World Cup 2022 LIVE: England vs Senegal reaction and news as Raheem Sterling leaves camp to return to UK

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England team players receive welcome to basecamp at World Cup

England swept Senegal aside in the Qatar World Cup last 16 to set up a quarter-final against France next Saturday.

Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Sakascored the goals for the Three Lions, but now Kylian Mbappe and Les Bleus, the current champions, pose an entirely different challenge to Gareth Southgate’s men. Mbappe hit a double, while Olivier Giroud surpassed Thierry Henry as France’s all-time top scorer in the 3-1 victory over Poland.

It was not all good news for England though, as Raheem Sterling opted to head home for a family matter, leaving his future involvement in Qatar in doubt. Follow all the reaction from England vs Senegal and build-up :


England World Cup success could be ‘key factor’ in Christmas coronavirus rates, scientist says

Just when you thought it was safe to go out and enjoy yourself again…

The level of success enjoyed by England men’s football team in the World Cup could be a “key factor” in determining rates of coronavirus over the Christmas period, an epidemiologist has suggested.

Scientists have suggested that the longer England remain in the competition in Qatar, the more Covid-19 could potentially spread – as people pack into pubs and each other’s homes to watch each match.

This effect was evidenced – prior to the game-changing arrival of vaccines – during the Euro 2020 competition, which the government’s study into Covid rates at mass events found had generated “a significant risk to public health”.

Of the 49 days’ worth of music, sport and entertainment events monitored as part of the study, 85 per cent of all infections discovered were linked to the eight matches played at Wembley, totalling more than 6,300 new infections – most originating from the final and semi-final.

Karl Matchett5 December 2022 12:10


UAE leader visits Qatar after years-long boycott

The leader of the United Arab Emirates made a surprise visit on Monday to Qatar as it is hosting the World Cup — his first since leading a yearslong four-nation boycott of Doha over a political dispute that poisoned regional relations.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who also serves as the ruler of Abu Dhabi, made the trip at the invitation of Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the state-run WAM news agency reported.

“The visit builds on the existing brotherly relations between the two nations and their people,” WAM said in its brief report.

Sheikh Mohammed was widely viewed by analysts as one of the main architects of the boycott of Qatar by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that began in 2017.

At the height of the Qatar crisis, newspaper columns even suggested digging a trench along the 87-kilometer (54-mile) border and filling it with nuclear waste. While rhetorical bluster, it showed how deeply the anger ran in the region amid the dispute — which Kuwait’s then-ruler suggested nearly sparked a war.

Its root came from Qatar’s stance in supporting the Islamists who rose to power in Egypt and elsewhere following the 2011 Arab Spring. While Qatar viewed their arrival as a sea change in the gerontocracies gripping the Mideast, other Gulf Arab nations saw the protests as a threat to their autocratic and hereditary rule.

During the 2011 protests, Saudi Arabia and the UAE sent troops to help a violent crackdown on demonstrations in Bahrain.

The boycott, which saw the four nations shut off air and sea routes to Qatar, only ended in January 2021 just ahead of President Joe Biden taking office in the United States. The boycott began immediately after a visit to the region by then-President Donald Trump early in his presidency.

The opening ceremony of the World Cup, which coincided with Qatar facing Ecuador in the tournament’s first match, saw Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi attend. Also on the dais with leaders was Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who provided a vital lifeline to Qatar during the crisis.

Dubai’s ruler also attended along with his son while Sheikh Mohammed did not attend. However, he called Sheikh Tamim the following day and “congratulated” Qatar on hosting the World Cup — something that would have been unthinkable at the height of the diplomatic crisis.

Karl Matchett5 December 2022 11:55


How to watch Japan vs Croatia online and on TV today

Nearly time to turn our attentions to Monday’s round of 16 games, with Brazil in action later against South Korea.

First though, Japan will look to continue their sensational run at the World Cup when they face Croatia in the last 16.

Japan beat both Germany and Spain to finish Group E as shock winners, despite losing their second match of the tournament to Costa Rica.

Croatia, finalists four years ago, continued their strong record at major tournaments by beating Belgium to second place in Group F.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Karl Matchett5 December 2022 11:40


Confident England can ‘take on anyone’ at World Cup, Jude Bellingham insists

Jude Bellingham insists England’s young stars are ready to test themselves against the very best after they set up a tantalising World Cup quarter-final against holders France.

Bellingham laid on the opening goal for Jordan Henderson before leading the break which saw Harry Kane double England’s lead on the stroke of half-time.

But Bellingham is keen to pit himself against a team full of players who have won the game’s biggest prizes.

“I think we’re getting to that point now, confidence-wise, we think that we can try and take on anyone,” the 19-year-old replied when asked if England were becoming world beaters.

“That’s important when we’re playing because we play with a fearlessness especially as young boys, we don’t really care about who we’re playing against.”

More from the midfielder here:

Karl Matchett5 December 2022 11:25


France star Kylian Mbappe breaks his silence to discuss Golden Boot chances

Kylian Mbappe shot to the top of the Golden Boot rankings with a brace against Poland, taking his tally to five at the World Cup.

He did not speak to media after the game though, ensuring France will pick up a fine from Fifa as a result – though he revealed he’ll pay that himself as he was just trying to focus on his football and success for the national team.

Winning the top scorer award is merely a route to his ultimate objective, he says – and next England have to find a way to stop him achieving both.

Karl Matchett5 December 2022 11:10


England relishing challenge of ‘very best’ France, Gareth Southgate insists

Gareth Southgate is looking forward to England’s test against the “very best” after beating Senegal to set up a mouth-watering World Cup quarter-final against reigning champions France.

The European Championship runners-up overcame heightened expectations and a nervy start in Al Khor to triumph with ease against the Africa Cup of Nations winners on Sunday evening.

“It’s the biggest test that we can face,” England boss Southgate said. “They’re world champions, incredible depth of talent, outstanding individual players, very difficult to play against and to score goals against.

“It’s a fantastic challenge, brilliant game for us to prepare for.The two quarter-finals that are already in place are fantastic, historic football rivalries and great games from the past.

“A brilliant game for us to be involved with and test ourselves against the very best.”

Southgate went on to discuss Mbappe, France’s other attackers and Raheem Sterling, too.

Karl Matchett5 December 2022 10:55


Harry Kane praises England’s ‘great maturity’ after progressing past Senegal

The reward is a crunch quarter-final clash against holders France next Saturday.

Southgate’s side will need to take their performance up a level given some of the problems Africa Cup of Nations winners Senegal were able to cause in a first half that ended with a quickfire England double.

“It was really tough, knockout games are never easy,” he said afterwards. “I think we’ve showed great maturity through the tournament, and 3-0 against a really good side, credit to the boys, the mentality was top from the beginning and we took our chances when they came.”

More from the skipper here:

Karl Matchett5 December 2022 10:40


Gary Neville relishing England vs France ‘blockbuster’ at World Cup

Former England defender Gary Neville is relishing a “blockbuster” World Cup quarter-final clash with France after Gareth Southgate’s side easily overcame Senegal in Al Khor.

Goals late in the first half from Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane had England cruising through to the last eight before a second-half effort from Bukayo Saka wrapped up a 3-0 win.

The reward is a return to Al Khor for a crunch clash against France next Saturday as last year’s European Championship runners-up take on the World Cup holders.

Neville, working as a pundit for ITV, said: “Credit to Gareth Southgate – he’s making qualifying for the latter stages of tournaments look really easy. These lads have not put a foot wrong really for three or four years now, on and off the pitch.

“They got a rough ride on the way into this tournament, the manager and the players, but they’re delivering again, and what a blockbuster of a game it is on Saturday against France – amazing for those lads, because they deserve this type of game on this stage.”

Karl Matchett5 December 2022 10:25


England vs Senegal player ratings as Jordan Henderson inspires turnaround in World Cup last-16 win

England are through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup after thrashing Senegal in Qatar.

The Three Lions survived a couple of early scares against the African champions, with Jordan Pickford saving from Boulaye Dia and Ismaila Sarr missing the target from close range.

But the breakthrough came on the counter-attack, and from an unlikely source as Jordan Henderson finished Jude Bellingham’s cross to give England the lead against the run of play.

The midfield pair were superb throughout – here are the player ratings from England’s fourth game at the World Cup.

Karl Matchett5 December 2022 10:10


England’s route to the World Cup final

Gareth Southgate’s England squad will be hoping to make it back-to-back finals in major international competitions – and this time go one step better and lift the trophy.

Four years ago the Three Lions reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup as the upturn in international fortunes began under Southgate, before they went the distance to the final at Euro 2020. Now in Qatar the objective will remain the same, to end the long wait since 1966 for success on the biggest stage.

France are next in the last eight; here’s the route to glory for Southgate and the Three Lions.

Karl Matchett5 December 2022 09:55

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