England vs Lithuania player ratings: Jermain Defoe, Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana stand out

Luke Brown
The Independent
England's players applaud after the final whistle: Getty
England's players applaud after the final whistle: Getty

Jermain Defoe returned with a bang as England overcame Lithuania, netting his first international goal in four years as Gareth Southgate's men secured a predictably comfortable World Cup qualification win.

Devastated to have been overlooked for the 2014 World Cup months after heading to Major League Soccer, few expected the 34-year-old to ever don the Three Lions again.

But Defoe's performances at Sunderland have belied his advancing years and earned a long-awaited England recall - a return marked by opening the scoring against Lithuania, with Jamie Vardy's smart finish wrapping up a straightforward 2-0 win.

The striker's 20th goal on his 56th cap - 1,227 days after his previous appearance - was made all the more special by the fact he led his country out with Bradley Lowery, the terminally-ill five-year-old who calls the Sunderland striker his "best mate".

It was already an emotive evening as tribute was paid to former England manager Graham Taylor and those affected by the Westminster terror attack, with those at Wembley responding with a dignified display in stark contrast to those who sung offensive chants in Germany.

An impressive 77,690 were in attendance for a qualifier that was always unlikely to be much of a tussle, with England finally breaking the resolve of the side 107th in the world when Defoe turned home midway through the first half.

Vardy's introduction in place of the Sunderland striker brought with it a second goal, with the finish as classy as Adam Lallana's assist on an evening that Lithuania threatened in patches but without a cutting edge.

Who impressed at Wembley? Take a look at the gallery above to find out how we rated the players.

Do you agree with our ratings? Who was your man of the match? Let us know in the comments.

Additional reporting by PA

What to read next