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England crush Senegal and join France in the quarters – Liberation

2022 World Cup in Qatardossier

The quick and down-to-earth Three Lions swept away the long-seductive Senegalese. They will face the Blues next Saturday at 8 p.m.

Qualified for the second time in their history for the knockout matches of a World Cup, the Senegalese had not jumped for joy. Solid throughout the group phase, the Lions of Teranga proclaimed loud and clear that a round of 16 was in no way an end when you are reigning African champions. “In our head we say that Senegal will beat England”hammered assistant coach Régis Bogaert on Saturday. “This is just the beginning”, assured Captain Kalidou Koulibaly. Their path, however, stopped short this Sunday evening, their dreams swept away by the English a notch above who will face France in a week in the quarter-finals.

A handful of minutes before entering the field, Gareth Southgate, the English coach, had already planned everything. To win, the score was as simple on paper as it was complicated to recite on the lawn: “You have to be able to adapt, adjust and respond to whatever is thrown at you. You have to be there with the answers.” It’s a bit of all that his men did during the first act. A first twenty minutes of rough play, where England had the ball without really knowing what to do with it against uninitiated opponents. Then suddenly, we saw the Three Lions being eaten in intensity.

Two lightning counter-attacks

Compact and well in place, the Senegalese suddenly began to press higher, to cut passes, in short to play football. Several scraped balls ended up in the British area and it took almost nothing – a double miss from Dia then Sarr, a magnificent headline from Pickford – for the score to remain blank. The storm passed, as announced by his coach, England responded. Two counter-attacks carried out at full speed, based on one-touch throw-ins in the back of a Senegalese defense with legs far too heavy for the leather to end up in the back of the net. So many goals offered by the new generation (Bellingham and Foden, 19 and 22) to the oldest (Henderson then Kane, 32 and 29) just before half-time. 2-0 with lemons and Senegalese with strawberries.

The second act is only an extension of the first. The Senegalese are behind on everything, the English unfold as if they were freed from a weight. A recovery on good pressing, the ball which ends up in Foden’s legs on the left wing, a perfect low cross, defenders on the street and Saka (21) left alone concludes with a small dive. 3-0. The youngsters are having fun without the darons this time around, before giving way to the no less talented Rashford and Grealish. The match is already folded.

The rest of the game will only be a long wait without intensity of which we will not remember much until the final whistle. The spectators of al-Bayt Stadium will not contradict us: a good part had already made the trunk in the 80th minute. Only the indestructible Senegalese kop and his drums will have, as since the start of the World Cup, kept up the pace until the end.

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