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“We’re going to have to be better”: Gareth Southgate reflects on England’s opening World Cup 2022 win




England won their 2022 World Cup opener 6-2 against Iran – but manager Gareth Southgate is still not entirely happy with the performance.

The World Cup got off to a good start when Jude Bellingham scored with a header early in the game after Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand was injured following a collision with his own defender. Beiranvand’s decision to initially continue was called “embarrassing” by pundits.

Before too long, the Three Lions were three goals clear after two ends. First, Bukayo Saka made it 2-0 before a third goal was added by Chelsea star Raheem Sterling, scoring his first World Cup goal after featuring in the 2014 and 2018 competitions.

Jude Bellingham of England celebrates with Mason Mount after scoring his side’s first goal at the 2022 World Cup (Image credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Saka and substitute Marcus Rashford scored the fourth and fifth goals either side of an Iran consolation, before the sixth was added by Jack Grealish, who dedicated a celebration to a young fan. England conceded a late penalty after John Stones pulled back into the penalty area. The match ended 6-2.