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Bellingham Stars As England Cruise Past Senegal To Set Up France Tie

England thrashed Senegal 3 - 0 at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday to set up a thrilling quarter-final with France.

Goals from Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka saw off the African champions, continuing England’s unbeaten record against African teams.

It was Jude Bellingham though who blew Senegal away with an absolutely stunning performance in the middle of the park.

Senegal started the brighter however, enjoying a couple of good chances in the first half, with both Boulaye Dia and Ismaila Sarr looking dangerous in the opening 20 minutes.

It took over half an hour for the first real chance of the game. Bukayo Saka gave the ball away to Ismaila Sarr who picked out Dia. The Sheffield United striker forced a decent save from Jordan Pickford.

In the end it was maybe against their own interest for Senegal to attack England. The Three Lions responded brilliantly to the danger signs.

The opening goal came just five minutes after the chance for Dia, starting with Harry Kane digging out a wonderful through ball for Jude Bellingham.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder charged past two Senegal players on the left-wing before putting a pinpoint cross in for Jordan Henderson who swept home the finish.

Just ten minutes later England had a second, with Jude Bellingham involved again. He started a counter attack and picked out Phil Foden, who helped the ball on for Harry Kane.

Kane fired in the second goal of the night for England, his 11th tournament goal for his country, one more than the previous England record set by Gary Linekar. Linekar didn’t seem to mind though.

It was more of the same after the break from England, scoring a beautiful third less than fifteen minutes after the restart.

Harry Kane found Phil Foden on the left-wing and he brilliantly avoided a sliding challenge before sending a cross around Koulibaly.

Bukayo Saka got across his man in the middle to lift a lovely finish over Eduaord Mendy and seal the win for Gareth Southgate’s side.

England did keep pushing for another ten minutes, but it was without reward. A double change to bring on Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish for Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden slowed the game down.

Senegal had a go towards the end of the game, attempting to out muscle England from set pieces.

Jordan Pickford had it under control though, keeping his backline well drilled to help England see out a brilliant win.

The result sends England into the last eight in Qatar, where they will meet defending champions France; the rivals haven’t played since a friendly in 2017.

England’s selection was a big talking point ahead of the game, especially given how well those brought in for the Wales game performed.

In the end Southgate certainly got it right, with Saka and Foden the most dangerous players in attack for the Three Lions.

The night however well and truly belonged to Jude Bellingham.

Borussia Dortmund’s number 22 was outstanding with every single touch of the ball. He played a key part in two of the three goals and didn’t give Senegal a moment’s peace in or out of possession.

To see a 19 year old performing this well in a World Cup is a site to behold for England’s future tournament hopes and doesn’t hurt their chances in Qatar either.

Ultimately Senegal didn’t provide the test they would’ve wanted to against England, especially in the second-half.

That doesn’t take away from the fact that England were brilliant though.

Despite a sluggish start, the football they played either side of half-time was more than enough to worry any other team at this tournament.

Needless to say it’s only going to get tougher, with World Champions France on the horizon for Southgate’s boys.

But that doesn’t change the fact that England are more than capable of beating Dider Deschamps side, Mbappe and all.

The game kicks off at 7pm on Saturday 10th December, and it won’t be one to miss.

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