Before the kick-off tonight at Wembley all the talk was about the England line-up being full strength and as close to the estimated line-up for our opening World Cup game. The game started with a good atmosphere and a lot of crisp passing between the midfield and attack. Unfortunately. the game quickly descended into what we have to expect from an England friendly.
England monopolized possession for large chunks of the first half without really creating anything of note. Sturridge had a shot flash past the post after the ball fell to him rather fortunately after an incisive run by Lallana. Gerrard and Henderson continued to play good balls into feet, but the ball was played backwards or sideways as much as it was played forward.
The inability to create any chances of note in the final 1/3 must be a concern for Roy Hodgson, who will need to get his squad firing before the opening game against Italy on the 14th of June. The first half would have been completely forgettable had it not been for a stunning strike to open the scoring by Daniel Sturridge. After picking up the ball on the right hand side from a quick throw, Sturridge cut inside before curling an unstoppable shot into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Unfortunately for the fans in attendance, they were forced to entertain themselves as England continued to lack any decisive movement up front. England were almost caught out twice at the back as both Phil Jagielka and Glen Johnson lost the ball thanks to a heavy touch. Luckily Joe Hart was there to bail out Jagielka and it was Jagielka himself who came to spare Johnsons blushes with a fantastic sliding block.
It was obvious to anyone watching that several players were lacking match sharpness, including Wayne Rooney and Phil Jagielka, although both showed their class, they will need to sharpen up in Miami before the World Cup.
England did increase the lead with a stooped Gary Cahill header from a well taken Leighton Baines corner. In an effort to inject some pace and positivity into the team, and to rest key members of the squad England made some changes just after the hour. Jack Wilshere came on for Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling replaced Wayne Rooney.
Sterling's pace immediately caused problems for Peru as he darted in behind the defense on numerous occasions, finally forcing a corner that was turned in by Phil Jagielka after the Peru keeper spilled the ball at his feet.
Leighton Baines was replaced by Everton youngster John Stones, who was making his international debut for England. Although Stones is not in the final 23, he will travel to Miami with the squad as stand-by just in case Phil Jones can't recover or England pick up an injury at the back.
With wholesale changes being made, the game quickly fizzed out with the last 20 minutes being completely forgettable. England will now head to Miami with a lot of work to be done before they are ready to conquer the World.