England romped to a 6-2 win over Iran to kick-off their World Cup campaign. To say it was a statement victory would be an understatement.
It may have only been Iran but this is a team that topped their World Cup qualification group with 25 points from a possible 30. They conceded just four goals across ten matches. Carlos Queiroz’s men recently beat a Uruguay side containing Fede Valverde, Rodrigo Bentencur, Darwin Nunez and Luis Suarez while also drawing with AFCON champions Senegal.
This was supposed to be a difficult game for Gareth Southgate’s side but it was anything but. England roared into a 3-0 half-time lead. It was a frustrating opening 30 minutes with Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand suffering a head injury that delayed the game by the best part of 15 minutes. But once the first goal went in, the floodgates opened.
Jude Bellingham nodded home after 35 minutes, ghosting in the area to direct Luke Shaw’s cross into the far corner.
Bukayo Saka then rifled in a superb volley after Harry Maguire headed the ball down to the Arsenal man. Raheem Sterling then prodded a Harry Kane cross beyond the substitute keeper to give England a commanding lead as the referee called time on an extended first half.
Saka danced past the Iran defence just after the hour mark to double his tally before substitutes Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish got in on the act. If we’re being honest, England didn’t really have to get out of second gear.
It was all too easy for those in white but a big win all the same.