England kicked off their Euro 2022 campaign with a 1-0 victory over Austria at Old Trafford in front of a record crowd for a Women's Euro of 68,871.
The Lionesses went into the match firm favourites to win, but it was a nervy start, as possession was given away too easily, and Austria put them under pressure.
Nonetheless it was Beth Mead who got the early goal to give England the advantage in the 16th minute.
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After that, the Lionesses seemed to smell blood and went on the attack. However, their quality in the final third didn’t live up to expectations, and chances were squandered, despite some solid efforts by Ellen White, in particular.
A triple substitution in the second half brought fresh energy as Ella Toone, Chloe Kelly and Alessia Russo were given a chance to shake things up, but the Lionesses seemed to lack the freer quality of play that has characterised Wiegman’s time as head coach.
Despite the win, other teams watching the match may feel less of a threat as they come up against the host nation.

TALKING POINT – Do England have what it takes to go all the way?

Without a doubt, England were the superior side and deserved the win, but it was not the walk in the park fans might have expected. On tonight’s showing, England will have to do much more to establish themselves as the favourites they’ve been touted as in pre-tournament hyperbole.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH – Beth Mead

The young trio of substitutions should give England fans reason for hope as the tournament progresses, but Beth Mead must take praise for netting the Lionesses a crucial three points in their opening game.

PLAYER RATINGS

England: Earps 6, Bronze 6, Bright 7, Williamson 6, Daly 6, Stanway 6, Walsh 6, Mead 7, Kirby 5, Hemp 6, White 6. Subs: Kelly 6, Toone 6, Russo 6.
Austria: Zinsberger 7, Wienroither 6, Wenniger 6, Schnaderbeck 6, Hanshaw 6, Puntigam 6, Dunst 6, Zadrazil 6, Feiersinger 6, Naschenweng 6, Billa 6. Subs: Georgieva 6, Hobinger 6, Hickelsberger-Fuller 6.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

16’ GOAL! BETH MEAD PUTS THE LIONESSES AHEAD!
Beth Mead scores for England as she lifts the ball over the keeper and into the net. England go 1-0 up!
25’ CLOSE FROM WHITE!
A great chance for Ellen White who gets her head to the ball just in front of the goal. It's rapid and it looks good, but it's wide.
55’ AUSTRIA TAKE AIM
Naschenweng takes aim at the goal now as the match reaches a bit of a lull. It's a mile wide and the score remains 1-0 to England.
76’ KELLY HOPES TO SHAKE THINGS UP
A cracking run by Kelly, there, clearly hungry to shake things up, but the shot was perhaps a bit too ambitious and she fires wide of the net.

Manuela Zinsberger England v Austria

Image credit: Getty Images


KEY STATS

Beth Mead has scored 15 goals in 15 appearances for the Lionesses.
Austria keeper Manuela Zinsberger saved 21 of 22 shots on target during the 2017 Women’s Euro.
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