Gabriel Batistuta reveals ‘respect’ for England but admits concerns after defensive ‘mistake’ against Iran

    Legendary Argentina striker Gabriel Batistuta says he respects England but has concerns over the defending shown against Iran.

    The Three Lions ran out comfortable 6-2 winners against their group B opponents on Monday but the victory was tinged with slight frustration at the manner of the two goals conceded.

    Bukayo Saka scored twice to help England claim all three points against Iran

    Bukayo Saka scored twice to help England claim all three points against Iran

    Iran striker Mehdi Taremi took advantage of defensive frailties to net twice in a game where England were relatively untroubled.

    Southgate was critical of his side’s lapses in concentration following the game and Batistuta was in full agreement with him.

    “I always respect England, you have a big history in the World Cup,” Batistuta told talkSPORT.

    “I saw you score a lot [against Iran] but I saw a little mistake defending that is not a good thing especially when you play a World Cup.

    “England is always a team who you have to respect.”

    The man nicknamed ‘Batigol’ for his prolific form in front of goal, knows all about facing off against England at the World Cup.

    Batistuta is best remembered for his nine-year spell at Fiorentina where he scored 167 times

    Batistuta is best remembered for his nine-year spell at Fiorentina where he scored 167 times

    Gareth Southgate was visibly frustrated by England’s lapses in concentration

    Getty

    Gareth Southgate was visibly frustrated by England’s lapses in concentration

    The former Fiorentina striker opened the scoring in the Round of 16 clash between the two nations in 1998, as Argentina went on to beat England on penalties.

    He was also on the losing side four-years later when a David Beckham penalty was enough to sink Argentina during their group stage clash in Japan.

    England face USA Live on talkSPORT on Friday evening knowing a win will be enough to qualify for the knockround round.

    But a more compact defensive display will be required against a USA side likely to pose Southgate’s side more problems than Iran.

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