England captain Steven Gerrard hails Daniel Sturridge after Peru win
England captain Steven Gerrard hailed Daniel Sturridge after the striker's stunning opener in the 3-0 win over Peru.
Last Updated: 31/05/14 8:31am
In England's final game on home soil ahead of the World Cup, Sturridge set Roy Hodgson's side on their way to a relatively comfortable 3-0 win when he collected Glen Johnson's throw-in before cutting inside and unleashing a strike into the top corner.
England were tested at times, with Joe Hart called into action to make two crucial saves, but second-half goals from Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka within the space of five minutes wrapped things up.
Sturridge was named man of the match at Wembley and Gerrard was delighted to see the 24-year-old carry his domestic form onto the international stage.
"It doesn't surprise me. I've seen it all season with Daniel," Gerrard told Sky Sports News.
"I think he got big confidence with the manager putting him in his favoured position tonight and I think that goals will do wonders for him.
"If we're to progress in the World Cup then we're going to need Daniel and Wayne (Rooney) to create magical moments and that was certainly one tonight."
Gerrard also praised the deliveries of full-back Leighton Baines as corners from the Everton man assisted the goals from Cahill and Jagielka.
"I think that's the reason why he's broke in and made that position his own. Not only is he a wonderful defender, he's a big asset going forward," he said.
"In those big games we played to qualify, he produced a wonderful cross for Wayne Rooney's header and it's moments like that in the final third that we're going to need to deliver against the likes of Italy if we're going to win the game."
Baines was replaced by Toffees team-mate John Stones in the second half as a precautionary measure by Hodgson, but Gerrard does not believe it to be anything serious as the squad now prepares for friendlies against Ecuador (June 4) and Honduras (June 7) in Miami.
"I think he's got a little bit of cramp but I don't think it's anything to worry about. Everyone's in good shape and ready for Miami," he said.
The idea behind taking on South American opponents ahead of the World Cup was to prepare England for the playing styles of the teams in Brazil, with both Uruguay and Costa Rica awaiting them in Group D.
Gerrard said: "I thought it was a good test for us. Peru are decent side technically and defended very well - very deep.
"We had to be patient and wait for the breakthrough, but we're reasonably pleased with where we are at this point.
"There's still a few things to work on but we've give ourselves a fantastic base to move forward."
Sturridge was also pleased with the showing against Peru, but was keen to divert the attention away from himself and his goal.
"We played some very good football, we're happy with the result. It was great preparation for the game against Italy so we're looking forward to that now," he told Sky Sports News.
"We've got another number of friendlies as well. We'll take the positives out of this game moving forward.
"I was pleased (with the goal) but it's part of the preparation. It's about the team, it's about working hard as a team, it's about the tactics we're going to be playing in the future, it's about everybody gelling but it's all part of the preparations and we take the positives out of it.
"I'm looking forward to the World Cup and being part of the squad. It's about the team and us working together as a unit.
"The midfield worked tirelessly for us and the attack did well. We played good football up there, it was difficult to break them down but we worked hard.
"It was great preparation and we're just looking forward to the World Cup now."