England continued their 100% record in 2022 World Cup qualifying on Sunday night.
Gareth Southgate fielded a much-changed side for Andorra’s visit to Wembley Stadium with Patrick Bamford earning his first England cap and Trent Alexander-Arnold starting in midfield.
It wasn’t an experiment without its teething problems as England entered the final 20 minutes with an unexpectedly slim 1-0 lead, but the Three Lions eventually pulled away to secure a 4-0 win.
England 4-0 Andorra
Jesse Lingard opened the scoring in the first-half with a neat left-footed finish, before doubling his tally by finding the bottom corner just six minutes after Harry Kane had scored from the penalty spot.
And Bukayo Saka was on hand to round off the rout as the most popular goalscorer of all, heading home his second England goal on his first Wembley appearance since the Euro 2020 final.
So, all in all, a pretty comfortable and routine victory for the European finalists, but what else would the fans expect against the nation ranked 156th in the world by FIFA?
Arteta SACKING incoming? Conte agreement reported! (Football Terrace)
Bellingham shines in Andorra win
Well, that’s certainly true, but it doesn’t mean that there weren’t positives to draw from the victory regardless and perhaps there were few bigger plus points than the performance of Jude Bellingham.
It’s the worst-kept secret in world football that the Borussia Dortmund midfielder is an absolute baller and there’s probably an argument to be had that he should have played a larger at Euro 2020.
That being said, based on Sunday’s evidence, there’s good reason to think that the 18-year-old will play a key role at the 2022 World Cup because everything he touches turns to gold right now.
Bellingham’s Houdini-like skill
And one particular moment from Bellingham’s effortless display under the Wembley arch caught the eye more than most; highlighting his fantastic close control, dribbling and penchant for skills.
Footage of the England starlet wiggling away from Andorra players despite hitting the deck and then whipping out a cheeky nutmeg made for a Harry Houdini-like attempt at footballing escapology.
It might hold a candle to Lionel Messi‘s iconic dribble when he similarly hit the deck, but the fact that even came to mind is credit to just how silky Bellingham’s tricky was – and you can check it out here:
Yup, England have a real talent on their hands here.
Bellingham’s undeniable quality
And no, it’s not just because he’s been able to pull off a superb skill against Andorra, it’s because of how symptomatic such a delicious piece of tricky has been of his sensational performances recently.
Besides, we can’t downplay how remarkable it is that someone who is barely legal to drink alcohol in England played such a crucial role in Dortmund’s run to the Champions League quarter-finals.
So, even if we’ll have to settle for starts against Andorra for now, we quietly suspect that Bellingham getting more and more time for England will pay off when proceedings kick off in Qatar…