England, who came into the tournament on the back of six winless games, put up a stellar to get impressive start to their campaign.
England has got their World Cup campaign off to a flying start as they rattled in the goals past a shell-shocked Iran and cruised to an impressive 6-2 Group B victory in a timely return to form for Gareth Southgate’s side.
England, semi-finalists in 2018, came into the tournament without a win in six games, but a dynamic opening 45 minutes in which Jude Bellingham scored his first England goal, Bukayo Saka doubled the lead and Raheem Sterling grabbed a third set up a second-half stroll on Monday.
Saka’s second goal allowed England to take their foot off the gas and opened the door for Iran to grab one back through Mehdi Taremi, before substitutes Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish rounded off England’s scoring.
Although Iran’s Taremi grabbed another from the penalty spot in the 13th minute of stoppage time, bringing the total to an astonishing 26 minutes in both halves, England’s work was done.
“We haven’t played the best coming into the tournament. There was a lot of talk and speculation about our form but we showed everyone how much quality we have and what we can do,” said Saka, whose last major tournament ended with him missing a penalty in the Euro 2020 final shootout.
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'We will have to better'
Yet England manager Gareth Southgate was not getting carried away.
“I’m a miserable so and so, I should be more excited but I’ve got to keep the team on the right track and we will have to be better,” he said, grumbling about the two goals conceded.
Iranian manager Carlos Queiroz, meanwhile, said, “At the beginning it was clear the difference between high level competitive football… our players unfortunately don’t have the same experience.”
His side face Wales on Friday when England take on the United States.