Relentless England Give Another Second Half Masterclass In Final Warm-Up Win

England beat Switzerland 4-0 as the warm-up games came to an end
19:01, 30 Jun 2022

For the second time in a week, a dominant second half performance showed the strength of England’s bench as the Lionesses secured a 4-0 win over Switzerland, six days before the start of Euro 2022.

The first half was one of frustration and wasted chances from Sarina Wiegman’s team, as Fran Kirby, Beth Mead, Lauren Hemp and Alessio Russo all wasted great opportunities. But with Leah Williamson dropping back to play as a centre-back it was a positive that the Lionesses still created multiple chances at will. 

The main thing Wiegman will have taken from tonight’s win is the fact that Williamson seems to offer the side more balance at the back than Alex Greenwood does. She may well start against Austria, and although her creativity is limited in that position, it is for the good of the team. 

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They were not completely secure at the back as Switzerland posed their own threat but it was their second half strength and attacking quality off the bench that once again proved to be the difference. Spain have immense quality and Sweden have huge experience, but no team in the Euros has the attacking strength in depth that England do. 

Russo’s opener finally showed some composure from the forward line on a strong night for the Manchester United forward, as she nodded home a deep Lauren Hemp cross at the back post. Her movement gave her an inch of space and she headed the ball back across goal with aplomb to give Wiegman’s side the opener. 

Once that first goal went in, England always looked in control, but their subs once again took the game up a notch. Ella Toone, Chloe Kelly, Jess Carter and Beth England all came on and energised this Lionesses side that is still without talismanic forward Ellen White. On the last two showings that have seen them score eight goals, the scary thing is, they don’t even need her. 

The chances kept coming as Hemp’s wonderful volley was dramatically cleared off the line before the away side were inexplicably awarded a penalty following a push in the penalty area. Georgia Stanway stepped up to fire the ball into the corner and double England’s lead, and two minutes later it was three. 

Beth England got on the scoresheet off the bench as she headed a powerful header in from a driven Stanway corner and it is England’s relentlessness that is most impressive. When the subs come on, the intensity increases. With every goal, no matter how insignificant to the overall result, the intensity level remains sky high. This was proven once again as another sub, Jill Scott scored a lovely header with the final touch of the game. 

She stole in at the back post to make it four and her immense experience, and ability to play in that number eight role could be crucial for England over the next month. Wiegman will now know her best XI for the Austria opener on Wednesday, but it won’t be the starting XI that will win this tournament for England. As tonight showed once again, the bench will play a crucial role if the Lionesses are to win a European Championship on home soil. 

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