lionesses-player-ratings:-stanway-the-star,-wingers-struggle

Lionesses player ratings: Stanway the star, wingers struggle

After England reached the semi-finals of Euro 2022 with a dramatic extra-time win over Spain at the Amex Stadium, how did Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses perform on her return to the dugout?

Mary Earps – 7

Dealt confidently but comfortably with Spain’s attacking play and was left with no chance from Esther Gonzalez’s goal. Nearly caught out by Athenea del Castillo from what may have been an unintended lob before recovering to scramble clear. Was often pressured by the Spain frontline but by and large dealt with it comfortably.

Mary Earps was left with no chance with the first goal she had conceded all tournament

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Mary Earps was left with no chance with the first goal she had conceded all tournament

Lucy Bronze – 6

Keen to get forward down the right flank, as always. Didn’t link up with Beth Mead or Lauren Hemp as much as she has in the past, and found life particularly tough before half-time up against Mariona Caldentey. Improved in the second period, and as England searched for their equaliser became increasingly involved, and effective, in the final third.

Millie Bright – 7

Strong in the challenge when called upon, but without the typical long-range passing we’ve seen her use so effectively in this tournament already. Only tested in part until Spain threw the kitchen sink at England in extra-time, and stood strong, blocking one Sarriegi effort in particular, to see them through.

Leah Williamson – 6

Caught out slightly by Gonzalez for the opener, although left with a lot to do when Rachel Daly was beaten. Like Bright, her long-range passing rarely featured and her radar around the backline was a little nervy too. Stood strong alongside Bright to stop Earps being troubled more, especially in extra-time.

Captain Leah Williamson did not have her best game in a Lionesses shirt - but provided a strong defensive unit alongside Millie Bright

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Captain Leah Williamson did not have her best game in a Lionesses shirt – but provided a strong defensive unit alongside Millie Bright

Rachel Daly – 5

Dealt well with Marta Cardona before half-time, leading to her removal at the break – but skinned so easily by Del Castillo to make Gonzalez’s goal. Continued to struggle with the substitute throughout the second period before she was taken off.

Keira Walsh – 7

Not anywhere near as influential as she can be for the Lionesses for much of the game and well-shackled by the Spain midfield – but as England snatched the momentum from Ella Toone’s equaliser, began to pull the strings after the game opened up. Provided a quality defensive screen alongside Georgia Stanway.

Georgia Stanway – 8

A display full of typically strong challenges and defensive awareness to stop Spain’s talented midfield trio from controlling possession as they have been allowed to in other games. And that goal… if there’s any time to hit a winner like that, it was tonight.

Georgia Stanway was already enjoying a solid performance in midfield before popping up with a stunning winner

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Georgia Stanway was already enjoying a solid performance in midfield before popping up with a stunning winner

Fran Kirby – 6

Not given the space or time to operate in the pockets of space she likes to drop into by the Spain midfield, and was replaced shortly after the hour mark having completed only 10 passes.

Beth Mead – 5

Unusually ineffective in the link-up with Bronze and switched over to the left before half-time. Still struggled to produce and unsurprisingly became Wiegman’s first replacement.

Ellen White – 6

Missed an early header from a gorgeous Mead free-kick. Battled hard and briefly looked as though she may have scored the opener before the break, but without Mead or Hemp around her in the box to feed off was often left isolated and without that support was as much a victim of circumstance as anything to be taken off.

Lauren Hemp – 6

Had plenty of energy, but faced a tough night up against Manchester United’s Ona Batlle. Largely poor from set-pieces, of which there were quite a few. Repaid Wiegman’s faith in keeping her on with the cross which led to the equaliser, in an otherwise unusually unfruitful performance.

Lauren Hemp had a tough night on either flank - but provided the cross which led to England's equaliser

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Lauren Hemp had a tough night on either flank – but provided the cross which led to England’s equaliser

Substitutes

Chloe Kelly (for Mead, 58) – 6

Found life nearly as tough going as Hemp and Mead up against Batlle, but was still more of a presence on the right flank than those who had gone before her.

Alessia Russo (for White, 58) – 7

Added a little more movement which had been missing in the final third simply by the style of her game, and made Toone’s equaliser with a deft cushioned header.

Ella Toone (for Kirby, 64) – 7

The woman of the moment – and what a moment. Right time, right place to send the match to extra-time with a cool finish having already teed up Daly for what was England’s first shot on target of the game.

Alex Greenwood (for Daly, 82) – 6

With Daly’s night only getting worse, provided a steady influence at left-back when it was needed. Questions whether she was brought on for her ability from set-plays, but she never really got to showcase them.

Jill Scott (for Walsh, 116) – n/a

Nikita Parris (for Hemp, 116) n/a