Switzerland 0-4 England: Lionesses warm up for Euro 2022 with rout and extend unbeaten run to 14 matches after second-half strikes by Alessia Russo, Georgia Stanway, Beth England and Jill Scott
- England dominated but had to wait until the 56th minute for the breakthrough
- Rachel Daly’s lofted cross was headed home by England forward Alessia Russo
- Georgia Stanway scored from the spot before Beth England added the third
- Midfielder Jill Scott sealed the rout with virtually the last touch of the game
England are making a habit of coming good in the second half and they are in the habit of winning.
They ended their final warm-up game for Euro 2022 with a 4-0 win over Switzerland, with all of the goals coming after the break. It has been a theme of their pre-tournament matches – with previous victories over Belgium and the Netherlands also coming in the second 45 minutes.
It says a lot that England can turn up the heat when their opponents tire, but against better teams, which they will face in this summer’s tournament, they cannot afford to put in the same first half performances we have seen in the last two weeks.
England finally made the breakthrough in the second-half with Alessia Russo’s header
Rachel Daly’s lofted cross was headed home by the England forward in the 56th minute
Switzerland (4-3-3): Friedli, Maritz (Rinast 78), Calligaris, Buhler, Aigbogun, Walti (Marti 45), Maendly (Xhemaili 79), Sow, Crnogorcevic (Mauron 45), Reuteler (Terchoun 84), Bachmann (Humm 66)
Subs not used: Peng, Stierli, Folmli, Riesen
Manager: Nils Nielsen
England (4-3-3): Earps, Daly, Bright, Williamson, Greenwood (Carter 62), Walsh, Stanway (Scott 79), Kirby (Toone 61), Hemp (Parris 75), Mead (Kelly 62), Russo (England 61)
Subs not used: Hampton, Roebuck, Scott, Wubben-Moy
Booked: Russo, Stanway
Goals: Russo 58, Stanway 74, England 76, Scott 90+4
Manager: Sarina Wiegman
Referee: Ainara Acevedo Dudley
Wiegman’s side looked disjointed, as they had done in the opening 45 minutes against the Netherlands. In that game they scored four second half goals to win 5-1 and they did the same tonight with Alessia Russo, Georgia Stanway, Beth England and Jill Scott all on target.
England were without first choice right back Lucy Bronze, who was sent home on Wednesday after feeling unwell. The defender, who tested negative for Covid-19, will be continued to be monitored by medical staff.
But perhaps what is of more concern is Wiegman’s selection headache of where to play captain Leah Williamson. Handed the No 8 shirt for the tournament, Williamson started the first two warm-up games in the centre of midfield but she was moved back into the defence for this game. It is thought Williamson is more comfortable in this role, which she plays for Arsenal, but the sudden change so close to the opening game is a concern.
For now though, it is 14 games played, 12 wins and two draws for Wiegman since taking charge of England in September. They have scored 80 goals and conceded just three – that is not a bad record to take into a home Euros.
The Lionesses started on the front foot as Swiss goalkeeper Seraina Friedli made an excellent save to deny Fran Kirby in the opening stages. A slick England counter-attack then saw Beth Mead play in Lauren Hemp but the winger dithered in the box before shooting straight at Friedli.
Wiegman’s side did not look overly confident at the back and they were opened on a couple of occasions in the first half, but the hosts did not manage to test goalkeeper Mary Earps. The closest they came was when Sandy Maendly’s cross almost picked out a sliding Ana-Maria Crnogevic at the back-post but the winger couldn’t make any contact.
Georgia Stanway scored from the spot to double England’s advantage in the 74th minute
England midfielder Jill Scott sealed the rout with virtually the last touch of the game
It would have been tempting for Wiegman to make a change at half-time but her perseverance paid off as the breakthrough came 11 minutes after the restart. Williamson picked out Rachel Daly on the right and she stood the ball up to the back-post for Russo, who nodded into the bottom right corner.
The Lionesses almost doubled their lead in the 70th minute but Friedli produced a stunning save to keep out England’s header. But they didn’t have to wait much longer for a second. Hemp saw a sublime volley cleared off the line but the ball deflected off a Switzerland hand and referee Ainara Dudley pointed to the spot. Stanway converted convincingly into the bottom left corner.
Two minutes later it was 3-0 as Stanway turned provider, sending a corner to the head of England who guided the ball past Friedli.
Scott added a fourth with virtually the last touch of the game as the midfielder stretched to head Kelly’s cross into the back of the net.
England forward Alessia Russo, left, holds off Switzerland midfielder Viola Calligaris, right
England captain Leah Williamson takes on Swiss duo Coumba Sow and Noelle Maritz