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Football European Championship

Bellingham Strike Sees England Beat Serbia

  • June 16, 2024
  • 2 min read
Bellingham Strike Sees England Beat Serbia

England emerged victorious against Serbia in their Euro 2024 opener on Sunday, thanks to a first-half goal from Jude Bellingham.

Bellingham capitalized on a period of dominance for England, heading home Bukayo Saka’s cross in the 13th minute. Although England controlled the first half, they struggled in the second, facing pressure from a determined Serbian side. However, Serbia’s lack of quality ultimately proved costly.

Prior to the match, manager Gareth Southgate opted for a tactical surprise, deploying right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold alongside Declan Rice in central midfield. This move aimed to exploit Alexander-Arnold’s exceptional passing range, potentially catching opponents off guard. However, his defensive limitations are evident, prompting Southgate to deploy Kyle Walker at right back.

England entered the tournament seeking to erase the memory of their Euro 2021 final defeat to Italy on penalties. This victory marked their furthest advancement since the 1996 tournament, where Southgate himself featured as a player in a semi-final loss to Germany.

Serbia’s approach proved ineffective. Their strategy of absorbing pressure backfired, allowing England to exploit an early opportunity. Saka’s deflected cross found Bellingham, who expertly headed the ball past the goalkeeper.

Bellingham’s stellar season continues, adding this win to his La Liga title and Champions League triumph with Real Madrid. He was also named La Liga’s best player for his performances.

England nearly doubled their lead in the 25th minute when Kyle Walker exploited space on the right, but his shot lacked precision.

Serbia emerged stronger in the second half, testing England’s resolve. Despite the pressure, England held firm, although their dominance from the first half waned.

Harry Kane, starved of service throughout the match, nearly extended the lead with a header that struck the crossbar after a good delivery from substitute Jarrod Bowen.

Despite a less-than-convincing performance, England secured the win. While key attackers like Kane and Phil Foden saw limited action, they will hope for more opportunities in the upcoming games against Slovenia and Denmark, crucial matches for Gareth Southgate’s plans.

England currently lead Group C, while Serbia sits at the bottom.

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