Sarina Wiegman extended her unbeaten run as England manager after the Lionesses dispatched Netherlands 5-1 in a pre-Euro 2022 friendly at Elland Road.
Netherlands opened the scoring in the first half through PSG-bound striker Lieke Martens, however Lucy Bronze drew England level minutes later, after the full-back’s mis-hit cross looped over the head of Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal and found the top corner.
A hectic second half saw veteran Dutch midfielder Sherida Spitse strike a penalty against the post, only for England to counter and score through substitute Beth Mead 54 seconds later.
Euro 2022
'She was smoking the boys' - Hodgkinson reveals when she knew schoolmate Toone would be a star
03/08/2022 AT 08:43
The ruthless Lionesses then sealed the victory with an Ella Toone strike and a brilliant Lauren Hemp volley in a matter of minutes. Mead then made it five with her second of the night late in the contest.
The Lionesses, who will be among the favourites at next month’s Euros, are yet to lose under Wiegman’s stewardship, with the England manager having now won 11 of her 13 games in charge.
Next week England will wrap up their pre-tournament preparations by taking on Switzerland in a friendly with the Lionesses subsequently due to play their European Championship opener against Austria at Old Trafford on July 6.
Three days later, Netherlands will kick off their own Euros campaign against Sweden.

TALKING POINT - ENGLAND WERE CLINICAL

Last week Wiegman called for more ruthlessness from her side after the Lionesses had 25 shots on goal, including 10 on target, against Belgium.
Though England ultimately won that game through three second-half goals, they lacked a cutting edge, squandering a host of clear-cut opportunities.
However, a week is a long time in football ‒ England were relentless against the Dutch. Everything they touched seemed to go in, whether it was a mis-hit Bronze cross, a speculative Toone strike, or an audacious volley from the spectacular Hemp.
England appear to be becoming more clinical at a crucial time, with just a game to play before their European Championship opener against Austria.
The Lionesses have scored 80 goals and conceded just three under Wiegman, albeit mostly against lesser-ranked opposition.
But this Netherlands side was by no means weak opposition ‒ they are ranked fourth in the world with recent tournament pedigree having won the 2017 Euros and reached the 2019 World Cup final.
Of course it is only a friendly, but the Lionesses have laid down a marker with this result, and should go into the European Championship safe in the knowledge that on their day they can batter top-tier opposition.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH - LAUREN HEMP (ENGLAND)

In the second half Hemp was a thorn in Netherlands’ side. The Manchester City winger was a constant and frenetic presence on England’s left wing.
She provided a pin-point cross to assist Mead’s first goal before setting up Toone who curled in England’s third.
Hemp then rounded off her performance with the pick of the goals - a wicked scooped volley that found the top-right corner from inside the box.
Before the game much of the talk was about whether Hemp could star as England’s main attacking influence in Ellen White's absence. The answer was a resounding yes.

PLAYER RATINGS

England: Earps 6; Bronze 7, Bright 6, Greenwood 6, Daly 6; Williamson 7, Walsh 6; Kelly 6, Kirby 8, Hemp 9*, England 6
Subs: Mead 8, Stanway 6, Toone 8, Russo 6, Carter 6, Parris 5
Netherlands: Van Veenendaal - 4, Janssen - 6, Nouwen - 5, Van der Gragt - 6, Wilms - 6, Spitse 7, Groenen 6, Pelova 6, Martens 7, Roord 6, Beerenstryn 6
Subs: Van de Donk 5, Brugts 5, Casparij 5, Dijkstra 5, Miedema 5, Egurrola 5

Match Highlights

20’ GOAL! ENGLAND 0 - 1 NETHERLANDS - Netherlands earned a corner after pressing England high up the pitch. Spitse subsequently delivered a lovely arrowed cross towards Martens at the front post, which the former Barcelona star nodded home expertly to put the Dutch ahead.
32 - GOAL! ENGLAND 1 - 1 NETHERLANDS - There were shades of Ronaldinho against England with this goal. Bronze picked up the ball on the right wing and drove down the by-line before completely fluffing a cross into the box, only for the ball to somehow loop over the goalkeeper's head and nestle into the top corner.
50’ NETHERLANDS PENALTY - Daniëlle van Der Donk was brought down by Alex Greenwood inside the box and the Netherlands were awarded a penalty after a VAR check, however the veteran midfielder Spitse smashed her spot kick against the post.
51’ - GOAL! ENGLAND 2-1 NETHERLANDS - Just 54 seconds after Netherlands’ missed penalty England had the ball in the back of the net. Hemp was released on the left wing, raced down the by-line and whipped in a wicked low cross which Mead tapped in at the far post.
72’ - GOAL! ENGLAND 3-1 NETHERLANDS - Toone cut onto her right foot and curled a weak shot at goal from the edge of the area into the bottom left corner, after Netherlands keeper Sari van Veenendaal completely misjudged the ball’s flight.
74’ - GOAL! ENGLAND 4-1 NETHERLANDS - Netherlands desperately attempted to clear their lines after Toone hit the post, but the loose ball landed to Hemp, who scooped a volley brilliantly past the keeper and into the top corner.
90’ - GOAL! ENGLAND 5-1 NETHERLANDS - Toone was on the left wing, and tried to square to Alessia Russo, but the striker was blocked off. Russo then did well to keep the ball alive by touching it into the path of Mead, who beat Janssen before firing home her second goal of the evening.

KEY STAT

It was the first time an England Women's side played in Leeds since May 1983. Then the Lionesses beat Scotland 2-0 in a Euro qualifier.
Euro 2022
'The missing ingredient' - Williamson hails Wiegman after England's Euros triumph
01/08/2022 AT 13:09
Euro 2022
England emerge as ruthless champions - The Warm-Up
01/08/2022 AT 09:43