Buoyant England surge into World Cup quarter-finals by hammering Senegal | Football


Jordan Henderson opened the scoring for England in a memorable match (Picture: Getty Images)

England overcame a nervy start to power to a 3-0 victory over Senegal in Qatar, setting up a huge World Cup quarter-final clash with France.

It was not quite as straightforward as the scoreline suggests, with the African champions making a bright start and the Three Lions looking edgy for the first 35 minutes.

Things were looking a little ropy for the favourites, but out of nowhere Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham cut through the Senegal lines, with the latter pulling the ball back for Jordan Henderson to finish and settle the nerves.

That was 38 minutes in and in first half stoppage time England doubled their lead with Harry Kane netting his first goal of the tournament.

The second half was quite a calm affair for Gareth Southgate’s side, with Senegal not really able to put them under pressure, and the match as a contest came to an end after 57 minutes when Bukayo Saka scored the third.

Brilliant work from Phil Foden on the left led to him sliding in an excellent ball which Saka cleverly flicked over Edouard Mendy to score his third of the competition and end the scoring.

It was a hectic start to the game, with Senegal pressing high up the pitch and causing problems for the England defenders who were short on time on the ball.

The African side looked the far more likely to open the scoring, with Jordan Pickford sharp in making a couple of saves -particularly from Boulaye Dia – and Harry Maguire worryingly giving the ball away in dangerous areas.

However, England rode out the storm and broke the deadlock themselves through Henderson. Kane dropped deep and slid a superb ball down the inside left channel for Bellingham to surge on to, with the Borussia Dortmund midfielder pulling it back to an on-rushing Henderson who finished calmly.

That effort seemed to calm the England nerves a bit and it was another goal on the break which put them 2-0 up just before half-time.

More excellent play from Bellingham saw him get hold of the ball deep, burst forward and play in Foden, who then flicked it to Kane as he burst into the penalty box and fired past Mendy.

After the break Senegal could never quite rustle up the kind of play that had England worried early on, with the Three Lions pretty comfortable from there on in.

Saka’s effort put an end to the scoring, with Foden doing brilliantly on the left flank and then firing a low ball across the box, which the Arsenal star calmly dinked over the onrushing Mendy.

Marcus Rashford’s exclusion after his two goals against Wales was something of a surprise, but Saka coming in and netting for the third time in Qatar proved that it was a wise choice from the manager.

England v Senegal: Round of 16 - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Bukayo Saka produced a clever finish to score England’s third (Picture: Getty Images)

With over half an hour to play and the game over as a contest, Southgate was able to make plenty of changes, with Rashford, Mason Mount, Jack Grealish and later Eric Dier and Kalvin Phillips coming on.

It appeared that England came through the match with no injuries, while they have also kept up their impressive record of not receiving a yellow card at all this tournament.

They now have five days off before the mouth-watering clash with France on Saturday in the same arena – the Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – for a place in the semi-finals.

MORE : Gareth Southgate explains dropping Marcus Rashford for England vs Senegal

MORE : Callum Wilson happy to give England boss Gareth Southgate another World Cup weapon in attack

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