How England executed their plan against Euro favorites Spain
England’s game plan was clear as they clashed at Carrow Road with one of the favorites for the European Championship in their biggest test yet under manager Sarina Wiegman – then how did they do it?
Wiegman said after the Draw 0-0 with Spain that England carried out their “plan” and were able to exploit a team ranked ninth in the world.
Spain, considered by many to be the team to beat at the Euros this summer, held 66% of possession time in the Arnold Clark Cup match, but England created chances and hit the woodwork in the second half.
“Even if we sometimes didn’t have the ball, it didn’t hurt us. We had some control where we wanted it,” Wiegman said.
“Of course it’s such a high level game that sometimes it got a bit dangerous – they had chances – but so did we. I think we had a bit more than them and I’m sure of that. happy.”
Wiegman made nine changes to the side of Thursday draw with Canadafeaturing a midfield trio of Georgia Stanway, Jill Scott and Jordan Nobbs, whose task it was to put pressure on Spain when they had the ball.
They were particularly effective in the first half as Scott won the ball inside the Spaniards’ penalty area on one occasion, while Nobbs linked up well with Arsenal team-mate Beth Mead after knocking down possession at many times.
The energetic midfielder, combined with Ellen White’s forward pressing and England’s organization in defence, stifled much of Spain’s creativity.
It wasn’t until later in the second half that Spain started to find deeper spaces, but England remained resolute – Lucy Bronze and Jess Carter blocked to keep the clean sheet intact.
Wiegman also made changes, but England’s game plan stood still as Lauren Hemp set up White after stealing the ball from Aitana Bonmati, while a new duo of Leah Williamson and Keira Walsh took over in midfield.
“England defended resolutely. They were organized and they were hard to beat,” former England goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain told BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.
“We knew Spain would have a lot of ball possession and they did, but we saw what we expect from them. They struggle to break up teams and score the goals to get them over the line.
“For England, that’s a real positive. They’ve made a lot of changes and the players have had opportunities.”
|England results under Sarina Wiegman|
|England 8-0 North Macedonia||Luxembourg 0-10 England|
|England 4-0 Northern Ireland||Latvia 0-10 England|
|England 1-0 Austria||England 20-0 Latvia|
|England 1-1 Canada||England 0-0 Spain|
It was a game that tested England in a way they had not yet been under Wiegman.
Prior to facing Canada in their opening fixture of the Arnold Clark Cup tournament, England had not faced opponents ranked in the world’s top 10 under Wiegman and were heavy favorites in all six of their matches. qualifying for the World Cup.
England had also scored 53 unanswered goals ahead of Thursday’s 1-1 draw and dominated possession in all of their matches, so the Lionesses are now tackling high-quality opponents as well.
“What I like the most is that we had a plan on how we wanted to play against Spain – because they have a different style to Canada – and how we did it as a team” , said Wiegman,
“That made me the happiest about it. We really stuck to the plan. As technical staff, we can make plans, but if the players don’t believe in it, it won’t work.
“We had a plan, we spoke with the players and we all believed in it. That’s how our approach went. We showed that this plan worked. We were all on the same page. “
England open the Euros at home at Old Trafford on July 6 and Wiegman will be hoping he can continue to develop and show consistency over the next five months.
“We need these games to develop and exploit at the highest level and that’s what we did [on Sunday],” she added.
“It was very good to see how we were as a team and how we disrupted that style of play. I think it was more mature than against Canada and that’s development, that’s good. “