than capable of slotting in within Jurgen Klopp‘s attacking system.
Meanwhile, Henderson’s dominance in the midfield, outperforming a lethargic Wayne Rooney, adds further fuel to what is a great start to the season for Klopp’s new deep-lying general.
England next take on Slovenia on Tuesday night, with Henderson and Sturridge likely to play key roles again.