Fabio Capello hails England hat-trick man Jermain Defoe
Early goal was key to win - Gerrard
England manager Fabio Capello hailed Jermain Defoe after the Tottenham striker scored a hat-trick in the 4-0 Euro 2012 qualifying win over Bulgaria.
Manchester City's Adam Johnson also scored his first international goal, but the story of the night was Defoe.
"Defoe is always very important for us," admitted Capello.
"He can shoot with his left foot and his right and his performance was really, really good and his movement without the ball was fantastic."
The victory at Wembley gets England's Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine, off to the perfect start and was a much-needed tonic following their disappointing performance during the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.
Defoe's finishing was clinical as he firstly gave the home side the lead after just three minutes, before essentially ending Bulgaria's resistance on the hour with a second and then adding a third late on.
It was vindication for under-fire coach Capello's decision to select the forward to partner Wayne Rooney, with whom he struck up an impressive partnership.
Manchester United forward Rooney played a decisive part in Defoe's second and third goal and Johnson's strike, with neat assists.
"I played Rooney in a position different than usual. He did very well. I spoke with him before the game," stated Capello.
"He had to stay just in front of the two central midfielders and from this position to go forward and to be free. The quality of Rooney was really high."
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