Pickford set for date with France as England beat Senegal

04/12/2022 118comments  |  Jump to last

Jordan Pickford collected another clean sheet as England brushed Senegal aside in their Round of 16 clash today to set up a Quarter Final meeting with reigning champions, France.

The French had made similarly easy work of Poland in the earlier match, with Olivier Giroud overtaking Thierry Henry to become his nation's all-time leading scorer before Kylian Mbappé killed the contest with two stunning strikes.

Robert Lewandowski scored a consolation goal at the end of stoppage time, slotting a penalty past Hugo Lloris at the second attempt after the goalkeeper had been penalised for stepping off his line to save the Barcelona man's weak first effort.  

Senegal were without Idrissa Gueye, suspended after picking up two yellow cards during the group stage, but the African side looked the brighter in the early stages, with Boulaye Dia forcing an excellent one-handed save from Pickford. 

Article continues below video content

England eventually seized control, however, as Phil Foden centred for Jordan Henderson to sweep Gareth Southgate's side into the lead and Harry Kane made it 2-0 just before half-time with a fierce drive.

England made the game safe just before the hour mark when Jude Bellingham turned provider, crossing low for Bakayo Saka to deftly chip the ball over the goalkeeper.

The result means that Pickford and Conor Coady are the only remaining Everton players in Qatar with Gueye heading back to Finch Farm in due course to prepare for the resumption of the Premier League season on Boxing Day.

15:00 France 3 - 1 PolandBBC 1
19:00 England 3 - 0 SenegalITV 1



Reader Comments (118)

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Dale Rose
1 Posted 04/12/2022 at 09:54:18
Be an interesting game this. Senegal are depleted, with Mane and Idris out. Let's hope England take full advantage.

Danny O’Neill
2 Posted 04/12/2022 at 11:19:49
France v England quarter final for me.

Atomic Kitten, Football Coming Home, Harry Maguire songs and probably a few about the RAF bombing Germans.

The joys of watching England in a London pub.

Oliver Molloy
3 Posted 04/12/2022 at 11:49:39
Kevin Campbell has to be the worst pundit on Everton and everything else.

On whether the ship has sailed on the Ghana star to arrive at the club he exclusively told Goodison News: “No, Kudus wanted to join Everton. Ajax pulled they plug didn't they?"

"So I don't see why he wouldn't want to join Everton."

He can't think why he wouldn't want to join Everton? Has he been watching us – is he fucking blind or just plain fucking stupid?

Darren Hind
4 Posted 04/12/2022 at 15:13:06
For a guy who didnt have a particularly well stocked tool box, The French manager has come a long way and achieved great things.

Ridiculed by team mates in training. Mocked by French football writers. Famously dismissed as an opinionated "water carrier" by Eric Cantona.

He's gone further than the lot of them.

Fair play to him

Peter Mills
5 Posted 04/12/2022 at 15:30:02
I never understood it, Darren. Always thought he was a cracking player.
Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 04/12/2022 at 15:32:10
Although they had a good team and won the Euros in the 80s, it was the strategy and plan France put in place at grass roots to build towards the 1998 World Cup they hosted and won. Since then, they have added a further World Cup and another Euros win.

Still my favourites for this competition. Mbappe is a machine running with jet boots.

Odd seeing Matty Cash playing for Poland. Grew up and played locally where I now live. Came through at Wycombe Wanders before moving to Forest (where I believe his father played) and then onto Villa.

I like him, although we now have Patterson.

Giroud. Sitter.

Mike Gaynes
7 Posted 04/12/2022 at 15:39:39
Frantic from France there. Can't believe Poland didn't score.

Darren, he was ridiculed by teammates in training? Wow. Never read that before.

However, it's true that "underdog" players often become the very best managers.

Danny O’Neill
8 Posted 04/12/2022 at 16:31:25
A great goal that didn't count.

France looking strong. Rabiot impressing me and Griezmann has been pulling the strings.

Quality punditry from Dion Dublin.

"Still everything to play for. There's only one goal in it"

Thanks Dion!!!

Mike Gaynes
9 Posted 04/12/2022 at 16:32:58
Great finish, but the Polish defense lost the concept of "closing down" right there.
Danny O’Neill
10 Posted 04/12/2022 at 16:39:23
A lot to admire about that goal.

French defending and Griezmann doing his bit to clear the lines. No nonsense.

Sublime take it on a sixpence from Giroud before spreading it wide to stretch the defence. Dembele then running across the defence with Giroud creating space for Mbappe to hit a quality finish with time and space to tee it up.

Joe McMahon
11 Posted 04/12/2022 at 16:39:44
So Poland need 2 goals and are faffing about in thileir own have passing around back. What has happened to football for it to become do boring. Has the awful Roberto Belgium model not dawned on anyone yet?

Did this all start with Pep/Barca?

Tony Hill
12 Posted 04/12/2022 at 16:42:57
I think so, Joe.

Dire defending for the Mbappe goal and I'm not sure the goalkeeper does well either.

Kieran Kinsella
13 Posted 04/12/2022 at 16:44:01

I couldn’t face watching this one. My Grandads Polish but I’ve given up on this bunch of impotent unimaginative clowns.

Danny O’Neill
14 Posted 04/12/2022 at 16:49:37
A bit harsh on Poland I think gents.

It's going to take a very good team, slice of luck or off day to undo this French team in my opinion.

There you go. 23 years old.

The new kid on the block takes the mantle from one of the best strikers of his generation in what will most likely be his last World Cup.

Tony Hill
15 Posted 04/12/2022 at 16:51:26
I agree about France, Danny, I think they're the best in the tournament.
Michael Kenrick
16 Posted 04/12/2022 at 16:54:13
That there French bloke, he seems to know how to hit the ball.

Makes it look so easy. Absolutely stunning power.

Tony Abrahams
17 Posted 04/12/2022 at 16:56:20
The French are very well drilled, and even look to be playing within themselves. If they are, then that’s a major worry for every other team in the tournament, but if they’re not, then they can definitely be got at.

VAR, have given the Poles a consolation penalty, but if the scores were level now, that would have caused uproar imo. What happened to the indirect free kick, is it not controversial enough?

Michael Kenrick
18 Posted 04/12/2022 at 16:57:44
How absolutely pathetic from Lewandowski.
Darren Hind
19 Posted 04/12/2022 at 17:13:27

I know you keep a keen eye on football around the world, but I suspect the "Carre Magique" may have come along a little too soon for you.

You'd have definitely heard of Platini, but the names of Alain Giresse. Luis Fernandez and Jean Tigana. may not be quite as familiar to you. Apologies if you knew all about the "magic square", but if you didnt. Then honest to God. These guys could play.

Peter @5 Is bang on the money. Deschamps was a smashing little player, but he arrived at a time when a significant part of the French footballing community had become accustomed to the supremely technically gifted. Unfortunately, Didier could not hold a candle to the players I mention in that department

The "water carrier" clearly had a different type of fire going on in his belly

Mike Gaynes
20 Posted 04/12/2022 at 17:14:02
On behalf of the Yanks watching these games on Fox, I wish to say that it drives me fucking nuts that Rob Stone pronounces the name of the world's greatest footballer as... PAY-lay.

Darren, you're correct, I've heard those names but we in the US never got to see them play except for a few scattered World Cup games, and I'm not at all familiar with the "magic square". I'm certainly not surprised at the public skepticism towards Deschamps in that era, but the idea that such a professional and passionate player was subject to derision by his own teammates, even after proving his worth, does startle me a little.

Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 04/12/2022 at 17:42:05
Forget football Mike,. Eye-raq (Iraq) and Eye-ran (Iran) gets me! And pronouncing route as rowt.

The small things.

Back on football, but on your theme of language, it's a football top, not a soccer Jersey!!!!

Tony Abrahams
22 Posted 04/12/2022 at 17:50:32
You have just some brought back great memories Darren. Great memories that make me remember how good the beautiful game can be when it’s played by real artists.

Platini, Giresse, Tigana, when France won the 1984 European championship, were what football is all about imo, and I always remember Rochto, signing himself out of a World Cup camp for the evening to go and watch The Stones playing, which showed me that they have always had a bit of class imo, those stuck-up Frogs!!

Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 04/12/2022 at 17:51:34
Tony (17), I imagine plenty of fans wouldn’t be surprised if the eventual World Cup winners is decided by VAR going by the ridiculous decisions they come up with.
Neil Lawson
24 Posted 04/12/2022 at 17:53:42
Saka for Rashford. Henderson. Let the fun commence.
Brian Hennessy
25 Posted 04/12/2022 at 17:55:31
On the whole soccer vs football language. It's not just an American thing. Plenty of people here in Ireland call it soccer, and have to admit I have frequently called it soccer.

Football to many people here means Gaelic football and soccer means that foreign game invented across the pond.

Michael Williams
26 Posted 04/12/2022 at 17:56:17
Mike 20: My pronunciation pet peeve is when folks in the UK pronounce the latin name Martinez. You say Mar-tin-ez instead of it's correct pronunciation Mar-teen-es. All in all no big deal.

Anyway, for you folks in England I wish you all the best for your next game.

Darren Hind
27 Posted 04/12/2022 at 17:59:17

It was only rock n roll but he liked it.

I have never been able to completely separate great rock and roll from the beautiful game.

Have you ?

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
28 Posted 04/12/2022 at 18:08:24
It is also not Eye-kea! And I am not sure how to phonetically pronounce the way the Swedish people say "i". But it is not "eye"
All over the continent, they pronounce the I as an I and the E as an E.
Brits pronounce the E as Eye and I as Eee.

Anyway good to see Idrissa is banned for this one so if England win, he is coming home with no injuries. Same for Coady who will probably never play. Onana - somehow that should be what I used to say to my Grandmother Oh! Nanna - already on his way and the only one with any chance of an injury is Pickford. Mind you with our luck, Coady will be injured in training.

Also what is going on back home? First Ben White has a personal issue and come home, hope it is not too tragic, and now Sterling is back for a similar reason although is expected to return.

Brian Hennessy
29 Posted 04/12/2022 at 18:13:49
Darren #19 & Tony #22

That mention of Jean Tigana brings me back to a special memory.

European Cup Winners Cup, September 1986. My home club Waterford United drawn against the mighty Bordeaux. The first leg at our home ground in Kilcohan Park had to be played in the afternoon as we had no floodlights (apart from the lights of the greyhound track around the pitch).

The Bordeaux team included Tigana along with other French internationals such as Dominique Dropsy, Jean-Marc Ferreri and Patrick Battison.
The Waterford team included a 43-year-old Al Finucane. That age must be close to a record age for an outfield player in a European game?

Despite the huge gulf in talent, the first leg saw Bordeaux win a tight game 2-1. They went on to win the second leg 4-0.
Still remember mitching off school to attend the match and climbing over the wall to get in. The official 4,500 attendance might be a bit conservative.

Sadly the money men that have taken over the game mean games like these are mostly a thing of the past.

Peter Carpenter
30 Posted 04/12/2022 at 18:21:54
Why do we handicap ourselves by playing Henderson?
Tony Abrahams
31 Posted 04/12/2022 at 18:42:08
I love watching one sober, Darren, and I love watching the other with a nice bevvy in my hand. Put the two together and I think it can be truly magical. Watching Maradona warming up to ‘life is life' is enough for me sometimes, and that's why the romantic in me is hoping Argentina, win the World Cup in his memory.

I suppose it's a generational thing. after reading yesterday that Pele, was receiving end-of-life care, I'm certain people of a certain age would love Brazil to bring home the trophy in the great man's memory.

Dave Cashen
32 Posted 04/12/2022 at 18:42:08
England will never get a better opportunity to win a World Cup.

If we can't beat this lot, we don't deserve another.

James Hughes
33 Posted 04/12/2022 at 18:43:36
ITV has really poor presentation team, summed up by the piss poor montage of announcing the starting line-up.
Danny O’Neill
34 Posted 04/12/2022 at 18:48:00
I think most football fans of a certain generation look of for Brazil and have a soft spot.

I guess it does mean more right now and must be a motivating factor for their squad.

Spain are the flair team, France the strong one. England will be up against it next round.

Jay Harris
35 Posted 04/12/2022 at 18:55:55
Danny I agree with you and I ALWAYS HOPE FOR Brazil to do well especially with Richy playing for them but I have a sneaky feeling for Portugal this one and hope for England to do well although we seem to have lost the mentality to win a competition if we ever really had it.
Kieran Kinsella
36 Posted 04/12/2022 at 18:56:41
Mbappe is in a league of his own. Messi and Ronaldo can still produce magic here and there but are largely passengers but Mbappe is easily the best player.
Dave Abrahams
37 Posted 04/12/2022 at 18:58:53
Come on, Senegal, do it for Tarzan, Jane, Boy and Cheeta the chimp!!
Kieran Kinsella
38 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:07:19
I remember when we got the ball, we used to try and get it to Lineker.

Now, every time we get it, we pass it back to Maguire. Why?

Mike Gaynes
39 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:11:19
England are still in this.
Soren Moyer
40 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:11:34
Mbappé and Ronaldo are just goal scorers. Messi is so much more.
Kieran Kinsella
41 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:13:39
Soren Messi WAS much more. No longer
Michael Kenrick
42 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:19:10
That's two crazy wild crosses well away from the target man. More care needed!
Tony McNulty
43 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:20:26
There's something about Harry Maguire which does not fill me with confidence.

This is most unfair, but to me he has a permanent expression on his face as if to say, "what just happened wasn't my fault."

Christy Ring
44 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:21:32
Just my opinion, but Southgate can't help himself, back to 2 defensive midfielders with Henderson coming in. He did the same in the Euro's, didn't work. It's Senegal minus Mane and Gueye, play an offensive formation.

Danny O’Neill
45 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:25:48
So if Poland were given a penalty earlier and that wasn't one, where the consistency?

Maybe because it was 3-0 in the 95th minute rather than 0-0 in the early stages of the game??

Tony McNulty
46 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:26:57
TV commentator just announced that Southgate has said that to get anywhere in this WC, England had to get it right at both ends of the pitch.

He must have been up all night before he came up with that one.

Jeff Armstrong
47 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:27:57
Stones to Walker, Walker back to Stones, Stones to Maguire, Maguire to Senegal its so predictable and pedestrian
Peter Carpenter
48 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:28:40
Get Henderson off. The twat offers nothing.
Jeff Armstrong
49 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:31:00
Rice, Bellingham and Henderson soooo conservative, they are playing in Southgate’s image.

Senegal realise England can be got at.

Mike Gaynes
50 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:32:49
England keeper looking half-decent there.
Mark Ryan
51 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:33:00
Class save but why can't the players see that pin-balling it around won't work against a man marking Senegalese team. Mix it up, longer passing game is required
Danny O’Neill
52 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:33:11
Pickford doing what he does best. Great stop.
Geoff Trenner
53 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:34:39
That’s a really good save.
Kieran Kinsella
54 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:35:31
Spanish commentators making fun of Pickford name
Geoff Trenner
55 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:38:51
Good goal on the break
Jeff Armstrong
56 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:39:00
Knew my comment would work 😂
Kieran Kinsella
57 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:39:10
Bellingham is class
Michael Kenrick
58 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:39:14
Hate fucking Hendersen but that was excellent football.
Peter Carpenter
59 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:40:44
Apart from that, the twat offers nothing.
Jeff Armstrong
60 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:41:02
Mendy is a poor keeper, only had to stick his hand out and he saves that.
Will Mabon
61 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:42:51
Of all people to score, Pinocchio.
Bill Gall
62 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:43:02
I thought Kane was supposed to be a candidate for the golden boot, and that means you are supposed to score from half chances
Dave Abrahams
63 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:46:24
Great ball from Kane that started the move for the goal, still diving at every opportunity though, he’s due for a goal any time now, just missed a golden chance there to clinch the game.
Danny O’Neill
64 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:46:48
Until the goal Senegal looked the better team.

Missing Mane and Idrissa as well.

No mugs.

Jeff Armstrong
65 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:48:02
Good comment Bill, it worked again 😉
Bill Gall
66 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:48:27
Kane gets his first goal
Kieran Kinsella
67 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:48:44
Kane looks like Lombardo since he went bald
Dave Abrahams
68 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:48:55
That’s it, Goodnight Vienna and Senegal !!
Danny O’Neill
69 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:50:17
Bellingham looks like he'll be some player.

Kane striking a ball like Calvert-Lewin can't.

Bill Gall
70 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:51:44
Shows how critical Pickfords save was, woke the forwards up
Darren Hind
71 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:51:51
Bellingham ?

Fuck me. I didnt even know about him last year.

People lamenting the demise of past greats need to embrace the cyclical nature of this game

Will Mabon
72 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:52:31
Lucky that Senegal decided to start attacking.
Kunal Desai
73 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:54:51
Bellingham making the difference here.

That ropey back four against Mbappe, Giroud and co could turn out to be embarrassing.

Danny O’Neill
74 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:56:43
19 years old. I wonder if he'll still be with Dortmund in the Bundesliga next season Darren??
Michael Kenrick
75 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:58:05
Hope they are giving credit to Pickford for that second chance to Senegal which flew high over the bar – looks like it came off him.
Will Mabon
76 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:58:27
Kunai, Maguire still has a few major mistakes in him to come out at some stage.
Kieran Kinsella
77 Posted 04/12/2022 at 19:58:38
Bellingham really is an all rounder.
Christy Ring
78 Posted 04/12/2022 at 20:01:01
Maybe I was wrong about Henderson, what do I know!
Michael Kenrick
79 Posted 04/12/2022 at 20:01:13
Will, "at some stage"?

He's already given the ball away twice!

Will Mabon
80 Posted 04/12/2022 at 20:12:02
Michael, that's run of the mill for him. The big ones are waiting...
Jeff Armstrong
81 Posted 04/12/2022 at 20:17:12
Time for Southgate to rest his big guns, use the squad.
Will Mabon
82 Posted 04/12/2022 at 20:17:49
England might win this.
Danny O’Neill
83 Posted 04/12/2022 at 20:18:56
Really nice finish. Gave it the lift to take it over the keeper
Jeff Armstrong
84 Posted 04/12/2022 at 20:23:21
Should be protecting Bellingham and Kane, get them off.
Will Mabon
85 Posted 04/12/2022 at 20:41:13
Seems players are now "hurt" from every foul however soft.
Will Mabon
86 Posted 04/12/2022 at 20:49:43
First England game I've watched in ages. It's turned out more of a formality than a match. The real match will be Saturday.
Darren Hind
87 Posted 04/12/2022 at 21:15:02
What a match up this tournament has thrown up. The world class MBappe against the much maligned John Stones.

I know the Park End Panic Merchants will disagree, but right here, right now, I predict an arse pocket job.

Jay Harris
88 Posted 04/12/2022 at 21:15:35
Widely romoured that Bellingham will be joining the other shower in January.
Tony Abrahams
89 Posted 04/12/2022 at 21:20:23
Argentina v Holland. England v France. There’s always a shock (Japan & Korea might provide it) but if not, then it would also be Brazil v Croatia, and Portugal v Spain, in the last eight.

That would be some last eight, with not really a bad team amongst them.

Football is winning, and this tournament could reach incredible heights, so please don’t let conservatism take over🤞

Darren, Mbappe is clever, so I’m certain he’s going to try and expose Harry McGuire?

Darren Hind
90 Posted 04/12/2022 at 21:23:34
Get paid Tony
Tony Abrahams
91 Posted 04/12/2022 at 21:35:08
From an English point of view, McGuire scares me Darren, along with the manager’s conservative nature.

They got the job done, but when they open up, I think this is definitely the best English team, I’ve watched playing in my lifetime, and when I think about Saturday night’s game against France, I think it is a real 50/50 game, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the winners go on and lift the trophy. We will see.

Jay@88, has probably killed the thread telling us this news!!!

Don Alexander
92 Posted 04/12/2022 at 21:56:27
Tony (#20), I'm glad to see that you, like me, don't change your mind in a day by extolling great players in excellent teams of yore.

That French quartet was very, very special but, Cruyff aside, the Dutch had Neeskens, Suurbier, Krol, Haan and Rep in there's, and West Germany had Beckenbauer, Netzer, Muller, Breitner and Hoeness.

They were all consistently brilliant for years but I'm sure some prat will be able to identify all the shite games he says they so regularly took part in.

Comfortable win for us today against a team of modest resources. The French will be more dangerous but the amount of time and space afforded Mbappe by the Poles was madness. I can't see England being that accommodating....... I hope!

Kieran Kinsella
93 Posted 04/12/2022 at 22:01:28

Agreed. Mbappe, Dembele, Giroud, Raniot and Griezman play as a front five and can’t tackle so it’s really just one midfielder. I worry Southgate will load us up defensively to try and counter them rather than making use of all that space in midfield to counter them. If we sit back and are under siege sooner or later they’ll score. I would attack from the get go like Germany did to a similarly lined up Brazil team in the semi in 2014

Andrew Clare
94 Posted 04/12/2022 at 22:22:33
This would be an England team capable of lifting the trophy if Stones and Maguire were better players. England looked far more dangerous when they were by passed in the build up, they slow the game down too much and I think against France they will be caught out.

Some good performances by most but from Bellingham and Rice especially. France will be a different cup of tea on Saturday. You never know though.

Darren Hind
95 Posted 04/12/2022 at 22:30:15
There will always be "prats" who refuse to recognise the many poor games we have witnessed in previous World Cups. Selective memory and lack of knowledge does that to some.

Unfortunately there will also always be people who only post every 20 minutes to tell everybody what they already know about Bill Kenwright in the belief that they are revealing some blinding revelations.

Alehouse emptiers.

Ed Prytherch
96 Posted 04/12/2022 at 22:40:35
I hope that Southgate stays with this midfield for the France game. All three of them were outstanding. We may need a winger who can defend better than Saka.
Don Alexander
97 Posted 04/12/2022 at 23:43:22
Dazza (#95) from your post you evidently think I'm referring to you as the "prat" but it's you who denigrated by name several of the brilliant players (in very good teams) I'd previously eulogised. You said they'd regularly played in dross games so, with respect, identify any such plethora of crap games please.

Just how you rationalise yesterday going from denigrating them to today extolling them just as I did and do is a mystery - but I accept that despite the huge amount we agree on in football and Everton (as I've repeatedly posted for years on this site when you desist from haranguing fellow Toffees) I accept rationality is seemingly beyond your grasp.

Football can do that to some people, but it amuses the majority. All the best!

Don Alexander
98 Posted 05/12/2022 at 01:00:16
And completely off topic in terms of this WC, and with genuine respect to the genius that is Pele, what about Ferenc Puscas in the 1950's?

700 games in a top-notch career, and better than a goal a game throughout.

Genius, but barely remembered.

Ernie Baywood
99 Posted 05/12/2022 at 01:38:21
I thought it was yet another solid performance. I think it's clear now that Southgate is absolutely conservative but not without logic. They plod, they pass, they go back and do it again. Then all of a sudden they explode and the opposition doesn't know when it's coming. It's like a serious of feints and fakes before throwing a big right hand cross and swarming in for the knockout. Attacking talent does it's best work when you're not just parked, 10 v 11 in the final third.

England haven't lost a knockout game inside 90 minutes in a long time. Southgate is doing something right.

Jude Bellingham. Wow. I hadn't seen much of him before this tournament but he really is something special. Reminded me of a young Jack Rodwell.

This team is definitely good enough - maybe as deep an England team as I've ever seen. A few other teams are good enough too though.

Danny O’Neill
100 Posted 05/12/2022 at 06:37:00
I think it's all been said. Professional performance and good, sweeping counter attacking from England.

I still think its a bit harsh on Poland to suggest they gave too much space. It depends how you look at it suppose. I saw quality attacking players making space that was difficult to close.

There have been some great young emerging players in this tournament and discussion about recognition of past greats.

I'll throw a team out there, that I feel doesn't get the recognition it deserves. The Netherlands Euro 88 winners. Some great players in that team. Guillit, Van Basten (that goal), Koeman (yes - the player), Rijkaard.

Saturday will be a big test for both teams. Are France as good as they look? Are England as good as they could be? Given the historic rivalry between both nations, I don't think there will be any need for motivation on both counts.

I have to say, one thing about Southgate, he really handles himself well in press conferences. Very composed. Answered the Raheem Sterling question very well.

Steve Shave
101 Posted 05/12/2022 at 08:05:31
Nervy first 20 minutes – apart from a bit of pissing around at the back during this, I feel that was mainly to do with their risky tactic of throwing 4 up for a very high press. Once we got to grips with it we naturally found space in the middle of the park. The midfield trio were excellent (Bellingham, what a player!) and Kane held the ball up so well throughout, an underated aspect of his game in my view.

Pickford made an excellent and vital save at 0-0 and after that it was plain sailing. If we beat France (and it is a big if), then I think we stand as good a chance as Spain, Brazil or Argentina of winning it. Proud of Jordan last night, I fear we might lose him this window or in the summer.

Robert Tressell
102 Posted 05/12/2022 at 08:26:02
As Tunisia showed, France can be beaten. As we showed yesterday, we're at our best counter-attacking into space left when the opposition has the ball.

It's going to be a hard game for both sides.

Our problem will come if we go a goal down and have to chase the game.

Danny O’Neill
103 Posted 05/12/2022 at 08:47:45
Or Harry Maguire has to chase rocket boy Mbappe, Robert.

It's going to be an interesting contest indeed.

Brian Harrison
104 Posted 05/12/2022 at 09:38:24
I think we have as good as squad as any team in the World Cup, and while France are an excellent team, I think they will be just as worried about us as we are about them.

No doubting the talent of Mbappe and Greizman but, as we have seen in the Premier League, Varanne has a mistake in him and I think Lloris is past his best.

Giroud a decent player but he ain’t no Benzema, so while expecting a tough game, I think we will beat France.

Dave Abrahams
105 Posted 05/12/2022 at 09:45:52
Ernie (99),

Yes, rope-a-dope football, draw them in and then attack with them hopelessly out of position. Senegal got enticed in to attacking too much, it would have stayed as a very boring game without Senegal attacking.

Not sure France will be so naive and Greizman's football brain could play a big part in this game but so could the much younger Bellingham's.

May the best team win; I hope it's France.

Charles Brewer
106 Posted 05/12/2022 at 11:49:02
Much though I hate to say it, Henderson was excellent last night. And for all the criticism of Stones and Maguire, they aren't letting goals in.

Pickford continues to demonstrate that he is the world's best goalkeeper ╢ although we all know "he has a blunder in him" – © Every third-rate pundit on TV who played one game under the Wally-with-the-Brolly and got subbed after 60-minutes.

I also think Southgate has set things up so that Bellingham can really shine. The second England goal was a perfect example. Bellingham's quick-witted and aggressive chasing of a slightly loose ball was superb but, if Foden and Kane hadn't been available ahead of him, the move would have died in midfield.

In the first 20 minutes, there were a couple of crosses made which had no-one to get on to them, so the efforts to get to the crossing point were, objectively, a waste of time.

This is not to diminish Bellingham's contribution, but he would be far less effective in a formation which didn't allow his style of play and make the most of his ability to turn defence into attack very rapidly.

I rather suspect that Everton's problem is very much of the same nature. Lacking anyone who can score goals from crosses, we faff about kicking the ball backwards and sideways – like England for much of the opening period – and get nowhere.

Unless you can find someone to do what Henderson, Kane or Saka can do – turn up to apply the final touch – you are really going to struggle.

Danny O’Neill
107 Posted 05/12/2022 at 12:04:18
Some good points Charles.

I wouldn't go as far to say best in the World personally, but he is much improved in the past 2 years and we certainly owe him a lot as much as we do those Goodison goal posts. He's a brilliant shot stopper as he showed last night at a crucial moment.

What has been interesting for me, is watching him come out of his 18 yard box, forget the 6 yard box. He rarely does that for Everton.

The other good point you make is about Henderson and others. We can complain all we like, but if players look up and don't see forward movement and runners in front of them, the instinct will be to check, retain possession and subsequently go sideways or backwards.

Forward options. Be they strikers of runners from midfield. We haven't got many right now.

Colin Malone
108 Posted 05/12/2022 at 14:12:46
Rice is an extension of the defence, without any guile, passing square or back. I would bring Philips in.
Jerome Shields
109 Posted 05/12/2022 at 14:56:46
Thought Pickford was outstanding.The two early saves kept England in the game.Ghana after the first counter attacking goal lost their shape and did not regain it for the rest of the match. Both Maguire and Stones looked vulnerable, but where not really tested after the first goal to the same extent as earlier.
Ed Prytherch
110 Posted 05/12/2022 at 15:55:32
Pickford's long ball distribution was excellent. Hopefully Frank noticed.
Kieran Kinsella
111 Posted 05/12/2022 at 16:10:00

I think we have the best overall squad in terms of depth. If we are able to beat France, which is a big if, then we should have an advantage in the semi/final which come quickly as we have players on the bench who are fresh who we can bring in who are of similar quality to the starters. Brazil have lost a few through injury already, plus they have Danny Alves in the team which would be like us still having Ashley Young. I think Argentina are heavily reliant on their goalie and three old men, Holland outside Gakpo are nothing special and that's their first 11 not to mention their squad.

Jerome Shields
112 Posted 05/12/2022 at 16:11:21

Agree regarding Pickfords long ball distribution. Ghana where set up for a high press as England played out from the back, Pickford long ball effectively by passed it.At addition that Everton sorely need.

Derek Wadeson
113 Posted 05/12/2022 at 17:13:50
My World Cup Best Eleven
3 - 4 - 3

Sub Valsic

Robert Workman
114 Posted 05/12/2022 at 17:32:00
Despite scoring some great goals England will struggle to win the World Cup if they continue to play with 10 men.
Southgate persists in picking a player who just strolls around the pitch, occasionally making a safe sideways or backwards pass. He doesn't win tackles, doesn't play the ball forward, doesn't make assists or score goals.
Whenever I watch England play I always keep an eye on him to see if there is something that I am missing. Yesterday he did make one run down the touchline, but ended up tamely crossing the ball weakly straight to a Senegal defender.
If I could ask Southgate, or David Moyes, one question it would be "What is Declan Rice for?"
Brian Wilkinson
115 Posted 05/12/2022 at 20:27:05
The Manager is the biggest worry for England. Now I know that sounds mad after the results and getting to the Euro final, and now the quarter-final of the World Cup.

So why should I feel that way?

Well, in the Euros, England played Ukraine, got the goal and continued to pressure them, resulting in a further three goals; same against Senegal, after a slow start, they got three goals, rather than sit back on a one-goal lead.

Every fear happened against Italy in the Final, controlled the game, got the goal, then instead of keeping Italy on the back foot, England sat back and invited Italy to come at them.

At half-time, the Italy Manager makes a few subs, Italy start to stretch England. But, instead of making changes, Southgate did nothing, left tired players on too long, until Italy scored.

Even then, no reaction. Instead of trying to get a winner, he saves his subs for extra time, even bringing two on for the last kick of extra time as penalty takers – neither not even getting a 5-minute feel of the game before penalties.

That is my fear against France. England to get a goal, then sit back and invite the French to come at them, instead of going for a second goal. If Southgate can change and have a little bit more belief, these players have the potential to go all the way, but Southgate needs to be strong and chase a second goal.

Sit back and the French will pick us off.

Peter Mills
116 Posted 05/12/2022 at 20:43:30
Derek #113 – are we allowed Weverton of Brazil as a substitute goalie?
Will Mabon
117 Posted 05/12/2022 at 21:07:42

I agree with your concerns re Southgate. Many English managers seem to have the same safety outlook and fears. It rarely works and only the Italians of old could consistently pull it off.

Perhaps England will continue in the same vein as so far in the tournament.

Paul Kernot
118 Posted 08/12/2022 at 00:51:35
Danny. At least the US commentators seem to have stopped saying the ball went over 'the end line'!

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