Football Features

“This is the proudest I’ve ever felt of any England side” – Player ratings as Lionesses smash Sweden in Euro 2022 semi-final

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:16, 26 July 2022

In a devastating night of football, England demolished Sweden 4-0 to qualify for the Euro 2022 final.

Sweden are the second-ranked team in the world, they were Olympic Silver Medallists in Tokyo, and yet England blew them away and inflicted Sweden’s heaviest-ever defeat at a European Championships. “This is the proudest I’ve ever felt of any England side,” said Ian Wright post-match, and you can see why.

Here’s how the players rated at Bramall Lane:


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England

Mary Earps – 9 – Some very big saves at 0-0, especially in the literal second minute as she denied Jakobsson with her feet. With England 2-0 she preserved her clean sheet with a ridiculous save from Blackstenius and stopped Sweden to get back into things. Everything Sweden threw at her, she dealt with almost comfortably.

Lucy Bronze – 8 – Weaker defensively than England would have liked but still proved to be the match-winner. An unreal cross set-up Mead’s opener and then she scored the second herself with a great header.

Millie Bright – 7 – Struggled with some of Sweden’s movement, but was generally solid.

Leah Williamson – 8 – Exceptional with the ball. Set the tone. “She was playing excellent passes out from Sweden’s pressure.”

Rachel Daly – 7 – Rebounded from her disasterclass against Spain to play really well.

Keira Walsh – 8 – England’s most composed midfielder. Struggled to escape Asllani’s clutches but whenever she did, she dictated England’s tempo of play with so many perceptive passes between the lines.

Georgia Stanway – 7 – Mugged off by Rolfo early on and couldn’t replicate her heroics from the quarter-finals.

Fran Kirby – 8 – Good cross for Mead early on, but really with Walsh getting so much attention Kirby took the reigns for England and just kept the ball moving around beautifully for the Lionnesses. Her display was rewarded as she scored a beautiful fourth goal with a chip. After her struggles with injury and illness, it’s fantastic to see her rebound.

Beth Mead – 8 – Decent headed chance early but then opened the scoring with a lethal finish off a Lucy Bronze cross; the control to kill the ball as it flew into her was different class. Set-up Bronze’s goal with a neat corner and also got a cheeky assist for Kirby’s strike.

Lauren Hemp – 7 – Stunning miss off the bar when unmarked just five yards out! Played well besides that, with some lovely dribbles.

Ellen White – 5 – Ran around a bunch without ever being effective.



England Substitutes:

Alessia Russo (for White 57′) – 8 – A powerful run and cross that should have led to England’s third goal was the first thing she did coming off the bench. Then she absolutely exploded the internet by, after missing a ridiculous sitter, won the ball back, held her defender off and then backheeled the ball through the goalkeepers legs to make it 3-0. A preposterous goal and after her heroics against Spain it’s surely only a matter of time before she’s England’s starting striker.

Ella Toone (for Kirby 79′) – 6 – Didn’t really need to do a madness like in the quarters, but still worked hard.

Chloe Kelly (for Mead 86′) -n/a – Came on late.

Jill Scott (for Stanway 87′) -n/a – Came on late.

Alex Greenwood (for Daly 87′) – n/a – Came on late.


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Sweden

Hedvig Lindahl – 2 – While there were mitigating factors behind her poor goalkeeping on England’s second-goal (her view was perhaps obscured), nevertheless watching the 39 year-old go down in slow motion was sad to see. Would that have been the worst of it, but things turned into a nightmare after Bronze’s goal.

After Russo shot right at her she could only palm it back out into danger where Russo backheeled it through her legs. Later her former team-mate Fran Kirby chipped her all too easily, she even got fingers to the ball then had to scramble back and fall into the net after it like a hapless clown. At 39 years of age she’s a 20 year Swedish international but tonight was a big sign she should probably call it a day.

Amanda Ilestedt – 5 – Had a good battle with Hemp. Wasn’t terrible or anything but added little in attack so England subbed her off.

Linda Sembrant – 6 – Wasn’t terrible or anything. Generally kept England away from the centre of goal but could do little about the Lionesses killer finishing.

Magdalena Eriksson – 7 – A really impressive display at the heart of the Swedish defence, albeit all for naught in the end.

Hanna Glas – 5 – Didn’t do much as a left-back and while she improved when she moved infield, it wasn’t enough.

Filippa Angeldal – 4 – Worked hard but couldn’t stop England’s advances.

Nathalie Bjorn – 5 – Outmatched in midfield.

Kosovare Asllani – 7 – Hurried Keira Walsh and shut her down for half a game, but eventually even she lost her grip on Walsh and thus Sweden lost their grip on England.

Sofia Jakobsson – 4 – Missed a great chance in the second minute when she didn’t put enough on her shot. Her runs were great but her finishing absolutely was not.

Fridolina Rolfo – 6 – Excellent pressing display, catching England out on numerous occasions. Notably dispossesing Stanway early to create a great chance for Jakobsson. Unfortunately her team-mates lack of precision with the ball made her pressing for nothing.

Stina Blackstenius – 6 – Missed a great chance when played in 1-v-1. Headed a corner off the bar too. She looked Sweden’s biggest threat by far but just couldn’t put anything away.

Sweden Substitutes:

Caroline Seger (for Angeldahl 51′) – 6 – Tried hard to get Sweden back into it but to no avail.

Johanna Rytting Kaneryd (for Jakobsson 52′) – 5 – You owuldn’t know she had come on.

Jonna Andersson (for Ilestadt 55′) – 5 – Recovered from Covid enough to come on but couldn’t make an impact.

Lina Hurtig (for Blackstenius 76′) – x – 0

Hanna Bennison (for Sembrant 76′) – x – 0

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