England breezed past Iran in their World Cup opener with a statement performance and top Liverpool target Jude Bellingham is grabbing all the headlines.
Gareth Southgate’s side looked like the dominant force from the off against Iran. England found themselves 3-0 up at half-time and carried the momentum into the second half.
Bellingham opened the scoring with a fine header from a Luke Shaw cross. The Borussia Dortmund youngster continued to pull the strings and looked impressive throughout.
Jermaine Jenas who was on co-commentary on BBC One was full of praise for the youngster.
“Jude Bellingham is a throwback, he can really do it all,” He said on co-commentray.
“Bellingham is like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard rolled into one. He won the ball back so often today, England’s best quality today was their counterpress and he was at the forefront of that.”
England will now go into their next game against the USA full of confidence after scoring six goals against Iran.
Jude Bellingham backed to go to the top
BBC pundits Rio Ferdinand and Alan Shearer were each left impressed with what they had seen from Bellingham.
Ferdinand explained: “Bellingham was so confident and composed in the interview before. Exactly the same out on the pitch. The authority that he plays with on the pitch goes well beyond his years. He’s a fabulous footballer but delivering at a World Cup like that at that age.
“We talk about the great midfielders that we’ve played with and seen in England in our generation. None of them were doing what he’s doing at this age, on this stage.
“I’m not saying he’s better or going to be as good as all of them but at this age none of them were doing what he was doing and it’s just fabulous to see.”
Shearer backed up his point adding, “What a performance from the young man Bellingham. Incredible.”
Liverpool have been huge admirers of Bellingham and with more performances like that you would expect his price-tag to continue rising.
Bellingham gives his verdict
Following England’s 6-2 win, Bellingham shared his thoughts on the game and explained what his goal meant to him.
Bellingham explained on BBC One: “To be honest, I thought it had missed! Then it took ages to loop into the goal. I said I wanted to score more goals for Dortmund and England this year and to get in the right position.
“Brilliant ball in from Shaw and I was just there to flick it away. Really proud moment for me.”
It has been argued that England have set-up as overly pragmatic under Gareth Southgate, but Bellingham was pleased with England’s attacking play.
He added: “I told you I was saving that goal, really good day game for us. Six goals in a World Cup game is really impressive, regardless of who you play against. they came out really well, really strong, hard to break down and we didn’t have anything clear for quite a while.
“With more goals we opened them up but the start was tough and we had to dig it out, even when we we weren’t getting it all our own way.
“Important that we learned how to create chances against those kind of sides. Bit disappointed about the two goals to be honest.”