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Qatar World Cup: England run riot vs Iran in first half

England blew Iran away at the end of a pulsating first half of their opening 2022 World Cup match in Qatar at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

Goals from Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling gave Gareth Southgate’s side a deserved 3-0 half-time lead.

England lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Bukayo Saka starting ahead of Phil Foden in attack.

Manchester United’s Harry Maguire partnered Man City’s John Stones in central defence, while Gareth Southgate opted for Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham in midfield.

Iran, 20th in FIFA’s latest world rankings, came into the tournament off the back of a three-game unbeaten streak.

Managed by Carlos Queiroz, one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s former assistants at Old Trafford, Iran threatened to be no pushovers against the Euro 2020 finalists.

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England felt they should have been awarded a penalty inside the opening three minutes when Harry Maguire was dragged to the ground by Rouzbeh Cheshmi during an early corner.

However, to the surprise of many, there was no VAR review of the incident.

Bellingham gives England the lead

England went on to take the lead through 19-year-old Bellingham, who scored his first World Cup goal with a fine header.

What a header Bellingham pic.twitter.com/17EPdWC9gm

— Kini (@lcfckini) November 21, 2022

Hey Jude! ✨

Jude Bellingham heads home for his first England goal on the biggest stage!

England 1-0 Iran

💻🖥📱 Watch on @BBCiPlayer, listen on @BBCSounds, get more on the @BBCSport app#BBCFootball #BBCWorldCup pic.twitter.com/rX4xS58WwU

— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 21, 2022

Saka makes it 2-0

Saka then made it 2-0 with a fine finish from Maguire’s knock-down.

BUKAYO SAKA HAS SCORED IN A WORLD CUP LADIES AND GENTLEMEN pic.twitter.com/fAYil8dLwR

— 🇭🇷 (@killgaspar) November 21, 2022

BUKAYO SAKA! 👊

England double their lead against Iran with a lovely strike from the Arsenal man 🎯

💻🖥📱 Watch on @BBCiPlayer, listen on @BBCSounds, get more on the @BBCSport app#BBCFootball #BBCWorldCup

— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 21, 2022

Sterling adds a third for England

Sterling then made it 3-0 with a close-range finish from Harry Kane’s cross.

Raheem Sterling’s goal for England… 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿💥 pic.twitter.com/Ep7tA3nHFy

— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) November 21, 2022

Sterling from Sterling 🔥

England are in dreamland after Raheem Sterling adds the third against Iran!

💻🖥📱 Watch on @BBCiPlayer, listen on @BBCSounds, get more on the @BBCSport app#BBCFootball #BBCWorldCup

— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 21, 2022

This was a dream start to the tournament for England, who were being tipped to challenge for football’s biggest prize before a ball was kicked at this winter’s tournament.

England fans inside the stadium reacted by signing: ‘Are you Scotland in disguise?’ at the opponents.

#ENG fans singing ‘Are you Scotland in disguise?’ #TSWorldCup pic.twitter.com/qZUSKDEw69

— Alex Crook ⚽️🎙 (@alex_crook) November 21, 2022

Ouch.

Read more: World Cup 2022: Dates, Schedule, UK Kick Off Times, Stadiums, Groups, Tickets, Odds and Much More

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