Gareth Southgate makes history! The Three Lions boss now has more major tournament wins than ANY England boss as his side score six goals in a World Cup opener for the first time
Gareth Southgate has come under mass scrutiny in recent months but his England side once again proved they are a force to be reckoned with as they started their World Cup campaign with a bang.
The Three Lions strolled to a 6-2 victory over Iran in their opening Group B clash, while rivals USA and Wales will play tonight, with Bukayo Saka starring as he claimed an expertly-taken brace.
In victory, Southgate claimed two highly impressive accolades, having now won more games than any other Three Lions manager at major tournaments, while setting the record for their most goals scored in a World Cup opener by any England side.
Gareth Southgate has more major tournament wins than any other England manager after his side’s 6-2 win over Iran
Bukayo Saka (right) and Raheem Sterling (left) were both on target in a comfortable victory
Southgate has now won nine games at major tournaments, consisting of the World Cup and European Championship, having previously shared the record with Sir Alf Ramsey on eight.
Ramsey, of course, is the only manager to guide England to a World Cup triumph, though, coming back in 1966. Southgate will now look to emulate that feat in Qatar.
Meanwhile, Southgate now holds the title for the best-ever return in a World Cup opener, in what was the second time his side have scored six at football’s most prestigious competition.
Southgate applauded the travelling England fans after his side claimed an impressive victory
England hit Panama for six in the second game of their 2018 World Cup campaign, with Harry Kane scoring a hat-trick, John Stones claiming a brace and Jesse Lingard also getting in on the action.
This time, there was no goal for Kane, but he did create two in what was a fine performance by the England captain.
Instead, it was Saka (twice), Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford and Jude Bellingham with the goals.
Southgate, despite the impressive performance, wasn’t entirely happy with his side, who he felt shouldn’t have conceded two goals against a significantly lesser side.
Midfielder Jack Grealish was on target after coming on as a substitute against Iran on Monday
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford also made an instant impact after coming off the bench
‘[I was] A bit fed up with the end of it,’ he said after the game. ‘To win by that margin and to play as we did for most of the game, you’ve got to be happy.
‘The players looked ready – we wanted to be that type of team. They dealt with it well. We had a sticky first half – we were a real threat throughout, pressing and the movement was really good.
‘We’ve got to be really happy but we shouldn’t be conceding two goals at that stage, We’ve got to be right at it for game against the States. It was great today but we’ll have to be better.’
‘It was great today but we’ll have to be better.’