Refreshed England gear up for Euros with another goal feast

Lauren Hemp - Refreshed England gear up for Euros with another goal feast
Lauren Hemp's (centre) first-half goals put the Lionesses in complete control - Getty Images/Fran Santiago

England 5 Italy 1

Sarina Wiegman says her team are re-energised ahead of their upcoming Euro 2025 qualifying campaign after they backed up their resounding win over Austria with another formidable victory in Tuesday’s friendly over Italy.

Manchester City winger Lauren Hemp impressed as she scored two of the Lionesses’ goals in their convincing win on an evening where they dominated the ball and looked fluid in possession.

Asked how refreshed England were since narrowly missing out on a spot in the Nations League semi-finals in December, Wiegman said: “I think I might be the most happy with that part. Of course it was a huge disappointment in December. [You are seeing] lots of energy in the team, players ready to go but also the connection with the Under-23s who were really close [training with the seniors in Marbella]. We ticked so many boxes we would have liked to have ticked.”

Wiegman made five changes to the new-look England side that started last Friday’s game at the same venue in southern Spain, although young Tottenham midfielder Grace Clinton impressed again in midfield, combining well with Georgia Stanway and Keira Walsh.

Grace Clinton - Refreshed England gear up for Euros with another goal feast
Grace Clinton (centre) did not look out of place in the Lionesses midfield - Getty Images/Naomi Baker

Amongst the first-choice senior stars returning to the side was goalkeeper Mary Earps, who said after the game: “We’re always striving for all these little inches and percentages in games where we can keep improving and pushing our standards.

“And I think that’s the best thing about this group - we’re never satisfied. I feel like this is a really, really positive start to 2024, and we keep pushing.”

England were ahead after 60 seconds when Arsenal’s Lotte Wubben-Moy headed in her first England goal, before a scrappy effort from Hemp and then a superb header from Hemp made it 3-0.

Italy pulled one back on the stroke of half-time but Ella Toone fired in the fourth after good work from fellow substitute Lauren James down the left, before another of England’s second-half arrivals, Aston Villa striker Rachel Daly, capitalised on a defender error to calmly slot in the fifth.

It was the third game in a row where England have scored at least five times, following December’s 6-0 win over Scotland at Hampden Park and last Friday’s 7-2 friendly victory against Austria.

Match details

England (4-3-3): Earps 6; Bronze 6, Wubben-Moy 7, Greenwood 7 (Turner 6, 80), Charles 6 (Carter 6, 45); Stanway 7 (Toone 7, 45), Walsh 7, Clinton 7 (Park 6, 64); Kelly 6 (Daly 7, 71), Russo 7 (James 7, 45), Hemp 8
Subs not used: Hampton (gk), Morgan, Mead, Le Tissier, Keating (gk)
Yellow cards: None
Italy (5-4-1): Giuliani 5; Bergamaschi 6 (Salvai 5, 52), Di Guglielmo 5 (Serturini 6, 71), Lenzini 5, Linari 6, Boattin 6; Cantore 6 (Dragoni 5, 80), Caruso 5, Galli 5 (Severini 6, 71), Catena 5 (Bonfantini 7, 52); Cambiaghi 6 (Girelli 7, 81)
Subs not used: Piga, Piemonte, Schroffenegger (gk), Bartoli, Glionna, Tampieri (gk), De Rita
Yellow cards: Caruso, Severini
Referee: Maria Eugenia Gil Soriano (Spain)
Attendance: 650

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