England received their World Cup marketing campaign off to an emphatic begin, racking up a convincing 6-2 win over Iran on the Khalifa International stadium.
Having reached the semi-finals 4 years in the past, Gareth Southgate’s aspect dominated the ball from the off as Iran seemed content material to attempt to stifle and frustrate the favourites and hit on the counterattack by the harmful Mehdi Taremi. The first half was, nevertheless, disrupted as first-choice Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand was handled for a conflict of heads, and regardless of attempting to hold on, he quickly needed to admit defeat and get replaced.
In the thirty fifth minute, nevertheless, England did make the breakthrough that their dominance deserved, Luke Shaw placing in a stunning first-time cross from the left that was met by Jude Bellingham who guided an outstanding header into the highest nook for his first worldwide aim.
That aim appeared to settle England and break Iranian hopes, and simply eight minutes later, the Three Lions received a second – the much-criticised Harry Maguire nodding down a nook from the left earlier than Bukayo Saka thrashed house a positive left-footed half-volley.
It was three as the sport ticked into 14 minutes of stoppage time, the influential Bellingham choosing up a free ball in the course of the park and driving in the direction of aim. He laid the ball into the trail of Harry Kane in the precise channel, earlier than the skipper’s drilled cross picked out Raheem Sterling who completed first-time past substitute ‘keeper Hossein Hosseini.
Bukayo Saka has loved a positive begin to the season with Arsenal, and the 21-year-old scored his second of the afternoon within the 62nd minute, choosing up the ball on the precise, shifting onto his favoured left earlier than firing by a crowd of our bodies.
There was a blot on the England copybook as Iran pulled a aim again by their talisman Taremi, the Porto star getting in behind Harry Maguire to get on the top of an Ali Gholizadeh reverse ball earlier than lashing previous Jordan Pickford.
However, the Three Lions shortly re-established their four-goal benefit, Marcus Rashford scoring simply 49 seconds after being launched with a composed left-footed end inside the realm.
In the ninetieth minute, Jude Bellingham picked out the peerlessly timed run of substitute Callum Wilson, the in-form Newcastle man racing in behind the Iranian defence, earlier than unselfishly squaring it to Jack Grealish who made it six.
35 – There had been 35 passes within the construct as much as England's sixth aim scored by Jack Grealish, essentially the most passes within the construct as much as a aim on the World Cup on document since 1966. Engineered. pic.twitter.com/zF8gNjF9mX
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 21, 2022
In the twelfth minute of second-half stoppage time, VAR would conspire to award Iran a penalty for a shirt pull by John Stones – even regardless of them not awarding England one within the first half for a way more apparent foul on Harry Magure – however Taremi stepped as much as internet his second of the afternoon with what was the final kick of the afternoon.
Speaking after the sport, Gareth Southgate admitted he was ‘a bit fed up’ at conceding late on, however mentioned he was in any other case ‘actually completely satisfied’ along with his aspect’s efficiency and the outcome.
“I’m a bit fed up with the end of it,” he advised BBC One. “To win by that margin and play the best way as we did for almost all of the sport we now have to be actually completely satisfied. We seemed prepared. We wished to be that kind of group.
“They handled sport very well, there have been a number of stoppages however our urgent and motion was actually good. I’ve received to be actually completely satisfied however we shouldn’t be conceding two objectives at that stage within the sport.
“We will have to be right on our game against the USA. It is a great start but we have to be better.”
Asked about England’s sloppy end to the sport, the England boss put it right down to a lack of focus and gradual tempo.
“It’s a consequence of the score, we had 24 mins of added time across the game and it is a long time to focus and we just lost concentration. When we play at a slow tempo we are nowhere near as effective.”
He was nevertheless delighted with the performances of his gamers, and mentioned he was notably happy with Jack Grealish’s late end.
Six of the very best, England have made them pay!
Callum Wilson units up Jack Grealish to attain!
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 21, 2022
“We have some good gamers and right this moment they actually delivered. Our attacking gamers look a menace, our defence within the first hour managed the sport and had been affected person. The midfield had been wonderful and our forwards seemed a menace. It is a superb maker to place down.
“What I particularly liked was Jack Grealish’s goal with Callum Wilson on. He could have been selfish but he was thinking of the team even at that moment. I’m a miserable so-and-so. I should be more excited but I have to keep the team on the right track.”
See additionally – Five of England’s best World Cup goals