KEIR RADNEDGE at WEMBLEY: The sun shone on England as they returned home to Wembley for the first time since the Euro 2020 final defeat by Italy and ground down minnows Andorra 4-0 to maintain their lead in World Cup European qualifying Group I.

The Three Lions had already reignited their World Cup qualifying campaign with a similar victory against Hungary, withstanding both the hosts’ attack and the hostility of the Budapest hooligans. FIFA has opened an inquiry into events though whether this included the racist abuse reported by some England players is not clear.

The reaction of a 65,000 Wembley crowd was perfect. No boos during the Andorra national anthem and rousing applause when England’s players took the knee before kickoff.

One of the loudest cheers was generated by Bukayo Saka’s scoring of the fourth goal – the Arsenal winger had been one of the victims of the social media nightmatre which followed the Euro final penalties defeat.

Gareth Southgate, to see off the group minnows, became the first England manager since 1982 to change his entire starting line-up. Jordan Pickford, Harry Maguire, Harry Kane and Co all began on the substitutes’ bench with the hope of all the senior players being rested ahead of Wednesday’s visit to Poland.

The best-laid plans of managers do not always work out as planned and this match was no exception.

England seized early command when Jesse Lingard, barely used this season by Manchester United, scored the opening goal after 18 minutes. The assist was provided by Jude Bellingham who was making his first England start in a competitive match.

However Leeds’ Patrick Bamford failed to make the most of his first opportunity to lead the line. Whether the blame lay with him being overcome by the moment or a lack of service remains a matter of discussion.

Either way Southgate grew impatient with England’s lack of penetration. He was replaced by Kane early in the second half when Mason Mount and Jack Grealish also joined the action in search of improvement.

Treble change

The treble change worked almost immediately. Grealish sent Mount into the penalty box and after he was brought down up stepped Kane to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot.

This was Kane’s 40th goal in his 63rd appearance and moved him level in the England rankings with Michael Owen. It was also Kane’s 24th goal in qualifiers for major finals. Only Wayne Rooney (30) has scored more.

Lingard scored a third and then Bukayo Saka, one of the targets for so much abuse after the Euro 2020 defeat, generated one of the loudest roars of the evening by heading a fourth goal.

Southgate said: “It was a lovely moment for him to score. He had a fabulous reception before and during the game. You can see how popular he is with the team. The talent that he has, he is a hugely exciting player.”

Saka said the reception he received before and during the game made him feel “really happy”.

He added: “It shows how proud the fans are of me and that meant a lot. It means everything to me that I know they support me.

“This is what I dream about, playing at Wembley in front of my family and this crowd and scoring on my 20th birthday.”

The teams:

England: Johnstone – James, Coady, Mings, Trippier – Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Bellingham – Lingard, Bamford, Saka. Manager: Southgate.

Andorra: Gomes Moreira – Rubio Gomez, Garcia Gonzalez, Vales Gonzalez, Llovera Gonzalez-Adrio, San Nicolas Schellens – Clement Garces, Rebes Ruiz, Vieira de Vasconcelos, Rubio Gomez – Sanchez Albuquerque.

Referee: Papapetrou (Gr).