England lift off after Danny Welbeck’s double reply following Manchester United exit

However, Russia hardly convinced as two of their goals in a 4-0 home win over minnows Liechenstein were own-goals and another came from the penalty spot.

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A double by Danny Welbeck and Sergio Busquets’ first goal in 70 appearances helped England and Spain begin their respective Euro 2016 qualifying campaigns on a winning note and start putting behind them a forgettable World Cup finals.

The brace by Welbeck – who was considered surplus to requirements by Louis van Gaal at Manchester United and offloaded to Arsenal last week – saw England to a 2-0 win over Switzerland in Zurich while Busquets’ effort came in a 5-1 humbling of Macedonia.

There was however, not to be a memorable evening for Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic as he failed to mark his 100th appearance for his country with a goal in the 1-1 draw with Austria – his only notable contribution a booking.

David Alaba opening the scoring for the hosts from the penalty spot – his seventh goal for his country at the age of just 22 – only for Turkish-born forward Erkan Zengin to level.

Russia were another side like Spain and England to fail to fire at the World Cup – just four years before they host them – but they too secured three points with a 4-0 home win over minnows Liechtenstein.

However, Fabio Capello’s side hardly convinced as two of their goals were own-goals and another came from the penalty spot.

Capello’s former charges England, though, were far more impressive against a side that succeeded in reaching the second round at the World Cup and only lost 1-0 to Argentina thanks to an Angel di Maria goal late in extra-time.

It was Welbeck, who departed United the same day di Maria arrived for a British record fee of £59million (Dh264m), who executed the chances set up for him as England manager Roy Hodgson celebrated victory over a team he coached and took to the 1994 World Cup finals.

It was Switzerland’s first competitive home defeat since a 3-1 loss to England in October 2010 and meant that new coach Vladimir Petkovic began his tenure in losing fashion.

“I thought the way we approached the game from the first minute was exactly what we wanted, and we got our reward,” Hodgson told ITV.

“We pressurised the ball well, but you need that first goal to get people to come out and attack you.

“From then I thought we looked dangerous and we had several chances to aggravate the scoreline before Danny Welbeck’s second.”

Petkovic, who has the unenviable task of trying to fill the void left by the German coaching great Ottmar Hitzfeld after he retired from the game following the World Cup, said his players would be stronger for the defeat.