Kyle Walker, John Stones and Phil Foden all started as England began their EURO 2024 Group C campaign with a 1-0 win against Serbia in Gelsenkirchen.

Vice-captain Walker, Stones and Foden were all entrusted by manager Gareth Southgate as the Three Lions sought to make a positive start to their campaign at the Schalke Arena and all more than played their part, figuring for the entire game.

Indeed, it was Walker who helped set up England’s match winner, headed home by Bellingham on 13 minutes.

The City right back threaded a perfectly weighted pass for Bukayo Sako to latch onto as the winger raced into the right-wing overlap.

The Arsenal man delivered an inviting, teasing ball into the heart of the Serbian box and Real Madrid midfielder Bellingham needed no second invitation to head home from the six-yard box.

However, a confident, fluid start from England was almost undone on 21 minutes. A mistake from Trent Alexander-Arnold saw Serbia find skipper Aleksandar Mitrovic who whistled a power 20-yard shot inches wide.

ACTION MAN: Phil Foden powers forward.
ACTION MAN: Phil Foden powers forward.

Within three minutes Walker almost set up a second England goal. Alexander-Arnold put the City right back into space on the right overlap and after powering into the box, his fired in an inviting ball across the face of goal but it evaded all his colleagues.

The Serbs started the second half in much assertive manner pushing England back and dominating possession.

And shortly before the hour, England keeper Jordan Pickford needed to be alert to shut the door on Mitrovic after Serbia substitute Mladenovic evaded John Stones before substitute Dusan Tadic was an ace away from putting in fellow replacement Luka Jovic.

England though were within an ace of doubling their advantage on 77 minutes when Harry Kane hit the bar.

A minute after coming on as a substitute Jarrod Bowen pinged in a pinpoint cross from the right flank and Kane rose at the back post to meet the ball only for Serbia keeper Predrag Rajkovic to palm the effort onto the woodwork.

POWER PLAY: Kyle Walker fires in a cross.
POWER PLAY: Kyle Walker fires in a cross.

Pickford then came to England’s rescue again nine minutes from time superbly tipping over Vlahovic’s goal bound shot as Southgate’s side claimed a victory.

With Denmark and Slovenia having drawn 1-1 in the opening Group C game earlier on Sunday, it means England are top of the table with three points.

England resume their Group C campaign on Thursday, June 20 when they take on Denmark in Frankfurt.

Kick-off at the Frankfurt Arena is scheduled for 17.00pm (UK).

UP AND AT 'EM: John Stones challenges Aleksandar Mitrovic.
UP AND AT 'EM: John Stones challenges Aleksandar Mitrovic.