Football Features

Full player ratings as Ellen White fires England to Women’s World Cup semi-finals in record-breaking fashion

By Ben Green

Published: 22:02, 27 June 2019

England have progressed to the Women’s World Cup semi-finals after producing a convincing 3-0 win over Norway.

It didn’t take long for Phil Neville’s side to edge in front, racing into an early lead after Jill Scott converted Lucy Bronze’s low cross in the third minute – the quickest goal in France 2019 to date.

The Lionesses continued to pile pressure on the Grasshoppers goal and were eventually rewarded for their efforts after Ellen White tucked home from a couple of yards out to make it two just before half-time. That pattern of play was carried over after the restart as Bronze tripled England’s advantage with a ferocious effort.

It was an emphatic performance from England in Le Havre, but how did the players rate?

England

Karen Bardsley – 7 – Commanded her box well and answered the questions Norway threw at her. She was strong coming off her line and quick to restart England’s build-up play.

Lucy Bronze – 9 – Acted more as a winger than a right-back. The Lyon defender has the lungs of a Tour de France cyclist as she covered tremendous ground on the byline – not a bad cross for the opening goal either and what a blistering strike right out of the top drawer for England’s third.

Key stat: Bronze completed more dribbles (five) than any player on the pitch from either side across the full 90 minutes.

Steph Houghton – 8 – Strong in the challenge and neat in possession, the England centre-back formed a formidable partnership with Bright at the Stade Oceane.

Millie Bright – 7 – Alongside Houghton, the duo were resolute defensively, but Bright certainly had her fair share of jittery moments, though to keep a clean sheet against a strike force as strong as Norway’s is no mean feat.

Demi Stokes – 8 – Surged forward with pace and purpose, while linking up with Duggan commendably; had the difficult task of marking Saevik but kept her nerve.

Keira Walsh – 7 – Held her own well in the middle of the park, Walsh wasn’t quite as influential in the attacking transitions, but that’s not her job and she proved a composed figure in front of the defence.

Jill Scott – 8 – Opened the scoring and didn’t look back from there, the seasoned midfielder channelled all her experience tonight and produced a stellar performance.

Francesca Kirby – 8 – Hovered in the final third in an almost free-role-like state, England’s No. 10 certainly did the famous strip proud tonight with her twinkle-toed brilliance and neat one-touch football.

Nikita Parris – 9 – Had the beating of Minde all evening, Parris was a real livewire on the right flank, forming an imperious partnership with Bronze and absolutely terrorising the Norwegian defence – she can be forgiven for the late penalty miss.

Toni Duggan – 7 – As incisive as ever, the Barcelona inside forward was a consistent threat down the left and seldom shied away from cutting in onto her favoured right-foot before launching a delivery or playing through the middle.

Ellen White – 8 – Led the line exceptionally well for England with her strong hold-up play and aggressive impetus, firing her nation to a two-goal advantage in the first-half to become the first England player ever to score five goals in a single Women’s World Cup campaign.

Substitutes:

Beth Mead (for Duggan 53) – 7 – Came on for Duggan, who had a terrific evening, and immediately looked up to the task, carrying over from where the Barca winger left off.

Georgia Stanway (for Kirby 74) – 6 – Had a solid last 15 minutes to see England over the line.

Rachel Daly (for Parris 84) – N/A – Came on in the closing stages.

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Norway

Ingrid Hjelmseth – 6 – Could do little for the first two goals, but arguably should have, at least, got a hand to Bronze’s thunderbolt; though that being said, she can certainly hold her head high after producing a brilliant penalty save in the last 10 minutes against Parris.

Ingrid Moe Wold – 5 – Had a difficult afternoon against Duggan and was given no respite as Mead proved an equally tricky customer upon her introduction.

Maria Thorisdottir – 3 – Like most of Norway’s defence, the Chelsea centre-back had a daunting night in France as England’s attack swamped the final third – the epitome of that struggle came in the closing stages as she conceded a penalty.

Maren Mjelde – 5 – A sturdy defender at times, making some strong challenges and showcasing her experience, but had a difficult time trying to nullify the attacking threat of Neville’s side.

Kristine Minde – 4 – Struggled immensely to get to grips with Parris and Bronze as the right-sided Lionesses wreaked havoc on the flank.

Karina Saevik – 6 – Surprised to be taken off, the 23-year-old was one of Norway’s biggest threats and while she got in behind Stokes on the odd occasion, she simply proved far too inconsistent.

Vilde Boe Risa – 5 – Mustered a woeful passing accuracy, which in a game of such intensity, Norway could have done without. As England ramped up the pressure, Martin Sjogren needed a cool head, and Risa simply wasn’t that.

Ingrid Engen – 6 – Looked to create openings for her side when there wasn’t much on, the young Norwegian midfielder was dangerous when she got forward, but didn’t quite manage that often enough.

Guro Reiten – 4 – The Chelsea winger looked overwhelmed at times on the flank and completed just 72% of her passes while registering just the single successful dribble.

Caroline Hansen – 5 – With two deployed up top, Norway fans would have been hoping to cause England’s backline a few problems, and while they certainly showed glimmers of their prowess, this was a night to forget.

Isabell Herlovsen – 6 – Had little service behind her, but certainly looked threatening when Norway turned on the charm, though this was an uncharacteristically subdued performance from the experienced centre-forward.

Substitutes:

Lisa-Marie Utland (for Saevik 64) – 6 – Injected more venom and immediately started causing problems for England’s defence, but just couldn’t find that key opening.

Amalie Eikeland (for Reiten 74) – 5 – Came on for Reiten, who had a poor game, but couldn’t influence proceedings.

Synne Skinnes Hansen (for Wold 85) – N/A – Came on for the last five minutes.

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