As England celebrated lifting their first major tournament trophy with an 87,000-strong crowd inside Wembley Stadium, we take a look at who shone for the Lionesses during their crowning moment at Euro 2022.
Mary Earps – 9
Commanded her box excellently well, as she has done all tournament. Her handling was so impressive that it reduced Germany’s aerial threat to next to nothing. That was undoubtedly boosted when Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side lost Alexandra Popp to injury in the warm-up, but Earps still had a sizeable job to do to prevent Germany’s numerous danger players. She’s constantly orchestrating her backline and was only breached twice all tournament, cementing her place as England’s No.1.
Millie Bright – 8
Yet another solid game for England’s towering centre-back, despite getting caught out for Germany’s equaliser. Lina Magull nipped in front of her at the near post to poke home a cross from Tabea Wassmuth. But the goal cannot be attributed to the Chelsea defender’s marking, it was a product of sustained Germany pressure combined with intricate wide play from Wassmuth and a well-timed run from Magull – arguably Germany’s player of the tournament. Bright is symbolic of England’s strong spine and will be a mainstay of the team for tournaments to come.
Leah Williamson – 9
Cleared one particularly dangerous corner routine off the line in the first half, with the ball pinballing around the six-yard area. Stepped out of the backline characteristically well, turning defence into attack. Her positional play is always smart – it’s the hallmark of a good captain. She was also spotted giving pep talks to the younger players throughout, which again comes with her leadership role. She takes responsibility and teammates respond. In floods of tears at the full-time whistle, Williamson got to crown her maiden tournament as skipper by lifting the Euro 2022 trophy. Her investment in this team is clear for all to see and will only serve to better England’s future plight.
Rachel Daly – 7
Bright all game. Had a job on her hands to marshal Magull and substitute Nicole Anyomi in the second period, but did so manfully. Wasn’t so much of a threat going forward – certainly not as expressive as she was against Sweden – but had much more defending to do. Given she is not a natural left-back, Daly has made that position her own this tournament and can be proud of her contribution.
Lucy Bronze – 7
Got caught out a couple of times early on. It seems to be an opposition tactic to target the space between Bronze and Bright in the opening exchanges of games. She recovered well and was an experienced head as England negotiated extra-time without a blip. She kept Germany’s abundance of attacking talent quiet, for the most part – a feat that no other side in the competition has managed.
Georgia Stanway – 7
Slightly erratic defensively but never stopped running. She worked tirelessly for the cause and had to remain disciplined after getting booked early in the first half. A lot of the talk prior to the tournament was about Stanway’s role, whether she’d play in the No 10 position or elsewhere. In fact, she operated alongside Walsh and it worked perfectly. A young partnership, but one that laboured and toiled endlessly. She’s got an extremely mature head for a 23-year-old and will be another linchpin of this young exciting side for year’s to come.
Keira Walsh – 10
Gave everything once again. Has not missed a single minute of this tournament and you can see why. No one can play the role she plays for the team, she’s indispensable. Germany have won the midfield battle in every game they’ve played at Euro 2022. Not against England. Walsh won the day at Wembley. She picked the pocket of Lena Oberdorf and co at every opportunity and then had the presence of mind to look forward and pick a clever pass. Her assist for Ella Toone’s opener was exquisitely weighted. She then had the audacity to lift the ball over the head of Oberdorf in the 98th minute, before getting England’s attack going. A fantastic all-round display.
Lauren Hemp – 8
Didn’t quite ever reach the heights of pre-tournament billing but still offered England plenty. She was a useful out-ball when the Lionesses needed a willing runner, particularly in the second period. Hemp has plenty of time to stamp her influence on the international stage in years to come and will grow to become one of Sarina Wiegman’s most prized assets. Creatively, she wasn’t as effective as she typically is for Man City at club level, but still attracted opposition defenders in their numbers. Germany doubled up on her, providing space for others. She also made a game-saving intervention in the 114th minute, lunging to divert the ball behind as Svenja Huth attempted to squeeze it between her and the post.
Beth Mead – 7
Not as influential as in previous games, but will remember the tournament fondly for the glut of goals she scored throughout. Having been left out of Lionesses squads as recently as last year, she’s now ensured she is a permanent fixture. She owns the right flank. Unfortunately, after launching herself into a heavy tackle in the 64th minute she was forced off early but left the field to a rapturous applause from the crowd inside Wembley. She finishes the competition as joint top scorer, alongside Popp. England scored 22 goals at Euro 2022, a record by a team in a single edition of the championships (men’s or women’s) – Mead netted six of those.
Fran Kirby – 7
The unselfish playmaker. This was never going to be a tournament where Kirby was going to be able to unleash her level best, after a season blighted by fatigue problems. But even appearing at Euro 2022 was a marker of the Chelsea star’s ambition. Against Sweden, she was almost unplayable, and showed glimpses against Germany, albeit fleeting. She’s another player who Wiegman can rely on to deliver, even when not at her most supreme.
Ellen White – 7
Had a chance to break the deadlock in the fourth minute after being well found by Kirby at the back post. Consistently intelligent movement stretched Germany’s backline but service wasn’t always forthcoming in a cagey first period. She made way for Alessia Russo earlier than usual, but played a huge part in a monumentally successful summer for England Women. Her service is praiseworthy, despite not quite scoring as many as she’d have liked. She led from the front and can finally say – after making her international debut in 2010 – that she has won a major trophy with England.
Alessia Russo (for Ellen White, 56) – 7
No one will ever forget Russo’s inspired backheel finish against Sweden. It was a standout moment of the tournament. There is every chance it will go down as one of the best goals to be scored in a women’s Euros knockout game. She has left her mark on this competition, even if her performance against Germany wasn’t quite as influential. This is just the beginning for the Man United forward, who has already stamped her authority on this new wave of Lionesses talent and proven she’s ready to take the mantle from White – whenever that might be.
Ella Toone (for Fran Kirby, 56) – 9
Scored the game-changing goal, latching onto an incisive Walsh pass before cooly lifting the ball over the onrushing Merle Frohms. The touch was executed like a striker, intuitive yet instinctive. Her energy is infectious and rubs off on teammates, which is why she’s always introduced around the hour mark – when England need an injection of pace. She deserves all the plaudits for two goals of immense quality, and importance, at this tournament.
Chloe Kelly (for Beth Mead, 64) – 8
England’s extra-time saviour. The reason the Lionesses have won their first major tournament trophy. A poacher’s finish from a failed Germany clearance but they all count. And none will count as immeasurably as that one. It represents the most influential touch of her career to date, and there will be many more to come from the 24-year-old. Her hold up play was also excellent and got England over the line without too many scares at the opposite end. When England needed a hero, she was it, capping a fairytale comeback after missing the majority of 2021/22 with an ACL injury.
Alex Greenwood (for Rachel Daly, 88) – n/a
Jill Scott (for Georgia Stanway, 89) – n/a
The knock-out phase…
Wednesday July 20
Quarter-final 1: England 2-1 Spain (AET)
Thursday July 21
Quarter-final 2: Germany 2-0 Austria
Friday July 22
Quarter-final 3: Sweden 1-0 Belgium
Saturday July 23
Quarter-final 4: France 1-0 Netherlands (AET)
Tuesday July 26
Semi-final 1: England 4-0 Sweden
Wednesday July 27
Semi-final 2: Germany 2-1 France
Sunday July 31
Final: England 2-1 Germany (AET)