England captain Steven Gerrard reacts to his team's win over Peru at Wembley
Steven Gerrard believes Daniel Sturridge's form will be key to England's progress in the World Cup after his Liverpool team-mate's man-of-the-match performance helped guide the Three Lions to a comfortable victory over Peru.
After an uninspiring start, Sturridge scored a delightful opener in the 32nd minute, curling a sweet left-footed shot into the top corner from just outside the box.
That paved the way for England to add some gloss to the scoreline after half-time, with centre-backs Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka converting corners from Leighton Baines.
Sturridge led the line for England, having sometimes been deployed as a wide-man by Roy Hodgson, and he rewarded his manager by converting his prolific club form to the international stage.
The 24-year-old notched 27 goals last season, and Gerrard - his captain for club and country - was not surprised by Sturridge's latest stunning strike."I've seen it all season with Daniel," the midfielder said.
"I think he got big confidence with the manager putting him in his favourite position. That goal will do wonders for him.
"If we're to progress and do well in this World Cup we need Daniel and Wayne (Rooney) and the other forwards to produce magical moments and that was certainly one of them."
Sturridge himself revelled little in his goal, with a victory the only thing on his mind.
Gerrard was more reserved about England's collective performance against a limited opponent, admitting there was plenty of scope for improvement before their opening World Cup clash against Italy on June 14.
"I'm happy. I wouldn't say I'm delighted. I think there's still things to work on," said the captain, who turned 34 on Friday.
"It's a good result. It was a good performance. We're in good shape. But it's going to get more and more difficult as we move along, so it's important we keep improving.
"It's exciting. There's still a bit of a way to go. I don't think we're ready to peak yet. We've worked really hard so we were a little bit leggy (on Friday night).
"But we'll be in fantastic shape going into the Italy game, so I'll be really proud and happy and hopefully we're all ready to go in that game."