Bellingham opened the scoring with his first England goal in the 35th minute while Sterling and Saka helped Gareth Southgate’s side establish a comfortable 3-0 lead before half-time. Saka produced a brilliant individual effort to take England further out of sight just past the hour mark before Mehdi Taremi netted a consolation for Iran, but substitutes Rashford and Grealish put the gloss on the Three Lions’ Group B opener despite a stoppage-time penalty from Taremi.
A day which began with a row about anti-discrimination One Love armbands as England sought to make a political statement ended with Gareth Southgate’s side making a footballing one as they swept to a superb victory. . Three goals in an 11-minute blitz made what looked an awkward-looking fixture on paper a relative stroll here at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Although England took a knee before kickoff in a continuation of the anti-racism message they sent at last summer’s delayed European Championship.