England needed both a performance and result ahead of Monday evening's opening round of qualifiers for the European Championships in 2016.
As it transpired, Roy Hodgson's Three Lions got just that as they downed Switzerland by a 2-0 margin in Basel with exquisite performances from Gary Cahill, Raheem Sterling and Danny Welbeck.
The headlines focused on the positive play that Hodgson engineered, with the attacking trident of Sterling, Welbeck and Rooney all linking well - particularly for the first goal - and recent Arsenal signing Welbeck scoring twice, but praise must also be given to Cahill who ensured Joe Hart's sheet remained clean when he produced a crucial goal-line clearance in the second half.
This was not lost on Stan Collymore, who talked-up the effectiveness of Sterling. In his analysis, Collymore said: "Sterling's burgeoning reputation as a pivotal player for England and Liverpool continues [as it was a] super performance with clever movement and skill."
Collymore also praised Cahill, Jordan Henderson, Hart and Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph for displaying "grit and determination that is allied with undoubted quality."
However, it was not all positive: "[The] only negative was [Jack] Wilshere [who was] profligate with the ball."
Wilshere, by consensus, was the lowest scoring player according to published ratings as the Arsenal star was asked to play a role he was largely unaccustomed to - at the anchor of a diamond midfield. The Gunner was lackadaisical when it came to retrieving possession and was sub-par when he was on the ball - it was, by all means, a performance to forget.