England signed off their pre-Euro 2022 preparations with a 4-0 victory over a stubborn Switzerland side in Zurich on Thursday evening.
The Lionesses were made to work for their victory, having been held by the visitors for 55 minutes, before goals from Alessia Russo, Georgia Stanway, Beth England and Jill Scott ultimately saw them to a comfortable win.
The victory maintains England’s perfect pre-tournament preparation following their pair of emphatic wins over Belgium and the Netherlands.
Having started at a more sedentary pace before finishing strongly in said previous two victories, the Lionesses burst out of the blocks in Zurich. Seraina Friedli was called into action three times inside the opening 10 minutes, keeping out efforts from Fran Kirby, Lauren Hemp and Russo.
However, England failed to break the deadlock and Switzerland grew into the game, with Ramona Bachmann and Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic looking particularly dangerous.
The latter made a telling impact at one end of the pitch, clearing Rachel Daly’s goal bound header off the line, before coming within a whisker of giving her side the lead at the other. Sandy Maendly delivered a teasing ball from the left flank, evading the clutches of Mary Earps, but the lunging Crnogorcevic could not connect with the cross as the first half finished goalless.
Ten minutes into the second half, England made the breakthrough. Leah Williamson picked out Rachel Daly with a pinpoint cross field pass, and her looping cross was nodded home by Russo.
Chloe Kelly was introduced from the bench to great affect once more and, having danced past three Switzerland defenders, picked out Hemp, whose thunderous volley was kept out by a superb Viola Calligaris clearance. In the aftermath, the ball struck a hand as Switzerland failed to clear, and from the resultant spot kick Stanway doubled England’s lead.
Stanway then turned provider as Beth England added a third, heading home Stanway’s corner. Scott to wrapped up the victory for the Lionesses at the death, leaping to head home Kelly’s in-swinging cross as excitement grows for 6 July.
GK: Seraina Friedli – 6/10 – Made a superb save to deny Kirby with her feet in the early exchanges, and keep out Russo from point blank range. Made another tremendous save to deny Beth England in the second half.
RB: Noelle Maritz – 6/10 – Really tenacious, did a very good defensive job on the usually unstoppable Hemp. Struggled against the trickery of Kelly.
CB: Luana Buhler – 5/10 – Struggled to contend with the lively Russo and Kirby’s movement.
CB: Viola Calligaris – 5/10 – Made an amazing, stretching goal line clearance to keep out a Hemp volley. Dragged about a bit by the dynamic Russo and Kirby.
LB: Eseosa Aigbogun – 6/10 – Kept Mead relatively quiet in the first half, limiting the England winger’s opportunity to turn and drive towards goal.
CM: Lia Walti – 6/10 – Typically cool, calm and composed, before being replaced at half time.
CM: Sandy Maendly – 5/10 – Carved out a big opportunity during the latter stages of the first half with a wicked delivery from the left.
AM: Coumba Sow – 6/10 – Combined really well with Crnogorcevic and Bachmann in the first half. Saw Switzerland’s best chance of the second half, but couldn’t connect cleanly at the back post.
RW: Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic – 7/10 – Made a headed clearance on the goal line to keep out Daly in the first half, looked dangerous and linked up well with Bachmann, before being replaced at half time.
CF: Ramona Bachmann – 6/10 – In the thick of the action and caused England plenty of problems with her unpredictability and quick feet. Quieter in the second half before being forced off with injury.
LW: Geraldine Reuteler – 5/10 – Never really got the better of Daly, struggled to get in the game in the second half as Switzerland faded.
SUB: Lara Marti – 5/10
SUB: Sandrine Mauron – 5/10
SUB: Fabienne Humm – 5/10
SUB: Riola Xhemaili – 5/10
SUB: Rachel Rinast – 5/10
SUB: Meriame Terchoun – N/A
GK: Mary Earps – 6/10 – Good with the ball at her feet. Struggling to deal with a Maendly cross was the only problem she was caused all evening.
RB: Rachel Daly – 7/10 – Almost opened the scoring with a header from a corner. Created England’s first with a looping cross from the right. Overlapped really effectively on a few occasions, switched to left back following Carter’s introduction.
CB: Leah Williamson – 8/10 – Dropped back into centre half and was really effective in possession. Cut through the Switzerland midfield with a number of fabulous passes – including an accurate diagonal in the build up to England’s opener.
CB: Millie Bright – 6/10 – No nonsense in the challenge, kickstarted a couple of attacks with a selection of cross field passes.
LB: Alex Greenwood – 6/10 – Starting at left back for the first time under Wiegman – and the first time this season. Didn’t surge down the flanks, but caused chaos with her corner deliveries.
CM: Keira Walsh – 8/10 – Really positive in possession, slicing open the Switzerland backline with a selection of fabulous through balls.
CM: Georgia Stanway – 7/10 – Typically dogged and tenacious. Netted from the penalty spot and provided an assist from a corner for England’s third.
AM: Fran Kirby – 6/10 – At the heart of many of England’s most promising early openings and looked really lively – didn’t give the impression that this was just her second competitive start since February. Faded a little as Switzerland came into the game more.
RW: Beth Mead – 6/10 – Combined well with Daly in the second half. Limited in her opportunity to run at Aigbogun, who provided a tough defensive test.
CF: Alessia Russo – 8/10 – In the thick of the action from the off, impressing with her link up play and intelligence. Rewarded for her fine performance with a smart headed goal.
LW: Lauren Hemp – 6/10 – Caused problems with a couple of smart deliveries but largely struggled to have her usual destructive influence up against the stubborn Maritz. Almost on the scoresheet with a stunning volley.
SUB: Beth England – 7/10 – Netted a third for England with a well taken header.
SUB: Ella Toone – 6/10
SUB: Jess Carter – 6/10
SUB: Chloe Kelly – 7/10 – Really impressive, caused chaos with her jinking runs.
SUB: Jill Scott – 6/10 – On the scoresheet with a header at the death.