England are full of energy and belief – so is it time to get carried away?

Gareth Southgate get better ready for a nation to start getting carried away again.

That is what happens when England put on the sort of performance which had the whole of Elland Road waving flags and singing songs about football coming home.

It was difficult not to get caught up in it all because of Marcus Rashford’s brilliant performance which has also given Southgate even more food for thought.

Five days ago, Southgate’s starting line-up looked stitched on and yet it was Rashford who has suddenly given the England manager the biggest dilemma.

A 30 yard wonder goal together with pace and energy. Rashford’s first half display was sensational and, on this sort of form, it would be almost impossible to leave him out.

Rashford was not the only one either as Jordan Henderson, Danny Rose, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Fabian Delph and even Trent Alexander-Arnold on his debut all did themselves a power of good.

It was a performance full of energy and enthusiasm, the fringe players trying to grasp one last chance of winning a starting place at the World Cup.

That will give Southgate most satisfaction of all in that his squad is full of competition, players striving to make their mark and that was the inspiration behind England’s victory.

It was also proof that England should go on the road more often as the sell-out crowd of 35,104 produced a better atmosphere than Wembley can ever seem to muster.

England will go to Russia next week full of energy and belief from their impressive victory with Rashford, in particular, shining brightly.

Rashford buzzed around England’s front line as his step overs and bursts of speed past defenders instantly caught the eye as the Manchester United forward looked determined to take centre stage.

After a season of becoming frustrated stuck on Manchester United’s bench, Rashford has got fed-up of being cast as a supersub and an impact player from the bench.

This was his chance – and he grasped it with both hands. Rashford, in the No19 shirt which Paul Gascoigne wore at Italia 90, stirred up old memories which will only get us all carried away again.

Rashford’s 13th minute wonder goal lit up Elland Road.

The ball broke loose to him on the right edge of the Costa Rica box, defenders were slow to close him down and Rashford unleashed a dipping, swerving right-footed 30 yard rocket. Measured at 33.19 yards to be precise.

JOHN CROSS’ PREDICTED LINE-UP FOR ENGLAND v TUNISIA: Pickford – Walker, Stones, Maguire – Trippier, Henderson, Alli, Young – Sterling, Lingard – Kane

The ball flew past Costa Rica’s Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas and took the roof off the place. Rashford was supposed to be England’s boy wonder at Euro 2016 and yet looks ready to come of age.

It was in midfield which England really dominated as Henderson’s extra drive may give him an edge over Eric Dier in the battle to be midfield anchorman.

Maybe Rose did enough to edge out Ashley Young while Delph and Loftus-Cheek also impressed with their passing and forward runs.

No-one should forget that Costa Rica topped England’s World Cup Group in Brazil four years ago and are no pushovers. But England made them look second rate.

The game faded in the second half as Southgate rang the changes – bringing on Nick Pope for his debut as he replaced Jack Butland in goal – but England got their second after 76 minutes.

Dele Alli drove forward into the box and his cross set up fellow substitute Danny Welbeck to throw himself at the ball and produce a diving header which flew in off the woodwork.

Incredibly, Welbeck will go to the World Cup as the top scorer in the current England squad with 16 goals to show they have options from the bench as well as a buzz around the team.

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