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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Bellingham Shines in England’s Opening Win Over Serbia

England’s manager Gareth Southgate lauded star midfielder Jude Bellingham for “writing his own script” after leading the team to a 1-0 victory against Serbia in their Euro 2024 opener. Bellingham, 20, scored a stunning header in the 13th minute at the Veltins Arena, setting the tone for the Group C match.

Despite the early lead, England faced a tough challenge from a determined Serbian side. The match in Gelsenkirchen turned into a hard-fought battle, with Serbia pushing for an equalizer but ultimately falling short.

Southgate acknowledged the difficulty of the match, noting, “This team is still coming together. Everyone expects us to breeze through, but there’s a lot of hard work ahead. We’re still finding the best solutions.”

He praised Bellingham’s performance, emphasizing his key role in the team. “He writes his own script,” Southgate told the BBC. “The timing of his runs was exceptional. I think all our forward players looked really good. I’m confident we will score goals. Creating chances against a back five isn’t easy, but we managed it.”

Southgate also highlighted the team’s improved defensive resilience. “I liked that we had to suffer without the ball, an area we’ve worked on a lot. We were much better at it this week.”

The match saw Trent Alexander-Arnold playing in midfield alongside Bellingham and Declan Rice. Southgate was pleased with Alexander-Arnold’s performance in an unfamiliar role. “Jude has a prominent role, but Trent had to cover a lot of spaces. He showed great discipline and some of his fabulous passing range.”

Looking ahead, England will face Denmark, their Euro 2020 semi-final opponents, in Frankfurt on Thursday. Serbia, meanwhile, will aim to rebound against Slovenia.

Serbia’s head coach Dragan Stojkovic reflected on the match, stating, “It was a very good match, high quality from both teams. England are a strong team, but we played bravely. We controlled the ball and made England defend. I’m proud of our performance. We didn’t deserve to lose, but we will keep going.”

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