Chloe Kelly and Leah Williamson each scored twice as relentless England beat Belgium 6-1 to retain the Arnold Clark Cup.
The Lionesses wanted only one level to safe victory as a consequence of their superior purpose distinction to Belgium – who had additionally gained their two video games earlier than the ultimate at Ashton Gate.
However they confirmed dominance and demolition to file their greatest win of the match and prolong Sarina Wiegman’s unbeaten streak but once more – each in matches and tournaments.
Kelly’s tap-in and Williamson’s header from a nook kick gave England a 2-0 half-time lead, earlier than Kelly turned the match’s high scorer with one other close-range end after Nicky Evrard’s fumble.
It was 4 then 5 from Julie Biesman’s personal purpose and a composed end from Lucy Bronze from a free-kick, earlier than Belgium – with their solely shot heading in the right direction – ruined Mary Earps’ clear sheet with late comfort by Elena Dhont.
Even then, there was nonetheless time for England to seize a sixth by way of Williamson, whose calm end from the sting of the field added the ultimate glow to an almost faultless match for the hosts.
“It was week for the groups, we noticed quite a bit on the pitch and it was an enormous step ahead in our preparations for the World Cup,” stated coach Sarina Wiegman afterwards. Radiant England, 5 months from the tip. its facet to Australia and New Zealand. “We’re properly positioned.”
How England beat Belgium in Bristol to elevate extra silverware
An early Belgian nook was a false daybreak for trophy hopes that they might trigger the Lionesses issues in what was basically a winner-takes-all closing recreation.
As soon as England broke and fired simply extensive of that set-piece with barely a minute to go, it was one-way site visitors with just one staff at risk of lifting the Arnold Clark Cup.
The Lionesses toyed with their guests as Kelly and Lauren James beat their full-backs repeatedly down the ether flanks.
After the 2 mixed for the latter to fly over the bar from shut vary, a job reversal led to the primary purpose with James’ low cross at residence on the road by the heroine of the Euro 2022 closing Kelly.
Millie Vivid ought to have added to the benefit with a strong header from a nook that landed on the roof of the web, however one other lifeless ball introduced England their subsequent purpose.
The hosts had 14 photographs earlier than the break however solely two heading in the right direction – the second, from Lionesses captain Williamson, doubled their benefit after Bronze fired a cross from a nook on the again publish.
James was taken off to relaxation at half-time with England dominating the scoreline and the stats making it clear the sport was already gained.
His substitute was Lauren Hemp, displaying the Lionesses’ rising power by way of depth and competitors for locations, and the Man Metropolis winger was at his finest to play a significant function of their third purpose.
Her driving run fed Georgia Stanway who was denied by Evrard however dropped the ball immediately at Kelly’s toes, the place she was by no means going to overlook a couple of yards to double her complete – and put her in line to turn out to be the match . finest striker.
A flurry of substitutions from both facet ended the sport, however not England’s dominance. Some 28 minutes into their third that they had one other, with Stanway once more offering for the unfortunate Biesmans to slide into his personal internet making an attempt to disclaim Rachel Daly a tap-in.
It confirmed the angle of England that they nonetheless hadn’t given up. Lucy Bronze added a fifth late within the recreation when Daly’s header from a free kick snapped up for it to go residence on a half-volley. Belgium lastly saved a shot heading in the right direction within the final minute when Dhont’s bold effort was crushed by a annoyed Earps, however the Lionesses had been nonetheless not completed.
If England don’t win the World Cup in Australia this summer time, it won’t be for lack of willpower.
Even with time nearly up and the sport lengthy overdue, they nonetheless needed to have the final snicker as Williamson clung to the rebound from Stanway’s blocked effort to side-foot into the nook and double his complete for the evening. , with what turned out to be the ultimate kick of the sport.
Evaluation: England’s power in depth might show important
Sky Sports activities’ Ron Walker:
“England have given 19 completely different gamers beginning locations on this match and have gotten trumps whenever.
“You are feeling that Sarina Wiegman has a transparent concept of her finest composition; there was just one change between the groups that beat South Korea and Belgium, so logic would dictate that there was a purpose for this consistency.
“Even then, England’s second string battle victory over Italy confirmed what they’ve in retailer, and there are a variety of positions nonetheless up for grabs for the Lionesses.
“Hemp’s efficiency from the bench was exemplary in opposition to Belgium, main the present and looking out like a participant with some extent to show, as the entire staff does with locations at such a premium.
“There are gamers who have not began video games, or performed a couple of minutes – Jordan Nobbs specifically, who wasn’t in Wiegman’s unique squad – who will likely be involved about their prospects. However 5 months, c is lengthy and quite a bit can change.
“If England go all the way in which in a grueling World Cup, they’ll want their entire squad, such a significant a part of any profitable staff, and a few of the gamers Wiegman can name on from the bench have that. driving to Euro 2022 glory lower than a yr in the past is one thing most nations will dream of.
“There should even be a pedantic little warning. Belgium did not even qualify for the World Cup, and with higher preparation they might have punished England’s typically uneven urgent extra usually.
“But it surely’s actually on the lookout for negatives. 5 months after a visit down beneath, Wiegman and his staff will not be terrified of anybody.”
Wiegman: ‘We’re properly positioned forward of the World Cup’
England coach Sarina Wiegman advised ITV Sport:
“It was very good in entrance of a full stadium to attain numerous targets, we conceded one too – it was nonetheless an excellent shot.
“It was week for the groups, we noticed quite a bit on the pitch and it was an enormous step ahead in our preparations for the World Cup.
“[Chloe Kelly] did properly. You see a lot pleasure on this staff, they’re in good condition and so harmful once we enter the ultimate third. Scored two targets and it is good for the staff – in addition to for her.
“I believe there’s much more to return [Lauren James]. We have stated it a number of instances throughout the week, he is a fantastic, nice expertise. She may be very highly effective and she or he is constant.
“We have to get her in a bit extra form so she will be able to keep on the identical degree for 90 minutes, however I simply hope she continues to play in addition to she does now.
“We’re in place. The competitors within the staff may be very excessive, you’ll hear us say that on a regular basis however it is rather tight. We have now one other 5 months to play, however the video games had been good.
“We could have numerous talks with the staff about soccer, we all know we now have to step up extra.”
england the gamers will now return to their golf equipment, with their subsequent recreation happening at Wembley in opposition to Brazil Thursday, April 6; kick off 7:45 p.m.
Belgium the following match will happen on Tuesday April 11 at residence for Slovenia in Leuven; kick off at 7pm (UK time).
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