Why Marcus Rashford didn't start for England against Senegal | OneFootball

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·5 December 2022

Why Marcus Rashford didn't start for England against Senegal

Article image:Why Marcus Rashford didn't start for England against Senegal

Gareth Southgate has revealed his reasons for not starting Marcus Rashford in England's 3-0 win over Senegal in the World Cup round of 16.

Rashford score twice against Wales in England's final Group B game, but was omitted from Southgate's starting lineup as Bukayo Saka came back into the side. Phil Foden, who came into the side at the same time as Rashford, retained his place in the team after Raheem Sterling was ruled out of the game after his family home was burgled on Saturday night.

There was widespread belief that Rashford would keep his place prior to the game, but Southgate, speaking in the aftermath of the win to ITV, revealed his reasons for deciding to recall Saka.

"He [Saka] was excellent in our first two matches, we think Marcus was also very good and it’s great to have him to be able to come into the game as it opens up," Southgate said.

"We’ve, of course, got an embarrassment of riches in that area of the pitch. But we’ve liked Bukayo’s performances and we think Phil and him deserve their opportunity."

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Saka and Foden were two of England's better players during a dominant win, though the show was stolen by 19-year-old Jude Bellingham. The Borussia Dortmund midfielder played a key role in England breaking the deadlock, and also burst through the lines in midfield to create the chance that led to Harry Kane's second.

"We've got some super young players that we feel it's been right to give them their head and their opportunity - Jude, Phil, Bukayo tonight in particular," Southgate added of his young Lions.

"They're heading in a really good direction and these games are brilliant life experience for them."

He continued: "Well I think the progress they're making is phenomenal. I think the team have made a very complicated game tonight look straightforward and that wasn't the case. But I think because of the mentality and the attitude (of the squad) we've made it look that way."

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