Jude Bellingham inspires England to routine win against Iran in World Cup opener

England got their World Cup campaign off to a perfect start with a fantastic 6-2 win against Iran in Doha.

The build-up to the fixture was dominated by the FA’s decision to stop Harry Kane from wearing a OneLove armband, which he had committed to wearing in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.

With so little focus on the actual football, there were fears that England could take their eye off the ball.

But Southgate’s attack-minded team selection gave the Three Lions the early impetus and they were ahead midway through the first half when Jude Bellingham expertly headed Luke Shaw’s cross into the far corner.

England had already gone close through Harry Maguire, when the Manchester United captain clattered a header against the crossbar.

But the centre-back had a part to play in England’s second when he nodded down Kieran Trippier’s corner for Bukayo Saka to slam home a second.

England’s impressive play was running through Bellingham and you would never have known the 19-year-old was making his first World Cup appearance as he galloped through the Iran midfield and slipped in Harry Kane.

The Tottenham superstar looked short of options but he played a blind cross into the box to find the unmarked Raheem Sterling, who volleyed home to make it 3-0 before the break.

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