England record second most passes in a World Cup first half since 1966

Southgate’s sensational stats! England record second most passes by any team in a World Cup first half since 1966 as they blow Iran away in Qatar… with flawless Jude Bellingham in perfect form as he completes all 40 passes

  • Jude Bellingham was successful in all 40 of his passes with 10 in the final third
  • Mason Mount completed both his dribbles as well as seven out of seven duels
  • Overall England had 82% of the ball, and racked up 366 passes in the first period
  • Iran by comparison managed the fewest passes in any first half since 1966 (46)
  • John Stones had 70 accurate passes and Kieran Trippier managed 69 touches 
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England completed the second most passes of any side in the first half of a World Cup clash since 1966, as the Three Lions dominated Iran on the way to taking a 3-0 lead at half-time on Monday. 

Jude Bellingham completed 100% of his passes (40) in the opening 45 minutes, and Mason Mount proved unstoppable on the ball as he was successful in 100% of his dribble attempts. 

By comparison, Iran managed only 46 completed passes – the fewest of any side in the same 56-year period, after a truly underwhelming display in Qatar. 

England managed the second most passes by a team in the first half of a World Cup since 1966

Mount and Bellingham in particular excelled in an England midfield that controlled the game, with the opposition largely content to sit back and allow the Three Lions the ball. 

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder got his side off to the perfect start by heading home in the 35th minute – after a lengthy stoppage for Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand to receive treatment for a head injury. 

In total Bellingham attempted 40 passes in the first 45 minutes, with 10 coming in the final third, as Opta Analysis reveals the youngster failed to put a foot wrong.  

Jude Bellingham began the scoring for England against Iran in their World Cup opener against Iran

Mount was prolific at both ends of the pitch with a 100% dribble success rate and winning seven duels

Chelsea midfielder Mount was equally prolific, completing both his dribble attempts against a defensive Iran side on Monday in the first half, readily deploying a low-block. 

England had 82% of the ball in the first half

He was also successful in defence, with a 100% tackle completion rate, as well as winning seven out of seven duels for Gareth Southgate’s side. 

The 23-year-old was just as effective in helping England get from one side of the pitch to the other quickly, with three accurate long balls.  

The stellar performances continued to flood in from England’s stars in Qatar, with Southgate’s side controlling the ball with some 82% possession in the opening stages.

Kieran Trippier had the second-most touches of any player (69) and attempted almost as many passes in the final third (20) as the entire Iran side (22), in a first half display that saw him spend plenty of time in the Iran defensive third. 

And Manchester City defender John Stones was another player to finish the half without misplacing a pass, with a staggering 70 passes all finding their intended targets.

John Stones was unerring with the ball at his feet completing 70 passes in the first half

Newcastle defender Kieran Trippier proved a constant thorn in the side of Iran on Monday

And after Bukayo Saka made it two on 43 minutes, England had two players named 21 or under score in a World Cup game for the first time in their history.  

It was an almost entirely contrasting experience for Iran, who struggled to get on the ball throughout the opening period of the game, despite getting a consolation goal in the second half through Porto striker Mehdi Taremi.

After a lengthy stoppage to assess the injury to Beiranvand, England proved to exert their dominance on a game that quickly got away from Iran.

Bukayo Saka scored the Three Lions’ second in the first half as England had two players aged 21 or under score at a World Cup for the first time

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