Jesse Lingard laughs off Panama bruisers to help England find their joy | Barney Ronay

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Tireless midfielder is becoming the grinning symbol of a team that has come to Russia with a strange sense of exuberance

Well, that was fun, in between the painful bits. First, it is necessary to issue the disclaimers. Yes, Panama unravelled like a cheap cigar in Nizhny Novgorod. Faced with England’s excellent first-half movement, they fell apart like a wicker-rimmed hat left to bake in the sun. At times Panama played a genuinely ugly brand of football, hacking and whingeing and spoiling like the bloke you never invite back to the midweek seven-a-side.

In between this England performed with incisive, cold-blooded composure to win 6-1 and rack up their highest World Cup score, an unarguable, entirely deserved entry in the tournament history books for this well-drilled and highly mobile team.

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Written by Barney Ronay at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/jun/24/jesse-lingard-england-panama-world-cup under the title “Jesse Lingard laughs off Panama bruisers to help England find their joy | Barney Ronay”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.