LIONESSES PLAYER RATINGS: Mary Earps’ Heroics and Lackluster Midfield Contribute to England’s World Cup Final Defeat

England’s World Cup dreams were shattered as they faced a 1-0 defeat against Spain in the final held in Sydney.

Olga Carmona’s well-placed first-half shot into the bottom corner proved to be the deciding factor in the match.

Despite the setback, Mary Earps showcased her goalkeeping prowess by making a fantastic penalty save against Jennifer Hermoso in the 69th minute.

This save injected renewed energy into Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses, spurring them to fight until the final whistle.

However, Spain’s strong defensive performance combined with England’s lack of cutting edge hindered their chances of a comeback.

Even a late Lauren James free-kick appeal was denied, adding to England’s misfortune.

Here, we present the player ratings for the England-Spain clash, highlighting both standout performances and areas of concern.

Mary Earps – 9: A Vital Penalty Save

Mary Earps played a pivotal role in keeping England in the game with her remarkable penalty save.

Her strong parries, including a save from Caldentey in the second half, showcased her goalkeeping prowess.

While she couldn’t prevent Spain’s decisive goal, her overall performance was superb.

Jess Carter – 6: Battling Against Pressure

Jess Carter faced a challenging battle against Caldentey and Paralluelo in the first half.

Although she couldn’t prevent the setup for Spain’s opening goal, her recovering tackle towards the end of the match was commendable.

Millie Bright – 6: Anchoring the Defense

Millie Bright fulfilled her role as a defensive anchor, but she struggled against the pace and pressure exerted by the Spanish players.

Her usually effective long diagonals were notably absent in this match.

Alex Greenwood – 6: Solid but Second Best

Alex Greenwood put up a solid performance, representing one of England’s standout players throughout the tournament.

However, the defensive unit as a whole struggled against Spain’s attacks.

Lucy Bronze – 4: A Challenging Final

Lucy Bronze had a difficult final, being unable to showcase her typical prowess.

Her loss of possession led to Spain’s breakaway and the subsequent goal.

Her frustration was evident as she battled through the match.

Keira Walsh – 5.5: Tireless Effort Amidst Challenges

Keira Walsh worked tirelessly in midfield but was often overrun due to a lack of support.

She was dispossessed frequently by Hermoso and was also at fault for the penalty that nearly sealed England’s fate.

Georgia Stanway – 5: Fading Impact

Georgia Stanway struggled to leave a mark on the final, failing to find spaces that could threaten Spain’s defense.

Her inability to contribute defensively added pressure to Keira Walsh.

Rachel Daly – 5.5 (Substituted at Half-Time): Vulnerabilities Exposed

Rachel Daly’s vision led to a chance for Hemp’s strike against the crossbar, but her defensive vulnerabilities were exposed, making England susceptible down her side.

Ella Toone – 5 (Substituted in the 87th minute): Impact Lacking

Ella Toone found it challenging to make an impact on the game, mirroring England’s overall inability to influence the match’s outcome.

Alessia Russo – 5.5 (Substituted at Half-Time): Isolated Struggles

Alessia Russo was isolated in the first half, unable to make an impression.

Her attempts to cut off the counter-attack for Spain’s goal were in vain.

Lauren Hemp – 7: A Bright Spark

Lauren Hemp provided England’s primary outlet in the final third, displaying strong runs and a near-goal with her arced shot against the bar.

She was a standout player for England throughout the tournament.

Substitutes: Making an Impact

Chloe Kelly (7) brought energy to England’s right flank in the second half, providing crucial runs.

Lauren James (6.5) demonstrated glimpses of her potential but couldn’t be involved as much as desired.

Beth England (6) injected energy in the late stages but couldn’t secure a breakthrough.

Sarina Wiegman – 6: Tactical Challenges

Sarina Wiegman, known for her tactical prowess, struggled to find the winning formula in this instance.

Her initial strategy of pressing Spain high on the flanks didn’t yield the desired results, but her second-half tactical adjustments showed improvements.

Spain’s Performance

Spain lined up in a 4-3-3 formation, with standout performances from players like Bonmati and Hermoso.

Coll Lluch, the Spanish goalkeeper, showcased a solid performance, and the team’s defensive efforts were commendable.

Referee’s Role

Referee Tori Penso allowed the game to flow and made a marginal yet fair penalty call.

The England-Spain final delivered a mix of heroics and challenges, ultimately resulting in Spain’s victory.

Despite Mary Earps’ incredible saves and individual efforts, England’s midfield struggled to find their rhythm, leading to their downfall in the World Cup final.

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