England win the Finalissima: 3 things we learnt from Lionesses penalty shoot out win
Mary Earps fist pumps, Lauren Hemp’s bloody nose and more iconic Chloe Kelly moments. Here are 3 things we learnt as England added the Finalissima trophy to their growing collection by beating Brazil 4-2 on penalties at Wembley.
Ella Toone had handed England a derserved first half lead after just 23 minutes but an improved second half display from Brazil saw Andressa Alves grab the latest of late levellers with just 90 seconds left to play to force the game into penalties.
Excellent spot kicks from Georgia Stanway, Rachel Daly, Alex Greenwood and Chloe Kelly helped England to 4-2 shoot out win that sent the 83k plus crowd into raptures as a seemingly unbeatable Lionesses triumphed once again at the home of English football.
The win extended their astonishing unbeaten run to 30 games as Dutch head coach Wiegman continues to make the Lionesses appear all conquering ahead of this summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
There was plenty room for Mary Earps fist pumps, Lauren Hemp’s bloody nose and Leah Williamson again lifting silverware with Three Lions on her chest, but these were the three things we learnt as England triumphed at Wembley yet again.
Lauren James is the real deal
The Chelsea winger wasn’t even part of England’s Euro 2022 squad last summer but now looks like one of Sarina Wiegman’s biggest weapons ahead of the World Cup this July.
She has been in blistering form for her club side and it everytime she ran with the ball, it was evident the Wembley crowd were expecting her to produce something special. James looks the real deal and adds another dimension to England’s play.
Even when England aren’t at their brilliant best - they still produce in the big moments
This Lionesses side are flipping the switch on everything we believed was in the DNA of an England side. Extra time in the final against the Germans? No problem. Concede in the last minute and be forced into a penalty shoot out? No worries. We got this one too.
Mary Earps may have been the hero after her penalty shoot out heroics but, after being pegged back so late, four of England’s five penalty takers stepped up to take excellent spot kicks and there was a part of us that expected no less. This team is packed with winners and are going to take some stopping in July.
The Rachel Daly left back experiment is over
We aren’t ones to question one of the best managers in the world but Rachel Daly at left back just never felt right for many England fans and it is beginning to look like that experiment (which lasted several years) is finally over.
She started on the bench but was full of zip when she replaced Alessia Russo up front with 15 minutes left to play and took an expert penalty in the shoot out. We could have quite easily seen the Aston Villa goal getter start at left back with Millie Bright’s injury forcing Alex Greenwood to move into a central positon but Wiegman opted for Chelsea defender Jess Carter instead, which indicates Daly is now seen as the striker she actually is.