Jude Bellingham blessed every England fan with an outrageous performance in Sunday evening's 3-0 win over Senegal.
The Three Lions comfortably beat their opponents at the Al Bayt Stadium to advance to a massive World Cup quarter-final clash against defending champions France.
Despite a poor start, England stamped their authority on the game in the first half with goals from Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane.
At the heart of those goals was Bellingham. The 19-year-old grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck to deliver a midfield clinic.
We're lumping the 10 minutes in which England scored two of their three goals into one moment. It was all Bellingham. He made an intelligent run through the Senegal defence in the 38th minute, which allowed him to play the ball across to Henderson. He made no mistake from close range to give England an, at the time, undeserved lead.
Bellingham was at it again in extra time. After bullying Pathe Ciss off the ball in his own half, the Borrusia Dortmund starlet dropped a shoulder to dance past Senegal's midfield. He laid the ball off to Phil Foden, who played a first-time pass to Kane. The England skipper fired past Edouard Mendy to double England's advantage. It's not normal for a player of Bellingham's age to have that much influence on a knockout game.
Player Rating - 9/10:
Outright, Bellingham could be England's best midfielder already. Ian Wright called him 'the truth' on punditry duty for ITV. He nailed it better than anyone. Always willing to press, in addition to getting forward, it was as close to a complete midfield performance as you'll see at this tournament. Pretty impressive going, given the talent on display so far.
What was said about their performance?
Foden spoke to ITV about Bellingham in his post-match interview. It was noticeable how his face lit up at the mere mention of his name. "I don’t want to big him up because he’s still young but he’s one of the most gifted players I’ve ever seen," he declared. "I don’t see any weaknesses in his game, I think he’s got everything and I’m sure he’s going to be the best midfielder in the world."
Huge praise from a four-time Premier League winner who knows a thing or two about midfielders.
Among Foden's teammates at Manchester City are Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Kalvin Phillips and Rodri. He's got high standards, which Bellingham reaches.
England will be praying for this kind of performance against France on Saturday.
Bellingham will have his work cut out for him against Adrien Rabiot, Aurelien Tchouameni and Antoine Griezmann.
The trio likely weren't Didier Deschamps' starting trio six months ago, but they've become a well-oiled machine.
Can Bellingham come out on top in the biggest test of his career so far? He's certainly got the ability to do so.
Featured Image Credit: LSVids/Twitter
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