'God Save Our King' – How the world reacted to England's thumping win over Senegal

France's forward #10 Kylian Mbappe celebrates after he scored his team's third goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup round of 16 football match between France and Poland at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on December 4, 2022 - FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images
France's forward #10 Kylian Mbappe celebrates after he scored his team's third goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup round of 16 football match between France and Poland at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Doha on December 4, 2022 - FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

England's fine record under Gareth Southgate in knock-out competitions continued, with the side's 3-0 victory over Senegal. It books them a place in the World Cup quarter finals against holders France on Saturday.

Here is how the world reacted to the impressive last-16 win.

French reaction: England clash 'explosive and enticing'

French sports paper L'Equipe said England had "relied on their experience and efficiency to easily win against Senegal" and set up a clash with the world champions.

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L’Equipe’s front page, however, was reserved for one of their own, with Kylian Mbappe pictured celebrating his goal over Poland on Sunday alongside the headline: “God Save Our King”.

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They added: “Thanks to a sparkling Kylian Mbappe, scorer of two goals and a decisive pass, Les Bleus qualify for the quarter-finals, Saturday, at 8pm, the world champions will face the English, easy winners over Senegal.”

Le Monde, meanwhile, described England's display as "solid", and said "the finalists of the last Euros will be a tough opponent for Kylian Mbappe and his team-mates".

Le Figaro called the prospect of a France vs England quarter-final "explosive and enticing" – and said neither side will lack confidence as "they have both impressed" in Qatar so far. "The Three Lions will be serious contenders on Saturday in the quarter finals," they added.

"The English have woken from their slumber," wrote Paris Match. "They know they will make a strong case [to beat France]".

'A more difficult task awaits'

Marca, Spain's national sports daily paper, said England had "cruised" into the last eight, where "fearsome France await".

They said "fears of an upset were rife in the first half" after Senegal's impressive start, but England managed to turn the tide and progress thanks to "a professional performance".

Germany's Die Welt praised the "outstanding" Bellingham for leading England into the last eight, but suggested "a much more difficult task awaits" Southgate's side in the next round.

And the England manager himself accepted his side will need to improve to topple the world champions, telling ITV: "They're an outstanding team with a phenomenal tournament record and some outstanding individuals. Without doubt that's a game where we have to find our highest possible level."

Pundits' reaction: 'Bring on the French!'

After Saka netted a third after the break, former Arsenal and England defender Lee Dixon set his sights on the massive last-eight fixture next Saturday, proclaiming "bring on the French" , while his colleagues on ITV hailed Bellingham's performance.

"Gareth Southgate will be really pleased with that performance – after that [tough] first 30 minutes it's been a good hour for England, to say the least", Dixon said. "Their game management has been excellent in the second half."

Ian Wright also hailed the performance of Borussia Dortmund teenager Bellingham. The ex-Arsenal striker said on ITV: "In the end it looked comfortable because... when we had the opportunities we broke and Jude Bellingham showed unbelievable quality and class and got us through it.

"We took the opportunities when they came and that's what we've got to do because [Senegal] had a couple of chances but they didn't take theirs."

Roy Keane also jumped in to heap praise on Bellingham, saying he had "never seen a young midfielder perform like that for years – you normally see that from a world-class player who is 26 or 27".

He added: "Everything he does in the game... he has the maturity, the decision-making, end product, final pass – the kid has everything."

Keane suggested Sunday's encounter would not have taken too much out of England and they will be able to set their sights on the mouth-watering quarter-final.

"Physically and emotionally it didn't take that much out of them. Job done and they should be fully recovered for the weekend which is a huge game for them," he said. "Credit to Gareth he gets a lot of these [selection] decisions right, despite all the criticism he gets."

Gary Lineker praised the likeability and quality of England's youthful side

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Michael Owen, who scored 40 goals in 89 appearances for England, said: "Another efficient performance from our boys. Loved the performances of Jude Bellingham and Jordan Henderson. Bring on Kylian Mbappe and co."

'Bellingham has got everything'

Jude Bellingham of England celebrates after the team's victory during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between England and Senegal at Al Bayt Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar - Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Jude Bellingham of England celebrates after the team's victory during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between England and Senegal at Al Bayt Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar - Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka scored at Al-Bayt Stadium against the African Cup of Nations champions but the performance of Jude Bellingham drove England forward from central midfield.

"I don't want to big him up too much because he's still young but he's one of the most gifted players I've ever seen," said team-mate Phil Foden. "I don't see a weakness in his game. I think he's got everything. I'm sure he's going to be the best midfielder in the world."

Kane added: “He’s right up there. He’s a fantastic player. He has quality with and without the ball. He presses really well, he gets around the pitch, he tackles. With the ball, he can run, take players on and play a through ball. He was really important with our goals.

“He has a great personality, he’s mature for his age with great leadership skills. I would say to keep working, keep learning, he has plenty of years ahead of him. I’m sure he will want to keep improving. It’s great for us to have him with us with the England team.”

How the players reacted

Bellingham himself was keen to speak about his fellow midfielder Henderson, who he said deserves respect. The 19-year-old said: "It was a brilliant performance [by Henderson] today. I've seen some of the rubbish that was said about him playing. It's ridiculous. He's so underrated technically, and he's delivered again in a big game with a massive goal. I think it's time he gets a bit of respect."

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England players returned to their hotel in the early hours of Monday morning to a hero’s welcome from local fans who have become a regular feature since their arrival in Qatar. A large group of England-supporting migrant workers welcomed Southgate’s squad back on their first day at the Souq Al Wakra Hotel, and there was yet another warm reception when the team bus returned after the last-16 tie.

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Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Mason Mount and Kyle Walker were all among those who celebrated with the fans in the hotel reception, despite the clock ticking towards 3am in the morning after the match finished shortly before midnight.

Marcus Rashford, who replaced goalscorer Saka in the 65th minute, said: "Great win tonight and 50th cap for England. Bring on the quarter-finals."

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Kyle Walker, who will presumably have the monumental task of containing Mbappe on Saturday, said: "Quarter finals soon. From strength to strength well played everyone. Unbelievable support tonight. England see you Saturday."

England's talismanic striker Kane is only one goal away from Wayne Rooney's 53 for England after his goal.

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