England talking points: Alessia Russo rivals Ellen White for starting striker place, Fran Kirby back on scoresheet | Football News


Another win and another clean sheet for England but what are the takeaways heading into the quarter-finals of the Euros? Our England reporter Anton Toloui looks into the talking points from the 5-0 win over Northern Ireland.

Russo vs White

Alessia Russo could not have done any more to show she deserves to be England’s starting striker.

The problem is she is up against Ellen White, who proved her worth with two goals in the 8-0 win over Norway.

England's Alessia Russo scores her side's fourth goal of the game against Northern Ireland
Russo scores her second goal against Northern Ireland

Any coach would call it a “nice problem to have” but with Russo scoring three times in three substitute appearances there will be calls for the Manchester United striker to get her chance.

With White being one of Sarina Wiegman’s most trusted soldiers, that is unlikely to happen by Wednesday.

The definition of insanity is…

Yes, England won comfortably but the first 40 minutes would have frustrated England’s coaching team.

England seemed to have only two plans of attack; a diagonal ball over the top of the defence and overlaps down the wings.

England's Rachel Daly and Northern Ireland's Lauren Wade battle for the ball
England’s Rachel Daly and Northern Ireland’s Lauren Wade battle for the ball

Northern Ireland knew what to expect and tried to hit their opponents on the break.

Better teams will be able to punish England if they try the same old plays over and over again.

The return of ‘Super Fran’

Fran Kirby told us after the Norway game she hopes to “get better as the tournament goes on” after returning from a long-term illness.

Three assists in the opening two games silenced the doubters and when England needed something special to break down a defiant defence she stepped up with a lovely goal.

Fran Kirby celebrates scoring for England vs Northern Ireland
Fran Kirby celebrates scoring England’s opener against Northern Ireland

With Ella Toone looking bright off the bench Kirby needs to remain in good form to keep her place in the side.

She certainly proved her worth on Friday night in her first 90 minutes since February.

It’s not ‘goodbye’, it’s ‘see you later’

Northern Ireland end the Euros without a point and only one goal scored but the impact of their success is not measured by wins and losses at this tournament.

England goalkeeper Mary Earps (right) shakes hands with players after Northern Ireland's Euro exit
England goalkeeper Mary Earps (right) shakes hands with players after Northern Ireland’s Euro exit

The team has inspired a nation with thousands of fans turning Southampton green over the last couple of weeks and sell-outs at Seaview and Windsor Park in the World Cup Qualifiers.

Getting to next year’s World Cup is now impossible but this team will be stronger for the tournament experience.

Not to mention how many more people will be getting into the sport as a result of this side’s run to the Euros.

Follow Euro 2022 across Sky Sports

Keep up with all the latest from Euro 2022 across Sky Sports and Sky Sports News this summer.

Coverage will be anchored by Sky Sports WSL presenter Caroline Barker, alongside Jessica Creighton and Kyle Walker. Meanwhile, Karen Carney, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Laura Bassett will give analysis throughout the tournament.

They will also be joined by experienced England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and Manchester City defender Esme Morgan.

The pundits and presenters will work from the Sky Sports Women’s Euro 2022 Mobile Presentation Bus, which will follow the Sky Sports News team around the country to the various stadiums where matches are being played.

In addition, Sky Sports’ Essential Football Podcast will be rebranded for the tournament to Sky Sports Women’s Euros Podcast from 21 June. Hosted by Charlotte Marsh and Anton Toloui, it will feature exclusive news and player interviews in addition to a strong programme line-up around the tournament.

Euro 2022: The groups…

Group A: England, Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland

Group B: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland

Group C: Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland

Group D: France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland

Euro 2022: The schedule…

Group stage

Wednesday July 6

Group A: England 1-0 Austria

Thursday July 7

Group A: Norway 4-1 Northern Ireland

Friday July 8

Group B: Spain 4-1 Finland

Group B: Germany 4-0 Denmark

Saturday July 9

Group C: Portugal 2-2 Switzerland

Group C: Netherlands 1-1 Sweden

Sunday July 10

Group D: Belgium 1-1 Iceland

Group D: France 5-1 Italy

Monday July 11

Group A: Austria 2-0 Northern Ireland

Group A: England 8-0 Norway

Tuesday July 12

Group B: Denmark 1-0 Finland

Group B: Germany 2-0 Spain

Wednesday July 13

Group C: Sweden 2-1 Switzerland

Group C: Netherlands 3-2 Portugal

Thursday July 14

Group D: Italy 1-1 Iceland

Group D: France 2-1 Belgium

Friday July 15

Group A: Northern Ireland 0-5 England

Group A: Austria 1-0 Norway

Saturday July 16

Group B: Finland vs Germany – kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK

Group B: Denmark vs Spain – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium

Sunday July 17

Group C: Switzerland vs Netherlands – kick-off 5pm, Bramall Lane

Group C: Sweden vs Portugal – kick-off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village

Monday July 18

Group D: Iceland vs France – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium

Group D: Italy vs Belgium – kick-off 8pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium

Knockout phase


Wednesday July 20

Quarter-final 1: England v Runners-up Group B – kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium

Thursday July 21

Quarter-final 2: Winners Group B v Austria – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium

Friday July 22

Quarter-final 3: Winners Group C v Runners-up Group D – kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village

Quarter-final 4: Winners Group D v Runners-up Group C – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium


Tuesday July 26

Semi-final 1: Winners quarter-final 1 v Winners quarter-final 3 – kick-off 8pm, Bramall Lane

Wednesday July 27

Semi-final 2: Winners quarter-final 2 v Winners quarter-final 4 – kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK


Sunday July 31

Winners semi-final 1 v Winners semi-final 2 – kick-off 5pm, Wembley


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