Alan Shearer singles out one England star who shut critics up vs Iran

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Alan Shearer has heaped praise on Marcus Rashford after the Manchester United forward silenced critics with his impact off the bench in England’s World Cup opener on Monday. The Three Lions started their Group B campaign with a flourish, romping to a 6-2 win against Iran.

After a closely-fought opening half-hour at the Khalifa International Stadium, Jude Bellingham marked his World Cup debut with a clever goal on 35 minutes. England scored twice more before the break through Man of the Match Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling, and Gareth Southgate’s side didn’t pull their punches from there.

Saka added a second on the hour mark before Southgate shuffled his pack by making four 71st-minute substitutions. Just 20 seconds and three touches later, Rashford, who had big boots to fill in the on-fire Arsenal ace, netted a wonderful solo goal to make it five. Jack Grealish’s sixth rounded off the scoring, ensuring Medhi Taremi’s brace was solely a consolation.

After full-time, Shearer oozed over Rashford, who many supporters didn’t want to see in the 26-man squad despite his 2022/23 resurgence under Erik ten Hag at Manchester United. The all-time Premier League top goalscorer hailed the 25-year-old for making a difficult goal look simple.

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He told BBC Sport: “There was a lot of debate about whether he should have been in the squad; what an answer. It was fantastic play off Harry Kane, the way he brings that ball down and then puts it to him. Again, it looks effortless, he makes it look so easy, but it’s not.”

Shearer joined Gary Lineker, Rio Ferdinand, and Micah Richards in the studio, and all three spoke highly of England’s display in general. And the Newcastle icon also ensured to credit Bellingham for a phenomenal display on his World Cup bow.

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From £59.95 View Deal

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“It’s all about having a positive start. You know what it does to your confidence. Every time they [England] went forward, they looked like a threat. It was a really impressive performance. There were so many [good performances], but the young boy [Bellingham], can we call him that? He’s a man now. Wow, what a performance.”

England face the USA on Friday and Wales next week to round off Group B and will likely only need one win to progress into the last 16 as winners.

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