England set up quarter final against France after easing past Senegal

4 December 2022, 17:18 | Updated: 5 December 2022, 08:00

Kane applauds the travelling fans
Kane applauds the travelling fans. Picture: Getty

By Chris Samuel

England sailed into the quarter finals of the World Cup after defeating Senegal 3-0. The Three Lions face France next weekend.

Senegal frustrated England superbly in the early stages of the first half, with Gareth Southgate's men unable to carve out chances despite dominating possession.

The African champions had a golden opportunity to open the scoring when the ball dropped for Ismaila Sarr in the six yard box, but he blasted it over the bar under pressure from Pickford.

But Jordan Henderson eventually broke the deadlock on 38 minutes after Jude Bellingham gifted him a tap in with a composed cutback.

Harry Kane then got in on the action just before half-time, blasting low past Senegal keeper Mendy, with Foden claiming an assist.

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The third came shortly before the hour mark with Foden bagging another neat assist for Bukayo Saka, who converted the pass with a deft, dinked finish.

The 3-0 cushion then allowed England to make a series of changes and keep players fresh for the next stage of the competition.

Speaking to ITV, Harry Kane said: “Really chuffed, you know. Knockout games are never easy.

"We’ve showed great maturity through the tournament. It’s 3-0 against a really good side.

"Credit to the boys. Their mentality was top from the beginning, and we took our chances when they came.

Jude Bellingham once again proved the hype that surrounds him is wholly justified with a mature and creative performance in the centre of midfield.

Teammate Phil Foden, 22, another player fans have high expectations for told the channel: “I don’t want to big up Jude Bellingham too much because he’s still young, but he’s one of the most gifted players I’ve ever seen.

"I don’t see a weakness in his game. He’s got everything, and he’s going to be the best midfielder in the world, for sure.”

England played well despite a stern test from Senegal in the opening stages of the first half, but thoughts will quickly be moving to the threat posed by France.

Didier Deschamps' men dispatched Poland 3-1 earlier today, with a brace from the irrepressible Kylian Mbappé after Giroud scored just before the half-way point.

But despite France's obvious strengths, Foden says this England group believe in their own ability.

"France look the strongest in the competition," he said. "Everywhere you look they have talent.

"But we’ll back ourselves on the day. We’re confident.”

See how it all unfolded on our live blog here.

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