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Winners & Losers

Brace yourselves for Bellingham versus Mbappe! England winners, losers and ratings as Three Lions teenager sweeps Senegal aside

21:25 GMT 04/12/2022
Bellingham Henderson Saka England GFX
The 19-year-old midfielder proved the catalyst for Gareth Southgate's side to make the breakthrough and seal a World Cup quarter-final berth

It takes a special kind of teenager to carry a team into the quarter-finals of a World Cup. Kylian Mbappe was one. Jude Bellingham is another.

On a cool Sunday night at the Al-Bayt Stadium, the 19-year-old midfielder inspired England to 3-0 win over Senegal in the last 16 of Qatar 2022.

It was a facile victory in the end, but the Three Lions were floundering in the first half, enjoying plenty of possession but doing very little with the ball.

By contrast, Senegal were threatening on the break, making another World Cup upset looked a distinct possibility.

But then Bellingham took over. With two brilliant breaks just before the interval, the Borussia Dortmund starlet set up goals for Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane.

It was Phil Foden who played the final ball for Kane to open his account in Qatar and the Manchester City winger picked up another assist in the second half when Bukayo Saka turned home his low left-wing cross.

GOAL runs through the winners, losers and ratings as England set up a mouth-watering match-up with France next Saturday night...

  • Jordan Henderson England 2022

    The Winners

    Jordan Henderson:

    You'd be hard pressed to find many Jordan Henderson fans among the England faithful in Qatar. Most were appalled when he was brought into the side to face Wales in the final group fixture, believing the Liverpool captain to be a symbol of Gareth Southgate's allegedly over-conservative tactical approach. However, Henderson made an immediate impression, his mere presence allowing Jude Bellingham more freedom to do what he does best. Furthermore, while Henderson is rarely the most talented player on the pitch, he is usually the loudest, at least in an England shirt. His voice was even audible above the incessant drum beat here at the Al Bayt Stadium. The first time it was drowned out during the first half was when he slotted home the crucial opening goal to draw a colossal roar from the same fans that had been lamenting his retention in Southgate's starting line-up. It's time to give England's second-oldest goalscorer at a World Cup the respect he's been denied for far too long. As Foden said afterwards, "When someone is not doing something right on the pitch, Hendo is quick to tell you off. I don't mind that – he is a leader and a captain."

    Jude Bellingham:

    It's almost a shock now when Bellingham isn't brilliant; that's the ridiculous level of expectation he's now setting for himself. Indeed, there was an undeniable sense of surprise when he underwhelmed in the bore draw with the United States on matchday two. Rumours were rife that he might even be dropped or rested for the meeting with Wales. Bellingham, though, is irreplaceable. England don't have another player like him. Then again, who does? It's worth remembering that this is not normal. He's still only a teenager. And yet the kid can do it all. Mentally, he's also astounding. "I don't think we could have predicted how quickly he'd mature," Southgate admitted. "He's gone to another level in the last three months." Here, the quintessential all-action midfielder took control of a game in which England were toiling and effectively put them 2-0 up at the break by creating two goals with sensational surges forward. We're only at the last 16 stage but it would be a massive surprise if Bellingham doesn't walk away with the Young Player of the Tournament award. And, to tell the truth, if he maintains this form, he'll be in the running for the Golden Ball too.

    Harry Kane:

    Was Kane's goal the most significant moment of the night from an England perspective? It certainly felt like it. Kane had contributed assists during the group stage but you could see how much ending his drought in the desert meant to the struggling striker, and his team-mates. For all their attacking talent, England know if they are to have any chance of beating France in the quarter-finals, let alone winning this tournament, they need Kane confident. His emphatic finish, then, will have done wonders for the Tottenham man's self-belief. We only saw the very best of Kane in the knockout stages at Euro 2020; history could be about to repeat itself in Qatar. As Saka said afterwards, "Harry is inevitable." Once he gets going, he always takes some stopping.

    Southgate's selection:

    Well, he got it right again, didn't he? Sticking with Henderson paid off, but it was the decision to recall Saka that might finally convince the Southgate sceptics that he actually knows what he's doing. A return to the bench was, obviously, incredibly harsh on Marcus Rashford, who was sensational against Wales, but his demotion merely underlines the remarkable depth England have at their disposal in attacking positions. Even with Raheem Sterling having to sadly return home before the game to address a family matter, the Three Lions still had far too much firepower for Senegal. It's not easy keeping everyone happy, of course, but one has to say that Southgate is, for all of the questioning of his calls, doing a good job of getting the best out of England's enviable attacking arsenal. They're not the tournament's leading scorers by accident. The manager is clearly doing something right. Maybe it's time to cut him some slack?...

  • Marcus Rashford England 2022

    The Losers

    Sadio Mane:

    Oh how Sadio Mane must have wished he had been on the pitch for Senegal during that impressive opening 38 minutes at the Al Bayt Stadium. England may have been bossing possession, but it was the Lions of Taranga who were carrying all of the attacking threat. They had three excellent openings. None were taken. And their profligacy was ruthlessly punished by England's superior set of forwards. The presence of Mane would have redressed the balance somewhat. Certainly from a Senegalese perspective, it's impossible not to wonder what might have been had the Bayern Munich man been fit and on the end of one of those early chances.

    Marcus Rashford:

    The Manchester United forward couldn't have done much more to hold onto his starting spot. Rashford bagged two goals against Wales to make it three for the tournament overall, putting him joint-top of the goalscorers' charts. Mbappe has since surged clear at the summit of the standings and the great shame for Rashford now is that he's unlikely to be on the field when England face France in the last eight this weekend. At least not from the start, anyway. Saka capped a lively performance with a neat finish, while Foden was again outstanding, involved in all three goals, becoming the second-youngest player to provide two assists in the same World Cup knockout game since Brazil legend Ronaldo in 1998. For now, it's back to the role of super-sub for Rashford. Such is the life of a wide player in this multi-talented England set-up.

  • Kyle Walker England 2022

    England Ratings: Defence

    Jordan Pickford (7/10):

    Came up big in the first half with a fantastic save with his left hand from Dia's shot.

    Kyle Walker (6/10):

    More minutes under his belt but the Man City man looked off the pace here during the first half and was lucky to avoid a booking after being burned by Sarr.

    Jon Stones (6/10):

    Made one uncharacteristically poor pass during the first half and struggled a little at times with Dia's pace, but distributed the ball wall for the most part and had a comfortable second half.

    Harry Maguire (5/10):

    A real mixed bag from the Manchester United man. Made a key intervention when Dia looked set to score early on but also put pressure on his defence with some dreadful passes.

    Luke Shaw (7/10):

    Butchered one brilliant breakaway but was a great outlet for England down the left-hand side, where most of their attacks originated.

  • Jude Bellingham England 2022

    Midfield

    Jordan Henderson (8/10):

    Will probably never get the credit he deserves but the experience, energy and leadership he brings to the team are all invaluable. Also showed he can finish too with a nicely-taken goal.

    Declan Rice (7/10):

    His passing was once again fantastically accurate. The work he does is never going to feature in many highlights packages but it is integral to his team's success.

    Jude Bellingham (9/10):

    The game-changer. Again. When England were struggling, Bellingham stepped up, teeing up Henderson for the first goal before then marking a barnstorming break from the back that ended with Foden putting in Kane to score.

  • Harry Kane Phil Foden England 2022

    Attack

    Bukayo Saka (8/10):

    Some supporters were questioning his recall before kick-off. The Arsenal man issued the perfect riposte.

    Harry Kane (8/10):

    He had the assists. All he was missing was the goal. Now he's got one, so expect Kane to go from strength to strength. His hold-up play and awareness were once again mightily impressive. And he took his big chance brilliantly.

    Phil Foden (9/10):

    Showed precisely why so many people were bemused by the fact that he started this tournament on the bench. He's just such a clever, technically gifted player. Foden was involved in all three goals, providing the killer final ball for both Kane and Saka.

  • Jack Grealish Gareth Southgate England 2022

    Subs & Manager

    Marcus Rashford (6/10):

    Came on for Saka midway through the second half but was unable to make an impact.

    Jack Grealish (6/10):

    Introduced in place of Foden but brought little to the party.

    Mason Mount (N/A):

    Took over in midfield from Bellingham for the final quarter of an hour.

    Kalvin Phillips (N/A):

    Saw 15 minutes of action as a replacement for Henderson.

    Erick Dier (N/A):

    Slotted into the centre of the defence in place of Stones with the minimum of fuss.

    Gareth Southgate (8/10):

    Credit it where it's due: despite all of the pressure, Southgate has got his selection right for these past two games. Six goals scored, none conceded. England march on.