There is not a shred of doubt in anyone’s mind that Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, is going to be pleased with what he has seen from his international stars at the World Cup so far. During England’s resounding victory over Iran on Monday afternoon, a few of the Red Devils’ most important players turned in noteworthy performances.
That game was especially important for the United captain, Harry Maguire, who has been having a rough season. On that particular day, the player who cost £80 million appeared to be back to his best in both boxes, despite the fact that he has started just three games in the Premier League so far this season. Gabby Agbonlahor, a pundit for TalkSPORT, was the one who most notably referred to the 29-year-old as “outstanding” for his overall performance.
However, the former Leicester City player was not the only Old Trafford gem to steal the show. Teammate Marcus Rashford scored just 49 seconds after coming into the game off the bench to put Old Trafford in the driver’s seat. Marcus Rashford displayed a remarkable level of composure by calmly caressing the ball into the back of the net with his supposedly “weaker” left foot. This was Rashford’s first goal for Manchester United, and it was scored by him here.
Not only did that goal ensure that the 25-year-old finally ended his goalless streak at major tournaments on the fourth attempt, but it also put an exclamation point on what was already a very impressive scoreline for Gareth Southgate’s team. After missing a penalty kick at Euro 2020 last summer, which was considered to be a particularly cruel miss, he somewhat redeemed himself by scoring the game-winning goal this time around.
However, it was the overall performance of Luke Shaw that particularly stood out, as the attacking full-back had appeared “at ease” on the global stage, as described by Laurie Whitwell of The Athletic. This was one of the things that made the overall performance of Luke Shaw particularly noteworthy. The most notable aspect of Shaw’s performance was undoubtedly this particular facet of his game.
The 27-year-old was given another opportunity to play for the Three Lions on the international stage, and he did so in a composed manner from his position as a fullback. He showed few signs of nerves during this performance. Eight years ago, he impressed enough for Roy Hodgson to include him in the travelling party that would go to Brazil for the disappointing edition of the tournament. There, he played in the final group game draw with Costa Rica. This time around, he exhibited very few signs of nerves and played a very composed game from his position as the full back.
The former Southampton player was particularly instrumental in helping to steer his team before whipping in an inviting cross for the ever-impressive Jude Bellingham to head home. Bellingham’s goal was the latest in a string of impressive performances for the United Kingdom club. Prior to that, the player who formerly played for the Saints had accumulated a total of 126 touches and posed a consistent threat down the left flank.
Despite giving up possession of the ball twenty times, the “incredible” talent reportedly still managed to put on an impressive performance, as stated by the journalist Casey Evans. However, this was simply the result of his attacking intent, as he was largely composed on the ball, as indicated by the fact that he recorded an 88% pass accuracy rate and a match rating of 6.9 on SofaScore.
The performance was praised by Nizaar Kinsella of the Evening Standard, who wrote that the £150k-per-week gem had been a “real bright spark” for Southgate’s men. Kinsella made the statement in reference to the player’s performance.