In Focus: Five talking points from England 3-0 Senegal
England comfortably swept aside Senegal 3-0 to set up a mouth-watering clash with France in the World Cup quarter-finals.
After a slow start, Jordan Henderson opened the scoring in the 38th minute and Harry Kane blasted home just before the break.
England took control in the second half and Phil Foden set up Bukayo Saka to seal the win for Gareth Southgate's side.
While it is still too soon for the Three Lions faithful to get carried away, many fans will already be dreaming of a first World Cup success since 1966.
This game was viewed as a banana skin and Senegal lived up to their billing of tough opponents for much of the first half at the Al Bayt Stadium.
They created more chances and played at a quicker tempo in the opening stages — but England gradually seized control after Henderson's goal.
In a tournament full of surprises, including Saudi Arabia beating Argentina and Japan downing Germany, Southgate's men produced another clinical and professional display to book their place in the last eight.
While some supporters criticised the seemingly defensive-minded selection of Jude Bellingham, Henderson and Declan Rice in midfield, Southgate's engine room silenced the naysayers.
Bellingham's driving run and sublime pull-back allowed Henderson to tap home the opening goal.
And Southgate will undoubtedly have been delighted with his trio in the centre of the park, particularly with the Borussia Dortmund star once again showing his class bursting forward.
Skipper Kane, 29, has earned plaudits at the World Cup for his creativity and three assists.
However, questions were starting to be asked after the Tottenham star failed to net in the group stage — but he answered in perfect fashion on the stroke of half-time.
England broke away with Bellingham skipping free before Foden played in Kane to blast the ball into the back of the net.
The strike will have lifted the pressure from the captain's shoulders and he will look to add to his first goal of the tournament against Les Bleus on Saturday evening.
England have often been branded as a nation lacking know-how in the latter stages of tournaments.
But after reaching the World Cup semi-finals four years ago and the Euro 2020 final under Southgate, the Three Lions are far more streetwise now.
After the third goal, tucked away by Saka, they took the sting out of the game and passed Senegal to death to secure safe passage into the next round.
A common pattern throughout the match was the movement of full-backs Luke Shaw and Kyle Walker.
On the ball, Walker tucks in to create a three-man defence, while Shaw pushes on high and wide.
It creates potential overloads on the left-hand side, especially with Shaw and Foden creating down that wing.
Against France, who boast the threat of in-form duo Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud, England may switch to five at the back.
But with a versatile back four serving him well once again tonight, do not be surprised to see Southgate stick with Walker, Harry Maguire, John Stones and Shaw.