Roy Keane doesn’t think England’s Young Lions will be fearful of World Cup defending champions France, as Gareth Southgate’s side prepare to take on Les Bleus in the quarter-final.
Phil Foden, 22, had his part to play in all three goals, and Jude Bellingham, 19, put in a memorable performance orchestrating the game from midfield – a performance Roy Keane “hasn’t seen for years” from an England midfielder.
“We spoke about these players before the game, what you’re doing is producing,” he told ITV after the match. “It’s about what you’re doing today, the game, you have France coming up in the next few days but that’s where the players deserve credit, they’re producing week in week out, that’s why they’re top players.
“[They are] still young, their best days are still ahead of them, they’re fantastic and they’re producing, this ended up being an easy game but their performance made it an easy game.
“Second half they’re just at walking pace, [in the] the first half the damage was done, it was game over with the second goal just on half time.
“But these young players, will they be fearful of France? Absolutely not. Go and take them on, show some courage, bravery, because that’s what they’ve done for the last few years. Credit to them.”
Bellingham scored England’s first goal in Qatar against Iran and has looked unstoppable since.
He played a huge part in Kane’s goal as he weaved through the Senegalese midfield before passed Foden on the left, who consequently found Kane in the middle for his first assist of the night.
“I’ve not seen a young midfielder perform like that for years,” Keane said when analysing Bellingham’s performance. “You usually see that from a world class player, 26, 27.
“Everything he does in the game, we’re talking about what goes on in his brain, he’s like a man, he’s got that maturity and his decision-making, what’s going on upstairs.
“End product, final pass, [the] kid has everything.”
Henderson broke the deadlock for England in the 38th minute after Senegal squandered two chances to go ahead, but from the moment the Three Lions gained the advantage they were in full control.
Kane added a second on the stroke of half-time to hand England a commanding lead, and Saka wrapped up the victory with his third World Cup goal.
The Arsenal forward now has at least two more goals than any player under the age of 21 at the tournament, and became England’s second-youngest player – after Michael Owen – to score in a World Cup knockout game.
Foden grabbed a second goal contribution when he set up Saka on the hour mark, who preciously dinked the Man City man’s low cross over Edouard Mendy from close-range.
England face France on Saturday night as they seek to book their place in the semi-finals for the second consecutive World Cup.
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