Jude Bellingham was the star of England’s 3-0 victory over Senegal, which saw them easily advance to the World Cup quarterfinals.
After making a spectacular move through the Senegal defense, the young midfielder set up Jordan Henderson for the game’s first goal, and he also had a significant impact on Harry Kane’s second goal.
After Bukayo Saka made it 3-0 with just over an hour remaining, England was able to easily win the match.
Everyone immediately thought about how “vintage” Jude Bellingham had played in the first half and wondered if that description applied to a 19-year-old competing in their first World Cup.
Bellingham, however, is not like other 19-year-olds, as everyone in the globe is aware of. After 18-year-old Michael Owen against Argentina in 1998, he became the second adolescent to ever start for England in a World Cup knockout game.
Having excelled for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga and Champions League, he did not need this competition to establish himself as a star, but the completeness of his midfield performances for England at this World Cup must be luring some of Europe’s top clubs to make a move in January.
He did not provide assistance for the second goal in this instance, but he undoubtedly scored the goal by capitalizing on a mistake at the England penalty spot, advancing into the opposing half while dodging challenges, and then slipping in Foden to set up Kane.
Uncovering the first goal
When the first truly brilliant interchange down their left wing prised their opponents — and the tie — open at last, Gareth Southgate’s team appeared to have stopped six minutes from the half, laboring with the Senegalese push.
John Stones receives a goal kick from Jordan Pickford, and he squares the ball to Harry Maguire standing at his side. Even as the center-back passes the ball up the line to Luke Shaw, there isn’t much of a rush to the action because the pace of the game is still slow. The left-back drives it forward further down the line, where Phil Foden’s first-time flick inside to Kane gives it great momentum.
Kalidou Koulibaly backs off after giving the captain a little too much room as he senses danger. In the meantime, Bellingham rushes past Pathe Ciss on the inside, temporarily if significantly distracted as he glances back at the striker, giving Kane the opportunity to pivot and consider his options.
Kane has the time and room to guide a superbly weighted pass between Koulibaly and Ciss as they withdraw, allowing Bellingham to collect in an area unattended by the Senegal back line. Henderson starts his own run from the center circle while going unnoticed.
Abdou Diallo moves slowly across the field in an effort to push Bellingham wide, but the midfielder has gained momentum as the Senegalese back line suddenly becomes chaotic and disjointed for the first time all night.
Bellingham has spotted Henderson as he sprints up the field between Nampalys Mendy and Ismail Jakobs. Perfectly delivering the cross, he waits for England’s side’s most seasoned player to make contact.
To Edouard Mendy’s left, the left-footed finish is aimed low and cannot be stopped. Before Jakobs can get in to intercept, Henderson’s third international goal in 73 appearances has put England in the lead.
England’s play has now been given a really lively pace for the first time. Senegal was unable to manage.
England: The team that scores from every angle
At one point in the first half, with England leading thanks to Henderson’s well-executed strike, they had seven different World Cup goal scorers, a record for a major championship, but Harry Kane, the Golden Boot winner four years ago, was not one of them. That was quickly corrected by the captain’s precise finish three minutes into extra time at the end of the period.
As demonstrated by Bellingham, Henderson, a 32-year-old bursting with energy and desire who timed his late surges into the box to perfection, and even Declan Rice against Senegal, their wingers and midfielders charged forward at will.
Kane is a nuisance coming on as a No. 10, equally adept at creating as he is at scoring. Perhaps the best possibilities are sitting on the bench in Qatar, fidgeting away. Their delivery is broad, inventive, and deft. Their center-halves have not noticed yet, but France, you must pay attention to their threat in set pieces.