England Women sailed via their first Euro 2022 warm-up take a look at towards Belgium Women, cruising to a 3-0 victory at Molineux, with the match formally setting out in 20 days’ time.
Sarina Wiegman’s aspect had been, for 45 mins no less than, in complete pageant mode in entrance of a near-10,000 robust crowd, who had been handled to 3 second-half objectives and a specifically spectacular attacking show – one who deserved extra of an impressionable scoreline.
Chloe Kelly, coming back from a long-term knee damage, opened the scoring by the use of a deflected effort which wrong-footed Nicky Evrard, who used to be liable for protecting England’s plentiful frontline at bay right through a irritating first 1/2.
England: Earps, Bronze, Wubben-Moy, Bright, Stokes, Walsh, Williamson, Stanway, Mead, Hemp, White.
Subs: Daly, Hampton, Kirby, Toone, Greenwood, Parris, Kelly, England, Scott, Roebuck, Russo, Carter.
Belgium: Evarard, Deloose, Kees, De Neve, Philtjens, Biesmans, Minnaert, Delacauw, Wijnants, De Caigny, Wullaert.
Subs: Lemey, Vangheluwe, Tysiak, Onzia, Vanmechelen, Tison, Eurlings, Van Kerkhoven, Janssens, Dhont, Missipo.
After that, one briefly was two, with the hosts desiring little greater than 4 mins to double their merit via Rachel Daly, who used to be first to react to a free ball throughout the field prior to lashing into the online.
Captain Leah Williamson capped an impressive midfield show with a purpose of her personal – by the use of the pinnacle of Evrard – to seal a complete victory and kickstart what will have to end up to be a momentum-building length for the Lionesses.
Some wasteful first-half completing and a couple of experimental adjustments in the second one 1/2 will give Wiegman some meals for idea forward of subsequent week’s fixture towards the Netherlands – however her unbeaten streak as supervisor, now 12 video games, used to be by no means truly beneath danger.
Fran Kirby – some other participant coming back from a spell at the sidelines – loved a cameo position from the bench, with Wiegman confirming the ahead is in a “excellent position” and can characteristic in either one of England’s subsequent two pleasant ties.
In tribute to Wiegman’s sister, who gave up the ghost previous this month, all England avid gamers wore black armbands.
England head trainer Sarina Wiegman:
“The first 1/2, we performed smartly, we created however did not ranking. We wanted some extra intensity within the recreation, runs in in the back of. We did that a little bit higher in the second one 1/2. When you win 3-0 it is sufficient, but if we pass into the Euros we’d like a little bit extra ruthlessness.
“We have a plan once we play. Of direction we wish to ranking the probabilities, however so long as you do not concede you may have time. We dominate the sport after which it’s important to have persistence. There comes a second once we do ranking that one; sure, we wish to do it previous however within the last 3rd we need to be a little bit extra ruthless.
“The pageant on this crew may be very excessive. We have alternatives for plenty of avid gamers. Now we also are searching for connections. Different qualities in several positions. We’re getting a little bit nearer, however we aren’t all set. Two fits to head. Things can alternate truly fast too, that is what we all know on this recreation.
“We have a squad of 23 and you’ll play each unmarried participant. I am hoping I do not get a headache, however they’re giving me issues [in selection].”
Sky Sports’ Laura Hunter at Molineux:
Choosing to nominate 25-year-old Leah Williamson as everlasting captain marked a turning level within the evolution of this England crew beneath Wiegman. She wasn’t essentially the standout selection – albeit with the entire management qualities a excellent captain possesses – however she used to be the modern selection.
There had been a number of applicants with extra caps than the Arsenal defender-cum-midfielder, however none as enterprising. And with out the fallback of Steph Houghton within the last 23 squad, Williamson’s candidacy will likely be examined. This is an enormous enterprise for a participant who’s most effective embarking on her moment primary match, having performed six mins of soccer on the 2019 World Cup in France. Can she upward thrust to the problem?
Based on this night, completely. Mature, commanding and direct. The means she performs embodies one of the vital character characteristics she provides as a pacesetter. Teammates obviously recognize her – the opposition do the similar. She managed the center of the park this night, ran field to field, and attached defence with assault. The double pivot with Keira Walsh is especially efficient and used to be the supply of England’s good fortune – a platform to construct from. She has enviable power ranges and an adhesive contact, which is the very best aggregate for a midfield No 8.
Sky Sports’ Charlotte Marsh:
These 3 friendlies are an opportunity to – sure select up wins – but additionally to supply the ones tournament-winning glimpses all of us wish to see. At 1/2 time, the play used to be without a doubt there, however the last product used to be missing. Was the force already beginning to display?
Absolutely now not. While the second one 1/2 won’t were probability after probability as the primary length used to be, the scientific edge in spite of everything got here to the fore. Belgium are ranked twentieth within the FIFA scores are on no account pushovers – a 3-0 win towards them is an excellent feat.
Leah Williamson led by way of instance in the midst of the pitch – and at the back and front too for that topic – but it surely used to be down the wings the place England had been essentially the most unhealthy. With Demi Stokes and Lucy Bronze using down the channels, the Lionesses had been nearly taking part in with 4 wingers at some issues.
Bronze connected up brilliantly with Beth Mead after which Chole Kelly down that proper – Kelly specifically appearing no ill-effects from her ACL damage and dazzling in her 45 mins. Lauren Hemp down the left additionally installed a lot of ‘blink and you’ll be able to omit it’ runs, simply beating the ones Belgium defenders. You nearly must really feel sorry for his or her full-backs.
England defence, in the meantime, had been by no means truly examined. There had been just a handful of probabilities for Belgium with their best goalscorer Tessa Wullaert most commonly saved quiet. Mary Earps most effective made one save past due within the recreation with England nonetheless most effective conceding one purpose beneath Sarina Wiegman.
But a few of their probabilities did come at the counter with England’s full-backs driven excessive up the sector. The Lionesses had been on occasion stuck within the transition, and had been fortunate that Belgium didn’t truly have the standard on display to cause them to rely. Although Wiegman loves to play with high-flying full-backs, it will come again to chew them come match time if they are now not cautious.
But probably the most enhancements in England’s goalscoring in the second one 1/2 did include the advent of Alex Greenwood. You would be expecting her to line-up alongside Mille Bright at centre-back towards Austria within the Euros opener, with the lengthy balls performed by way of the pair a large think about Belgium’s defence ultimately being breached. They will likely be the most important for good fortune this summer season.
England proceed to provoke from set-pieces too. Goals two and 3 each got here from corners as Belgium struggled to transparent their strains and the Lionesses appeared unhealthy in different moments too. Set-pieces might be key in the ones tight video games this summer season.
It’s transparent too that England have a bench of recreation changers – half-time substitutes Kelly and Greenwood modified the second one 1/2. The likes of Beth England, Fran Kirby and Nikita Parris are simply some of the avid gamers who additionally got here on and whilst they won’t have had such an affect on Wednesday, can simply alternate a recreation themselves.
Those groups who’re maximum a success in tournaments want to lean on their proficient squads and Wiegman without a doubt has that during her locker. Now the avid gamers want to make the wins rely when it issues.
The Lionesses subsequent face a travel to Elland Road the place they are going to host reigning European champions the Netherlands in the second one in their 3 warm-up ties, prior to travelling to Zurich to tackle Switzerland on June 30.
Attention turns to Euro 2022 thereafter, a 12 months later than at the beginning scheduled, the place England will open the match towards Austria at Old Trafford on July 6.
Keep up with the entire newest from Euro 2022 throughout Sky Sports and Sky Sports News this summer season.
Coverage will likely be anchored by way of Sky Sports WSL presenter Caroline Barker, along Jessica Creighton and Kyle Walker. Meanwhile, Karen Carney, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Laura Bassett will give research all through the match.
They can be joined by way of skilled England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and Manchester City defender Esme Morgan.
The pundits and presenters will paintings from the Sky Sports Women’s Euro 2022 Mobile Presentation Bus, which can apply the Sky Sports News crew across the nation to the quite a lot of stadiums the place fits are being performed.
In addition, Sky Sports’ Essential Football Podcast will likely be rebranded for the match to Sky Sports Women’s Euros Podcast from June 21. Hosted by way of Charlotte Marsh and Anton Toloui, it’s going to characteristic unique information and participant interviews along with a robust programme line up across the match.
Group A: England, Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland
Group B: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland
Group C: Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland
Group D: France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland
Wednesday July 6
Group A: England vs Austria – kick off 8pm, Old Trafford
Thursday July 7
Group A: Norway vs Northern Ireland – kick off 8pm, St Mary’s
Friday July 8
Group B: Spain vs Finland – kick off 5pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Germany vs Denmark – kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Saturday July 9
Group C: Portugal vs Switzerland – kick off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village
Group C: Netherlands vs Sweden – kick off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Sunday July 10
Group D: Belgium vs Iceland – kick off 5pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Group D: France vs Italy – kick off 8pm, New York Stadium
Monday July 11
Group A: Austria vs Northern Ireland – kick off 5pm, St Mary’s
Group A: England v Norway – kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Tuesday July 12
Group B: Denmark vs Finland – kick off 5pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Germany vs Spain – kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Wednesday July 13
Group C: Sweden vs Switzerland – kick off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Netherlands v Portugal – kick off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Thursday July 14
Group D: Italy vs Iceland – kick off 5pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Group D: France vs Belgium – kick off 8pm, New York Stadium
Friday July 15
Group A: Northern Ireland v England – kick off 8pm, St Mary’s
Group A: Austria vs Norway – kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Saturday July 16
Group B: Finland vs Germany – kick off 8pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Denmark vs Spain – kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Sunday July 17
Group C: Switzerland vs Netherlands – kick off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Sweden vs Portugal – kick off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village
Monday July 18
Group D: Iceland vs France – kick off 8pm, New York Stadium
Group D: Italy vs Belgium – kick off 8pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Wednesday July 20
Quarter-final 1: Winners Group A v Runners-up Group B – kick off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Thursday July 21
Quarter-final 2: Winners Group B v Runners-up Group A – kick off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Friday July 22
Quarter-final 3: Winners Group C v Runners-up Group D – kick off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Quarter-final 4: Winners Group D v Runners-up Group C – kick off 8pm, New York Stadium
Tuesday July 26
Semi-final 1: Winners quarter-final 1 v Winners quarter-final 3 – kick off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Wednesday July 27
Semi-final 2: Winners quarter-final 2 v Winners quarter-final 4 – kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK
Sunday July 31
Winners semi-final 1 v Winners semi-final 2 – kick off 5pm, Wembley