England cruised into the last eight of the World Cup with an emphatic 3-0 win over Senegal in Qatar.
The stars’ WAGs joined thousands of fans in enjoying the Three Lions’ demolition of the African champions at the Al-Bayt Stadium on Sunday night, while millions more celebrated in pubs and bars back home.
Goals from Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka booked England’s place in the Quarter Finals, where they will meet reigning champions France on Saturday.
While comfortable in the end, Gareth Southgate’s side had to work hard to keep the Lions of Teranga at bay in a tense first half, in which goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was forced into an excellent stop to deny Ismaila Sarr.
Bukayo Saka scores England’s third as they run riot against Senegal in their World Cup clash
Jordan Henderson was the unlikely hero as England opened the scoring against Senegal
Captain Harry Kane then slotted just minutes later to double the Three Lions’ advantage
Gareth Southgate celebrates after England booked their place in the World Cup Quarter Finals
Fans at Boxpark in Croydon go wild as they celebrate two quickfire England goals in the first half
England fans celebrate at the 4TheFans Fan Park in Birmingham after England score their first goal against Senegal
Fans in Manchester celebrate as England ran riot against Senegal in the World Cup
Jordan Pickford’s partner Megan Davison joined in the celebrations as England took the lead
Bukayo Saka celebrates after scoring England’s third in their World Cup clash with Senegal
Harry Maguire and Harry Kane of England celebrate after England’s win over Senegal
ENGLAND TEAM TO PLAY SENEGAL
Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw; Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson; Bukayo Saka, Harry Kane, Phil Foden.
England opened the scoring just after the half-hour through an unlikely source, when Henderson – retaining his place after a surprise inclusion against Wales last week – latched onto a smart cut-back by the impressive Jude Bellingham.
The teenager then also played a crucial role in the second goal just moments later, driving through the midfield before captain Kane slammed home for his first goal of the tournament.
Shortly after the break, Southgate’s men extended their lead further when Saka – back in the side at the expense of Tuesday’s hero Marcus Rashford – converted from close range after great work from Phil Foden.
Saka’s girlfriend Tolami Benson rose to her feet as he netted and he blew kisses to her as he celebrated towards the WAGs sat behind the England team bench.
Meanwhile Kane’s goal, the last kick of the first half, put him just one goal behind Wayne Rooney who is England’s all time top scorer. The England captain now has 52 goals to Rooney’s 53.
The strikes sent England supporters into jubilation, and set up a mouthwatering tie with France, one of the tournament favourites, at the weekend.
Kane said of the victory: ‘(It has been) a really good day for us. We have shown maturity through the tournament. We have a great mixture of youth and experience now.’
Speaking of facing World Cup holders France next, he said: ‘It is going to be a really tough game. They are champions, but it will be a really good battle.’
Former England defender Gary Neville said on ITV1: ‘Credit to Gareth Southgate – he’s making qualifying for the latter stages of tournaments look really easy.
‘These lads have not put a foot wrong really for three or four years now, on and off the pitch.
‘They got a rough ride on the way into this tournament, the manager and the players, but they’re delivering again, and what a blockbuster of a game it is on Saturday against France – amazing for those lads, because they deserve this type of game on this stage.’
Harry Kane applauds the England fans after his side’s 3-0 triumph over Senegal
England fans at the Mayfield Depot in Manchester celebrate their side’s third goal scored by Bukayo Saka, as they watch a screening
England fans celebrate as they watch the Three Lions’ triumph at Boxpark in Croydon
Kane’s strike was his first of the tournament and put England firmly in control at half time
Henderson latched onto a smart cut-back by Jude Bellingham to slot home and send millions of England fans into jubilation
England’s Harry Kane, right, celebrates with teammates after scoring during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between England and Senegal
Gareth Southgate celebrates during England’s last 16 clash with Senegal at the World Cup
Bukayo Saka of England celebrates after scoring the team’s third goal
Phil Foden, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka celebrate during England’s demolition of Senegal
England’s Jordan Pickford denies Ismaila Sarr of Senegal during the crucial last 16 clash
Phil Foden’s partner Rebecca Cooke celebrates as England take the lead against Senegal
Marcus Rashford’s partner Lucia Lou watches on as England take the lead against Senegal
Harry Kane of England is challenged by Kalidou Koulibaly of Senegal
Declan Rice of England passes the ball against Iliman Ndiaye of Senegal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match
Katie Goodland, wife of England’s Harry Kane, (centre) in the stands before the FIFA World Cup Round of Sixteen match at the Al-Bayt Stadium
Jack Grealish’s partner Sasha Attwood cheers on England from the stands
The Three Lions began the match by taking the knee – a now familiar protest against racism and discrimination.
The 69,000-seater Al-Bayt Stadium had several thousand empty seats and hospitality boxes as Senegal kicked-off at 7pm this evening. But England supporters easily outnumbered followers of their opponents.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino was shown on the stadium screens sitting alone in a ‘VVIP’ box and was booed by sections of the crowd as he had been at previous games.
Infantino was widely criticised for a bizarre response to criticism of Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup, in which he likened his own experience as a red-headed child to that of gay and disabled people in a pre-tournament press conference.
It came as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wished the team good luck and also hailed hosts Qatar for an ‘incredible World Cup so far’.
He tweeted: ‘Hats off to Qatar for hosting an incredible World Cup so far. The group stages will be remembered as one of the all-time greats. Come on @England keep the dream alive.’
Buoyant England fans back home then declared: ‘It’s coming home for Christmas’.
Hundreds of supporters in Newcastle hugged and high-fived as Gareth Southgate’s men strolled into the World Cup quarter finals.
Drinks went flying when Saka cemented England’s place with a deft finish in the second half. And Liverpool captain Henderson received a standing ovation for his stunning performance when he was subbed.
A rendition of Fat Les hit Vindaloo rang around the giant fan zone, located in a marquee near Newcastle Central station, as the full time whistle blew.
Fans stayed on to celebrate long after the match finished signing along to the adopted England anthem Sweet Caroline.
Decorator Ian Phipps, 37, told the England team: ‘The whole country is behind you – we believe in you. The World Cup is the only Christmas present we want.’
And student Emily Baker, 19, said: ‘The Lionesses did it earlier this year – and now it’s the men’s turn. France will be tough but this is going to be our year.’
Conor Coady’s partner Amie looks tense as she watches England from the stands
Phil Foden’s partner Rebecca Cooke cheers on England from the stands in Qatar
Jordan Pickford’s partner Megan Davison cheered on the Three Lions from the stands in Qatar
Aaron Ramsdale’s partner Georgina Irwin cheered on the Three Lions from the stands in Qatar
Bukayo Saka’s partner Tolami Benson cheered on the Three Lions from the stands in Qatar
Eric Dier’s partner Anna Modler cheered on the Three Lions from the stands in Qatar
Harry Kane of England is challenged by Youssouf Sabaly of Senegal
Senegal’s goalkeeper #16 Edouard Mendy eyes the ball as he jumps to stop it during the Qatar 2022 World Cup round of 16 football match
Phil Foden of England battles for possession with Krepin Diatta of Senegal
England’s Bukayo Saka takes a knee before the Three Lions’ crucial World Cup clash with Senegal
Harry Maguire’s partner Fern Hawkins in the crowd during England’s clash with Senegal
Players of England pose for a team photograph prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between England and Senegal
In Birmingham, courier Scott Davis, 37, said: ‘Southgate does not have the playing style I like but he’s the second most successful England manager of all time.
‘We all need to get behind him. He gets so much negativity but only Sir Alf Ramsey has achieved more than him. You can’t knock that.
‘Having been the under 21s manager, he has a real link to the players and they respond to him far better than they responded to the likes of Sven and Capello. He could just take us all the way.’
Jack Mellor, 24, an office worker, was singing the praises of fellow Brummie Jude Bellingham.
‘He’s the English Zidane,’ he said. ‘He is a generational talent and he might be the added factor that takes us all the way.
‘If we beat France then I will believe. Killian Mbappe is the best player in world football right now so we need to stop him but you have to beat the best to lift the cup.’
His pal, Jarod Harrison, 24, said: ‘I am one of those who thought we could do better with a different manager because I was not convinced by Southgate’s tactics but I want to eat humble pie. Come on England, come on Gareth.’
Builder Daniel Pagett, 31, said: ‘I think Gareth Southgate got the right team on the pitch. He has got so many options but he was spot on tonight.
‘I do believe this is the year it will happen. The women showed us the way with what they did in the summer. This is England’s year.’
Supporters of Senegal, one with a mask of a lion, cheer on the stands during the match
Jordan Henderson, John Stones and Declan Rice during England’s World Cup clash with Senegal
England fans were unhappy that pre-game top scorer Marcus Rashford was dropped to the bench – though the Three Lions enjoyed a comfortable evening without him
Raheem Sterling missed out on the match to deal with a ‘family matter’, Gareth Southgate said
England supporters wear Christmas hats as they watch the Three Lions’ clash with Senegal
Southgate caused a stir earlier this evening when it emerged he’d dropped top scorer Marcus Rashford to the bench.
Meanwhile Raheem Sterling, one of the England boss’ most trusted lieutenants in major tournaments, also missed out to deal with a ‘family matter’.
Southgate explained Sterling’s absence in a pre-match interview with ITV but did not confirm whether he would be returning to the UK for the remainder of the tournament or if he would return to the squad.
He said: ‘I spent a bit of time with him this morning. We’ve passed him on to people to help him deal with that.
‘He’s going to deal with that matter and we take it from there really.’
But despite his impressive form, Southgate opted for Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka to start in the crucial last 16 clash.
Saka repaid his faith with a smart finish from Foden’s cross early in the second half, to take his tally for the tournament to three as well.
Tonight’s match was the first ever meeting between England and Senegal, with the winners lined up to take on France, after their comfortable 3-1 win over Poland earlier.