Sensational Southgate Stats! England have recorded the second most passes of any team in a first half of the World Cup since 1966 when they beat Iran in Qatar… with the impeccable Jude Bellingham in perfect form completing all 40 passes
England completed the second most passes by any team in the first half of a World Cup clash since 1966, when the Three Lions overwhelmed Iran en route to a 3-0 lead at half-time on Monday.
Jude Bellingham completed 100% of his passes (40) in the first 45 minutes, and Mason Mount proved unstoppable on the ball, as he was successful on 100% of his dribble attempts.
By comparison, Iran managed just 46 completions, the fewest of any team in the same 56-year period, after a truly disappointing display in Qatar.
England managed the second most passes by a team in the first half of a World Cup since 1966
Mount and Bellingham in particular excelled in a play-controlling England midfield, with the opposition largely content to sit back and allow the Three Lions to take the ball.
The Borussia Dortmund midfielder got his team off to a perfect start by heading in on 35 minutes, after a lengthy interruption for Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand to receive treatment for a head injury.
In all, Bellingham attempted 40 passes in the first 45 minutes, with 10 in the final third, and as Opta Analysis reveals, the youngster couldn’t make a misstep.
Jude Bellingham began scoring for England against Iran in their first World Cup game against Iran.
Mount was prolific at both ends of the pitch with a 100% dribbling success rate and winning seven duels.
The Chelsea Mount midfielder was equally prolific, completing both of his dribbling attempts against a defensive Iran side on Monday in the first half, easily deploying a low block.
England had 82% of the ball in the first half
He was also successful on defense, posting a 100% complete tackle rate, as well as winning seven of the seven games for Gareth Southgate’s team.
The 23-year-old was just as effective in helping England move from one end of the pitch to the other quickly, with three accurate long balls.
Stellar performances continued to come from England’s stars in Qatar, with the Southgate side controlling the ball with 82% possession in the opening stages.
Kieran Trippier had the second-most touches of any player (69) and attempted almost as many passes in the final third (20) as the entire Iran team (22), in a first-half display that saw him spend a lot of time in Iran’s defensive Third.
And Manchester City defender John Stones was another player to finish the half without missing a pass, with a staggering 70 passes, all finding their targets.
John Stones was accurate with the ball at his feet completing 70 passes in the first half
Newcastle defender Kieran Trippier proved a constant thorn in Iran’s side on Monday
And after Bukayo Saka made two in the 43rd minute, England had two players on 21 points or less in a World Cup game for the first time in their history.
It was an almost entirely contrasting experience for Iran, who struggled for the ball during the opening period of the match, despite scoring a second-half consolation goal through Porto striker Mehdi Taremi.
After a lengthy break to assess Beiranvand’s injury, England showed their dominance in a game that quickly slipped away from Iran.
Bukayo Saka scored the Three Lions’ second goal in the first half as England had two players aged 21 and under score at a World Cup for the first time.