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Jesse Lingard in action for England against Tunisia.

Robson praises United duo's impact in England victory

Manchester United and England legend Bryan Robson has praised the impact of Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard in England’s 2-1 World Cup win over Tunisia on Monday.

Robson, who earned 90 caps for England between 1980 and 1991, was delighted with the Three Lions’ overall performance, but singled out Rashford for special praise, arguing that the young Mancunian helped England ramp up the pressure prior to Harry Kane’s late winner.
 
“When Marcus Rashford came on, he sparked the game, put Tunisia on the back foot and got into a couple of great situations where he could have created a goal,”
said the former United and England captain.
“He looked really sharp and bright about his game.”
Marcus Rashford in action for England against Tunisia.
Marcus Rashford's raw pace and dribbling added plenty to England's late surge for victory.
England had taken the lead in the 11th minute through their skipper, Tottenham striker Kane, and peppered their north African opponents’ goal for much of the first half an hour - during which United’s Jesse Lingard was highly influential.
 
“Jesse and Dele Alli both started off really well,”
Robson said.
“I thought Jesse covered the pitch really well, worked really hard and got into some great positions. The only downside is that he had two really good chances. He should have finished at least one of them, which would have put England into a commanding position. But his overall game was very, very good.”
Bryan Robson on Jesse Lingard says

"I thought Jesse covered the pitch really well, worked really hard and got into some great positions."

A controversial penalty 10 minutes before the half-time interval enabled Tunisia to draw level, but United’s former no.7 was encouraged by England’s second-half response.
 
“The poor goal they gave away was a little bit of a downside. [Kyle] Walker should know better in today’s game than flailing his arms in the box when Tunisia hadn’t really threatened at all. But I thought they kept patient and wore Tunisia down.
 
“I know it was a really late goal, but that’s what you do if you’re a good team. You keep wearing people down and you get your just rewards at the end. That’s what England got, because they definitely deserved to win the game.”
 
Bryan Robson in action for England.
Robbo was the swashbuckling hero in England's midfield throughout the 1980s.
Robson also reserved special praise for Kane - England’s two-goal hero in Volgograd. In scoring twice on his World Cup debut, the frontman matched Robson’s efforts at the 1982 tournament, where the latter scored twice – including the then-fastest goal in World Cup history – in a 3-1 win over France.
 
“When you look back on England - in 1990, we had a great goalscorer in Gary Lineker, in '96, when we did well at the European Championship, we had Alan Shearer, and now at this moment in time, we’ve got Harry Kane. It’s great.
 
“In this sort of competition, you need a top-class goalscorer, and that’s what England have got. It gives them a great chance of going on and achieving something in this World Cup.”
 
Kane was even dubbed with the same nickname Robson carried throughout his career – ‘Captain Marvel’– by some of the English media in Tuesday morning's papers. But Robbo is confident the moniker will remain associated with him –
“I don’t know whether Harry would want that name!”

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England now move on to Nizhny Novgorod, east of Moscow, where they face Panama on Sunday, but Robson believes Gareth Southgate’s team are already over the toughest hurdle of the group stage.
 
“From what I saw of Panama [who lost 3-0 to Belgium in their first match], they shouldn’t cause England too many problems,”
says the man who captained the country 65 times.
 
“They’ve got over the most difficult game, because Tunisia were always going to be the outside threat to Belgium or England not qualifying,”
he added.
“So it was really important that England won that game. You can never underestimate anybody, but I just can’t see England slipping up against Panama, which puts them through to the next stage if they win.”
 
Bryan Robson was speaking at the launch of Manchester United Foundation’s partnership with MEA Central, a new secondary academy for South Manchester. The Partner Schools programme aims to take Manchester United to the heart of the community and develop young people to reach their potential.