England vs Iran 6-2: Player evaluations as Saka’s brace propels resounding win

England vs Iran 6-2

England vs Iran 6-2. England’s World Cup started off perfectly when they beat Iran 6-2 at Khalifa International Stadium.

In the first half, Gareth Southgate’s team was in control thanks to goals from Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, and Raheem Sterling. Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Jack Grealish finished off the scoring after the break.

In the first few minutes, England asked for a penalty when Harry Maguire was cynically dragged to the ground after a corner, but VAR did not want to get involved.

After a long delay in the first half because of an injury to Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand’s head, who was somehow allowed to keep playing before conceding defeat and leaving the field about five seconds later, England had their first real chance of the game when Saka’s cross found Mason Mount on the six-yard line, but the Chelsea player could only hit the side netting.

Then, Maguire missed the target from a corner, and 35 minutes in, Bellingham scored with a header.

England heaved a sigh of relief and went on to control the game. Eight minutes later, Saka scored a great second goal by smashing home a half-volley after Maguire knocked the ball down.

As soon as the ball was kicked off, Sterling tapped in a cross from Harry Kane to make it 3-0. The Three Lions cruised into halftime with a lead that was well deserved.

The second half was a little slower because England had already won, but they scored their fourth goal just after the hour mark. Again, it was Saka, who danced around two defenders and put the ball in the back of the net.

Soon, though, Mehdi Taremi’s smart run led to a powerful finish that hit the underside of the crossbar before going into Jordan Pickford’s net.

But any chance of a comeback was quickly dashed when Rashford, in his first action after bringing off the bench, scored a goal that was similar to Saka’s.

In the last few minutes of the game, Callum Wilson passed the ball to Grealish without thinking about himself. Grealish then tapped the ball into an empty net to finish off England’s scoring for the day.

Deep into the ten minutes of extra time, Pickford made a great save to stop Sardar Azmoun after he got past the offside trap. Iran then got a penalty after a VAR check showed that John Stones pulled the shirt of an Iranian player in a questionable way.

With the last kick of the game, Taremi stepped up and put it away to give Iran its second goal.

1. England (4-2-3-1)

GK: Pickford, Jordan – 6/10 – Not even need to purchase a ticket to see this as a spectator. Regrettable are the Iran ambitions.

RB: Kieran Trippier – 7/10 – Played more as a central defender in attack, therefore he did not have many opportunities to shine. Excellent from set-pieces.

CB: John Stones – 7/10 – Excellent passing from the back line, but lost concentration for Taremi’s goal and allowed a penalty.

CB: Harry Maguire – 7/10 – Massive in attack and dominating from set-pieces, however he was culpable for Taremi’s first goal.

LB: Luke Shaw – 8/10 – A magnificent cross for Bellingham’s first goal. Tournament Shaw has returned.

DM: Declan Rice – 8/10 – Excellent passing around the field to dominate England’s every play.

DM: Jude Bellingham – 9/10 – Absolutely everywhere on the field at both ends. He was dominant and his goal was well earned.

RM: Bukayo Saka – 9/10 – A brilliant run down the right flank and a tremendous goal.

AM: Mason Mount – 7/10 – Excellent effort rate to connect the midfield and attack for England.

Raheem Sterling – 8/10 – Justified Southgate’s confidence with a well-executed goal and an assist.

ST: Harry Kane – 7 out of 10 Despite England’s strong performance, it was exceedingly hard to get involved. Effectively forced his way into the game and got a wonderful assist.

Jack Grealish (for Sterling in the 70th minute) – 7/10 – Finished with composure.

Marcus Rashford (for Saka in the 70th minute) – 7/10 – He scored on his first attempt. Efficient.

Phil Foden (70′ for Mount) – 6/10 – Had the same freedom as Mount in a game that had already ended when he entered.

SUB: Eric Dier (70′ for Maguire) – 6/10 – A modest cameo.

Wilson, Callum (75′ for Kane) – 7/10 – Nice and selfless for Grealish’s objective.

8/10 for Manager Gareth Southgate He received the acclaim he earned for inspiring his team to attack with vigour.

2. Iran (5-4-1)

GK: Alireza Beiranvand – N/A – Due to a severe head injury, the player was forced to leave the game early, however he should have left around 10 minutes sooner.

RB: Sadegh Moharrami – 2/10 – Having a difficult time facing the duo of Shaw and Sterling.

Morteza Pouraliganji – 4/10 – Struggled at the defence, almost conceding a penalty to John Stones, but did his best to send Iran on the offensive.

CB: Roozbeh Cheshmi – 1/10 – Occasionally incoherent An early reckless challenge by Maguire was strangely not penalised, but he never seemed to regain his composure. Unsurprisingly, the audience was hooked by the halfway point.

CB: Majid Hosseini – 3/10 – He didn’t stand a chance. His primary contribution consisted of being the head with which Beiranvand collided.

LB: Milad Mohammadi – 2/10 – Saka ran him ragged until he was immediately substituted after the fourth goal.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh received a yellow card and missed Iran’s lone opportunity in the first half before being replaced at the break.

CM: Ahmad Nourollahi – 3/10 – Consistently chasing shadows while Rice and Bellingham danced in the middle of the field.

CM: Ali Karimi – 2/10 – One step behind the pace and, as expected, withdrew at halftime.

LM: Ehsan Hajsafi is responsible for England’s third goal because he failed to track back. As Beiranvand neared unconsciousness, the individual stood there and threw water at him.

ST: Mehdi Taremi – 7/10 – The game was so dominated by England that Iran’s greatest danger was hardly able to contribute. Had two opportunities to score and made the most of them.

Hossein Hosseini (17′ for Beiranvand) – 2/10 – Did hardly nothing but take the ball out of the back of the goal.

Ali Gholizadeh (46′) for Karimi – 6/10 – Significantly improved the midfield fight and provided an excellent ball for Taremi’s goal.

SUB: Saeid Ezatolahi (46′ for Jahanbakhsh) – 6/10 – Similarly damaging, though, the harm had already been done.

SUB: Hossein Kanaani (46′ for Cheshmi) – 4/10 – Cheshmi was more collected at the back, but he was unable to do much.

Mehdi Torabi (63′ for Mohammadi) – 5/10 – Contributed to calming the midfield struggle.

Sardar Azmoun (77′ for Nourollahi) – 5/10 – Had few opportunities to contribute.

Manager: Carlos Queiroz – 3/10 – His team did not even come close to achieving the goal of securing a 0-0 draw that he had set out for them. Obviously lost this tough struggle.

The match’s MVP was Bukayo Saka.