Luke Shaw enjoys perfect return to World Cup action after eight-year wait

Luke Shaw‘s one and only World Cup appearance before 2022 came way back in 2014, when he was part of a line-up including Ben Foster and Frank Lampard.

He made his second chance count, providing an assist for Jude Bellingham to score the opening goal in a 6-2 victory.

Shaw is now averaging a goal involvement every other game for England, now with 12 (three goals and nine assists) from 24 games.

In his last five games at a tournament, Shaw has four assists and one goal. England will be thrilled if he can keep this up.

His display against Iran was highly impressive, backed up by the numbers. Shaw managed 126 touches, more than any player on the pitch.

This was more than teammates John Stones (117), Kieran Trippier (116) and Jude Bellingham (113).

Shaw completed 88 per cent of his passes, 91 of 104 attempted, providing one assist, and attempting one shot at goal.

The left-back made eight ball recoveries, two clearances and one interception, although will have bigger tests defensively in upcoming duels against USA and Wales.

Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Harry Maguire stands tall

England teammate Harry Maguire was a looming presence in attack from set pieces as the Three Lions earned an easy win.

Maguire provided an assist for Bukayo Saka’s first half strike with a perfectly weighted knockdown.

The centre-back won four of four aerial duels contested, and two of two on the ground, making 81 touches in total.

The Manchester United defender might consider he could have done better for Iran’s first goal, with Mehdi Taremi slipping in behind him to score, although John Stones was also slow to react.

Maguire has a strong record in tournament matches for England and a big early win is great for confidence. Maguire needed this start, and will be better for it.

After the game he said his substitution late in the game was just a precaution.

Rashford makes immediate impact

Marcus Rashford scored less than a minute after coming off the bench, netting England’s fifth. He was congratulated after the game by David Beckham.

Rashford was not happy scoring just one, he pushed to score another, seeing his second shot blocked by an Iran defender.

He managed 27 touches in 19 minutes, but the one statistic he will have focused on was his goal. This was Rashford’s 14th tournament match for England, and first goal.

While most of these games have come as a substitute, it is a skill to make an impact from the bench, and Rashford will be relieved to make his mark.

Thoughts? Comment Below
Dan is still wondering what would have happened if United had kept Juan Veron...