From young talents to creative midfield, here's five points that helped Gareth Southgate's England embarrass Iran
England completely dominated their opponents Iran in their first match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, securing a 6-2 victory at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar on Monday, November 21. It was a solid performance all-round but would have expected to keep an important clean sheet although Mehdi Taremi of Iran had different ideas. Here, we take a look at five points that showed the world why England might just be the team to beat at the ongoing premier tournament.
Creative midfield complements attack
Mason Mount partnered Bellingham in the midfield for England, and their duo ran the middle of the park for the Three Lions, providing enough opportunities for the attackers to get forward. Their movements particularly aided Saka and Raheem Sterling, who shared three goals between them as the Englishmen ran riot over their opponents. It is a testament to the football that head coach Gareth Southgate has been trying to play with this team.
Out-of-form players' performance
Sterling has not been in good form for Chelsea during the 2022-23 season, but there was a goal for the winger and a command performance from Harry Maguire, with the only disappointment for him being when he was forced off towards the end because of illness. Maguire was even involved in the second goal, heading a corner into Saka's path as the youngster found the net with a well-placed volley.
Strong bench to back up players
Coming off the bench, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish increased England's lead to prove how important a role their bench will play at the World Cup. Southgate has a plethora of talent on their hands, and using them will help them massively going forward. Rashford's goal will especially give him confidence after his subpar season with Manchester United. His previous kick in an England shirt had been the penalty miss against Italy in the Euro 2020 final shootout defeat.
Shoddy defending a concern
Despite matching their biggest single-match haul in a World Cup game, set four years ago in a 6-1 win over Panama in Russia in 2018, their manager was still left frustrated by their double concession.
Mehdi Taremi's double, the second of which came from a controversial VAR penalty, denied England a record-winning margin, and Southgate acknowledged it added a sour note to his side's otherwise superb performance. "I'm a bit fed up with the end of it, really," he told BBC Sport. "To win by that margin, to play as we did for the majority of the game, you've got to be really happy.