Bellingham stars as England beats Scotland in international soccer's oldest rivalry
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Scotland vs. England is international's soccer's oldest rivalry. Jude Bellingham is one of the sport's brightest young stars.
And on Tuesday the Real Madrid midfielder continued his outstanding start to the season by inspiring England to a 3-1 win at Hampden Park.
Bellingham scored a goal and provided an assist for Harry Kane after Phil Foden had fired the Three Lions ahead in the game that celebrated the 150-year anniversary of the Scottish Football Association. A Harry Maguire own goal provided the only moment of cheer for the hosts.
Bellingham is back with his England teammates after making a sensational start to life at Madrid, where he has scored five goals in four games since joining from Borussia Dortmund in June for a fee that could reach $139 million.
He is quickly establishing himself as one of the world's elite players and is likely to be central to England's bid to win next year's European Championship.
“He’s so mature for his age, an unreal talent, a massive talent and important for us with the way we play,” Foden said. “We need Jude a lot and it’s a pleasure to play with him and we link up really well.”
The 20-year-old Bellingham dominated a Scotland team that is on the verge of qualifying for Euro 2024 itself after winning five out of five games in qualifying to top a group that includes Spain.
Bellingham said he hadn't been happy with his performance in England's 1-1 draw against Ukraine on Saturday.
“It wasn’t anywhere near my best and the motivation is always to get back to your best. I got somewhere close tonight,” he said.
Scotland's form had given its supporters hope of a famous win against it fiercest rival in the 116th meeting between the teams.
The fixture dates back to 1872 and, but for a pause during World War II, the clash was held annually until 1989.
This was only the ninth meeting since then, with the majority of those matches in tournaments or qualifying.
The rivalry remains intense even in the absence of regular games and that was evident ahead of kickoff when England’s national anthem was drowned out by jeers from the home crowd.
A moment's silence as mark of respect for late Scotland manager Craig Brown and those affected by the tragic events in Morocco and Libya was then disrupted by sections of the stadium.
The hostile atmosphere did not stop England from stamping its authority from the outset and the visitors were ahead 2-0 by halftime.
Bellingham and Foden pulled Scotland apart with their movement and passing.
Foden showed a deft touch to divert Kyle Walker’s 32nd minute cross over the line from close range.
Three minutes later Bellingham capitalized on a mistake from Andy Robertson in Scotland’s box and lashed a shot through a crowded box.
Scotland failed to register a shot on target before the break and showed little threat in the second half until being gifted a way back into the game.
It came from the foot of halftime substitute Maguire, who poked Robertson’s cross into his own net in the 67th.
That got a reaction from the crowd, but it was England that stepped up the intensity.
Substitute Eberechi Eze was denied by Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn when through on goal and in the 81st Kane completed the scoring.
Bellingham was the provider with a disguised pass on the edge of the box and Kane finished clinically for his record-extending 59th goal for England.
“England started like the top side they are. We’re not there, but we’re trying to develop, trying to get better," Scotland coach Steve Clarke said. “We’ve always come back stronger from adversity, and let’s hope that’s the case.”
Scotland needs two points to qualify for Euro 2024.
“The camp’s been a success, because we’ve got a perfect record in the qualifying group. We’re in a good place,” Clarke added.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports