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Switzerland Women 0-4 England Women: Alessia Russo, Georgia Stanway, Beth England and Jill Scott seal win ahead of Euro 2022


England Women were made to wait for an opener by Switzerland Women before eventually signing off their Euro 2022 preparations with a 4-0 win in Zurich.

The Lionesses should have been ahead as early as the third minute when Fran Kirby was denied at point-blank range by Seraina Friedli and, after Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo also passed up early chances, they found chances at a premium before the break.

Switzerland may have taken the lead themselves when Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic miscued a far-post volley moments after she had cleared Rachel Daly’s header from a corner off the line.

England got their breakthrough 11 minutes into the second period when Alessia Russo nodded Leah Williamson’s diagonal ball into the far corner and with that goal, added to the introduction of Ella Toone and Chloe Kelly, they never looked back.

Georgia Stanway doubled their advantage from the penalty spot after Lara Marti was unfortunate to fall on the ball and strike it with her arm, and three minutes later Beth England added a third with a sharp header from a corner.

England ratings

England: Earps (6), Daly (6), Bright (6), Williamson (7), Greenwood (6), Stanway (6), Walsh (6), Mead (5), Kirby (6), Hemp (7), Russo (7).

Subs: Toone (7), England (7), Carter (6), Kelly (7), Parris (6), Scott (7).

Player of the match: Leah Williamson.

Veteran midfielder Jill Scott rounded off the final moments of England’s preparations with a close-range finish from a Kelly cross to sign the Lionesses off for their Euro 2022 opener with Austria next week without any fresh injury concerns, and a clean sweep of victories from their three warm-up games.

England made to toil before eventual breakthrough

Among the things Sarina Wiegman still has to work on is the Lionesses’ ability to play through the lines, an issue which reared its head during an at-times frustrating display in Zurich.

Switzerland came into the game on the back of a 7-0 thrashing by Germany and looked to remain compact throughout to avoid a repeat performance.

Alessia Russo celebrates giving England the lead against Switzerland
Image:
Alessia Russo (left) gave England the lead with her fourth international goal

England threatened to pile on the disappointment early on when Kirby slid in to turn home a loose ball from Kiera Walsh’s pass, but directed it close enough to Friedli to allow the Fiorentina goalkeeper to make a superb save.

She was saved a hero-to-zero moment by only millimetres minutes later, spilling Alessia Russo’s close-range effort before clawing it away on the line as the Lionesses’ early promise continued.

But after Beth Mead passed up another opportunity to set Russo away, England never returned to the intensity of their first 10 minutes and as their tempo dropped, so did Switzerland’s defensive line to frustrate the Lionesses.

Eight of the team who had put five past Holland on Friday started against Switzerland, but they looked toothless trying to play forward in open play.

That changed when Russo’s goal, from a perfectly judged Williamson ball out wide, and England’s build-up instantly looked more natural added to the introduction of their substitutions.

Kelly’s directness and quality of delivery caused the Swiss defence continuous problems while Toone’s ability to take the ball on the turn helped get the visitors on the front foot.

The chances soon began to flow. England nodded Kelly’s excellent delivery straight at Friedli and Hemp was denied on the line from another wonderful cross moments before Marti was penalised by the referee for handball, allowing Stanway to fire home from the spot.

England made amends by nodding home her next chance from a Stanway corner, and could have added more through a wayward Toone header before Scott headed in a late fourth as she became the latest to profit from Kelly’s superb creativity.

Wiegman: We’re about more than our starting line-up

Ella Toone's header sparked a run of three goals in 20 minutes to secure a comfortable victory in Zurich
Image:
Russo’s header sparked a run of three goals in 20 minutes to secure a comfortable victory in Zurich

England coach Wiegman emphasised her squad’s strength in depth with the four changes she made minutes after the Lionesses’ opener helping to change the flow of the game in their favour.

She told ITV: “It was a very good result, we scored a lot of goals in the second half which showed we have a very fit team. They got tired, we brought on some substitutes and it also showed again that we don’t play with 11 players, we have so many more in our squad and can make a change in the second half.

“We started well, had three big chances at the start of the game, and it would’ve been easy to score those goals, but when we didn’t they got some chances and we have to do a little better at that.

“We had to speed up the game in the first half, the ball tempo was too low, and then they can organise all the time. We did that better in the second half and they got more tired.

“We always have things to improve, I think we’re in a very good place but that’ll show in the Euros. These are all friendlies, it’s very nice to learn from it but it really starts next Wednesday. We’re in a very good place but still have to improve a couple of things.”

What’s up next?

Now the Lionesses are in full Euro 2022 mode, with their preparation games all completed ahead of their opening group game with Austria at Old Trafford on July 6.

They then face Norway at the Amex Stadium on July 11 and Northern Ireland at St Mary’s on July 15.

Follow Euro 2022 across Sky Sports

Keep up with all the latest from Euro 2022 across Sky Sports and Sky Sports News this summer.

Coverage will be anchored by Sky Sports WSL presenter Caroline Barker, alongside Jessica Creighton and Kyle Walker. Meanwhile, Karen Carney, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Laura Bassett will give analysis throughout the tournament.

They will also be joined by experienced England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and Manchester City defender Esme Morgan.

The pundits and presenters will work from the Sky Sports Women’s Euro 2022 Mobile Presentation Bus, which will follow the Sky Sports News team around the country to the various stadiums where matches are being played.

In addition, Sky Sports’ Essential Football Podcast will be rebranded for the tournament to Sky Sports Women’s Euros Podcast rom 21 June. Hosted by Charlotte Marsh and Anton Toloui, it will feature exclusive news and player interviews in addition to a strong programme line up around the tournament.

Euro 2022: The groups…

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

Euro 2022: The group-stage schedule…

Group stage

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

View the knock-out timetable here.



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