Scotland 0-6 England: Player ratings as Lionesses miss out on Nations League finals despite emphatic win | OneFootball

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·5 December 2023

Scotland 0-6 England: Player ratings as Lionesses miss out on Nations League finals despite emphatic win

Article image:Scotland 0-6 England: Player ratings as Lionesses miss out on Nations League finals despite emphatic win

FROM HAMPDEN PARK - Despite putting six past Scotland in a dominant display, a late Netherlands strike bettered England's goal difference, denying them a place in the Nations League final and bringing their Paris 2024 dreams to an end.

It was a sensational display by England, led by the magnificent Lauren James, who earned a brace and an assist. But as the Netherlands secured a 4-0 win over Belgium, bettering England's goal difference, the Dutch topped the group and booked their place in the Nations League finals.

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Alex Greenwood opened the scoring, heading Beth Mead's corner home before Mead - scoring her first goal in over a year - netted the fourth before the break. Fran Kirby and Lucy Bronze added the gloss in the second half to finish a ruthless evening in Scotland.

The Netherlands now join France, Spain and Germany in the Nations League finals to fight for the two remaining Paris 2024 spots - hosts France have already qualified.

How the game unfolded

After an aggressive start from both sides, Greenwood broke the deadlock 12 minutes in, heading Mead's pinpoint corner past Scotland's goalkeeper Lee Gibson amid some poor defending from the hosts.

Moments later Scotland believed they had earned a penalty with Lisa Evans taking a tumble in the box but, with no contact from a trailing Lucy Bronze, referee Alina Pesu was not interested.

Playing aggressively on the break, the hosts were creating chances to equalise but were lacking the end product to find the back of the net as Claire Emslie's solo effort rolled just wide.

England were pulling the strings by the 38th minute and James, England's golden girl, netted twice in as many minutes. First, she capitalised on Rachel McLauchlan's poor clearance and took aim from 20 yards out, her stellar strike taking a deflection off Nicola Docherty to barrel past Gibson.

Within a minute of play restarting, Niamh Charles pulled back for her Chelsea teammate lingering on the edge of the area. James was given far too much time to set up her blistering strike, taking one touch before curling the expert finish past the defence.

Mead, having squandered early chances, made amends by chipping James' pinpoint cross over Gibson, taking England's tally to four before the break.

Three minutes into the second half, Kirby slotted home Georgia Stanway's low cross with aplomb.

An acrobatic save from Gibson denied Greenwood a brace before Kirsty Hanson failed to capitalise on Mary Earps spilling an easy save, sending her shot into the side netting.

Some frantic England defending during stoppage time almost gifted substitute Martha Thomas a goal but Earps pulled off an acrobatic stop before Bronze netted a sixth right before the final whistle.

Scotland player ratings (3-4-1-2)

A long evening for Scotland / Stu Forster/GettyImages

GK: Lee Gibson - 2/10 - A disappointing evening for the shot stopper who was massively let down by a poor defence.

CB: Rachel Corsie - 3/10 - Too passive at the back. The skipper should have done more to rally her side as the drubbing continued.

CB: Jenna Clark - 3/10 - The Liverpool defender was far too statuesque when it came to defending against England's formidable attack.

CB: Emma Mukandi - 4/10 - Made some key interceptions but lacked control at the back.

RWB: Rachel McLauchlan - 4/10 - Had a few sprightly moments but was overran by England's prowess on the left.

CM: Sam Kerr - 6/10 - A tactical and clever performance from the Bayern Munich midfielder.

CM: Erin Cuthbert - 6/10 - Another defensively skilled performance from Cuthbert but she lacked control in keeping possession.

LWB: Nicola Docherty - 5/10 - Unlucky to have deflected James' first goal home but gave away risky fouls and failed to make much impact.

AM: Lisa Evans - 5/10 - Threaded passes through and was let down by poor end product but also failed to move higher up the pitch to capitalise on progressive passes.

CF: Kirsty Hanson - 5/10 - Did well to move into space and win the ball back but was unable to make any real impact.

CF: Claire Emslie - 5/10 - Used her pace well to run at England's backline but lacked composure to find the end product.


SUB: Fiona Brown (46' for Mukandi) - 5/10

SUB: Jamie-Lee Napier (46' for McLauchlan) - 4/10

SUB: Sophie Howard (46' for Clark) - 3/10

SUB: Martha Thomas (64' for Emslie) - 4/10

SUB: Abi Harrison (78' for Hanson) - N/A

Subs not used: Jenna Fife (GK), Sandy McIver (GK), Kirsty Maclean, Hayley Lauder, Brogan Hay, Amy Rodgers, Lauren Davidson.


Pedro Martinez Losa - 2/10 - Made the wrong calls with the XI and was unable to change tactics quick enough.

England player ratings (4-2-3-1)

An emotional evening for Mead / Stu Forster/GettyImages

GK: Mary Earps - 7/10 - A lot better compared to Friday but some nervy moments. Really good anticipation to keep a goal out in the final moments.

RB: Lucy Bronze - 7/10 - Composed performance from the England right-back.

CB: Esme Morgan - 6/10 - Stepped up at the right time but left the back line a little vulnerable at times.

CB: Alex Greenwood - 9/10 - Solid in defence and popped up in the box in exactly the right moments. Proved she could lead the back line in place of Millie Bright.

LB: Niamh Charles - 8/10 - Another creative and comfortable performance from Charles whose growing relationships with her compatriots are proving effective.

DM: Keira Walsh - 7/10 - Her composure and footwork was key to keeping England in possession.

DM: Georgia Stanway - 7/10 - A better performance compared to Friday night. Used her knowledge of Kerr well to anticipate her movement and block passes.

RM: Beth Mead- 9/10- Starting her first game for England in over a year, she scored and got an assist. You could tell how much the Lionesses have missed her.

AM: Fran Kirby - 8/10 - Lying slightly deeper, Kirby was creative in finding spaces to thread passes into, keeping the midfield under control.

LM: Lauren James - 10/10 - Simply sublime. So controlled and clinical; she orchestrated England's victory.

ST: Lauren Hemp - 8/10 - Made good runs into the box and used her pace well but compared to her usual performances, it was a quieter one from the City forward.


SUB: Ella Toone (64' for Kirby) - 6/10

SUB: Alessia Russo (64' for Mead) - 6/10

Subs not used: Hannah Hampton (GK), Khiara Keating (GK), Jess Carter, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Katie Zelem, Chloe Kelly, Grace Clinton, Rachel Daly, Maya Le Tissier, Millie Turner.


Sarina Wiegman -8/10 - Choice of XI paid off and ensured England stayed composed even after a four goal cushion.

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