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England subdue Senegal to set up France quarter-final

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Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Round of 16 – England v Senegal – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar – December 4, 2022 England’s Bukayo Saka celebrates scoring their third goal with Harry Kane and Phil Foden REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

  • Gareth Southgate’s side survived a nervous start at the Al Bayt Stadium before Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane put Senegal to the sword with a pair of clinical finishes before half-time
  • Bukayo Saka scored England’s third, but it was Bellingham’s prodigious work-rate and burgeoning quality in possession that allowed them to turn the tide

England set
up a titanic World Cup quarter-final against holders France as Jude
Bellingham’s masterclass inspired a 3-0 win against Senegal in the last 16 on
Sunday.

Gareth
Southgate’s side survived a nervous start at the Al Bayt Stadium before Jordan
Henderson and Harry Kane put Senegal to the sword with a pair of clinical
finishes before half-time.

Bukayo Saka
scored England’s third, but it was Bellingham’s prodigious work-rate and
burgeoning quality in possession that allowed them to turn the tide.

Bellingham
set up Henderson’s opener and the Borussia Dortmund midfielder was involved
again when England captain Kane bagged his first goal in this World Cup.

Kane has now
netted 11 times at major tournaments, overtaking Gary Lineker as England’s
all-time top scorer in those competitions.

But at the
tender age of 19, it is Bellingham who has emerged as England’s driving force.

He is the
first teenager to assist in a World Cup knockout stage game since 1966, having
already announced his arrival on the global stage by netting his first England
goal in the 6-2 rout of Iran in their group opener.

Just two
years after he was playing in the English second tier with Birmingham, the
precocious Bellingham was totally unfazed against Senegal in the biggest game
of his life.

“We
made a very complicated game look straightforward. Because of the mentality,
the attitude we’ve made it look that way,” Southgate said.

“We’ve
got some super young players and we feel it’s been right to give them their
head. Jude and Bukayo are heading in a really good direction.”

England will
need another command performance from Bellingham if they are to extend their
stay in Qatar beyond the last eight.

Eyeing a
third successive semi-final appearance at major tournaments, England will return
to the Al Khor desert on Saturday to take on the red-hot Kylian Mbappe and
company after France brushed aside Poland 3-1 on Sunday.

Euro 2020
runners-up England have won only one of their last eight meetings with France,
who pose a significant threat to their hopes of winning a first major title for
56 years.

“France
are an outstanding team with a phenomenal tournament record and some
outstanding individuals. That’s a game where we’ve got to find our highest
possible level,” Southgate said.

Senegal boss
Aliou Cisse added: “We have worked for years to be the top African side
but we were playing a top five team in the world and you saw the
difference.”

After a
rocky opening when they passed too slowly and looked anxious at the back,
England hit their stride to show why Southgate has such confidence in them.

African
champions Senegal squandered a golden opportunity to take the lead when Harry
Maguire gave the ball away and Boulaye Dia’s volley deflected off John Stones
into Ismaila Sarr’s path, only for the Watford forward to blaze over from
close-range.

Preying on
England’s nerves, Sarr harried Saka and Dia seized the loose ball, forcing a
good save from Jordan Pickford with a fierce drive.

That proved
the turning point as England snatched the lead against the run of play in the
38th minute.

Bellingham
sprinted onto Harry Kane’s incisive pass into the Senegal area and clipped a
precise cutback into the path of Liverpool midfielder Henderson, who guided his
low strike past Edouard Mendy from 12 yards.

Henderson’s
goal served as a jolt of adrenaline that coursed through England as they
doubled their lead seconds before the interval.

Bellingham
was the catalyst with his well-timed tackle and a crisp pass to Foden, whose perfectly-weighted
lay-off allowed Kane to race clear for a clinical finish.

England
strolled through the second half and, repaying Southgate’s faith, Saka put the
result beyond doubt in the 57th minute.

Foden made a
dynamic run down the left and Saka reached his cross to flick a clever effort
over Mendy from close-range.



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