Gareth Southgate made a solid start as interim England manager with a 2-0 win against Malta in ...
Gareth Southgate made a solid start as interim England manager with a 2-0 win against Malta in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley, thanks to goals from Daniel Sturridge and Dele Alli.
Sturridge, who has seen his playing time at Liverpool limited this season, made the most of the chance to impress by heading England in front from a Jordan Henderson cross in the 29th minute.
And patient build-up play allowed England to double their advantage through Dele Alli in the 38th minute.
The Tottenham man saw his initial effort saved by Malta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg but poked in the rebound from close range to score his second international goal.
Thomas Muller scored twice as Germany retained the lead in Group C with a 3-0 win over Czech Republic.
The Bayern Munich striker has yet to find the net in the Bundesliga this season, but he opened the scoring on 13 minutes after Mario Gotze's pass into the box was pushed on by Mesut Ozil, and Muller calmly fired home.
Toni Kroos provided Germany's second with a first-time shot from the top of the box four minutes after half-time, before Muller added their third by redirecting Jonas Hector's low cross in the 65th minute.
In Group E, Robert Lewandowski's hat trick barely held up for Poland in a 3-2 win over Denmark.
Lewandowski found the breakthough from close range in the 20th minute, then added a second from the penalty spot on 36 minutes after Arkadiusz Milik was brought down close to goal.
The third goal came two minutes after half-time when he turned a defender at the centre line and ran in on goal before finishing at the near post.
There was a nervy finish, however, after Kamil Glik headed into his own net and Yussuf Poulsen bundled the ball over the line on 69 minutes, but there would be no equaliser.
A full round-up of results from Saturday's World Cup qualifiers:
Azerbaijan 1-0 Norway; Germany 3-0 Czech Republic; Northern Ireland 4-0 San Marino
Armenia 0-5 Romania; Montenegro 5-0 Kazakhstan; Poland 3-2 Denmark
England 2-0 Malta; Scotland 1-1 Lithuania; Slovenia 1-0 Slovakia