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Paper planes have lift off even if England don't

England's last game before they departed for Brazil produced a 3-0 win over Peru which looked far more convincing on paper than it did in actuality.

Dean Sturridge watches this curled efffort fly goalwards on its way to giving England the lead. Picture: EPA
Dean Sturridge watches this curled efffort fly goalwards on its way to giving England the lead. Picture: EPA

Daniel Sturridge curled home a stunning opener to put England ahead in their final game on home soil before the World Cup finals.

Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill then scored from two set-pieces after the break to give the result an encouraging appearance. Yet it was clear from this performance that there is still much work to be done if England are to make an impression when they take on Italy in their Group D opener.

Wayne Rooney and Sturridge failed to hit it off as had been hoped, while Jean Deza, a 20-year-old debutant, breached the England defence on several occasions.

Had it not been for the excellent Joe Hart and some last-ditch defending from Jagielka, Peru would have scored the goal their attacking display perhaps deserved.

Roy Hodgson, the manager had, said preparations for the friendly could not have gone better, but the tactical work England put in this week in Burton barely paid off in the first half.

Danny Welbeck, a surprise starter ahead of Raheem Sterling, failed to create a spark out wide while Rooney went missing for most of the match.

At points, England fans found more entertainment in making paper planes and throwing them on to the pitch. However, England will take some positives to Miami, where they will play Ecuador and Honduras in their final two warm-up games next week. For Sturridge, however, the result was only of fleeting significance and bore no relation to the players' mindset.

"It is not about going there [Brazil] to make the numbers up," Sturridge said. "I am a winner and the players are winners - it doesn't mean we are going to win it out there but we are winners."

On the game, he added: "It was difficult to be fair because they defended well and they were very compact. "We had worked very hard throughout the week and there wasn't the match sharpness as much as we would have liked. But it was great to be out there and we are happy with the result."

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