Women's Football

England player ratings as Lionesses blow off cobwebs with 6-0 win over Northern Ireland

Jamie Spencer
Feb 23, 2021, 3:04 PM GMT
Ellen was a hat-trick hero on England's overdue return to action
Ellen was a hat-trick hero on England's overdue return to action | Paul Harding/Getty Images

England cruised to a comfortable and clinical 6-0 win over Northern Ireland at St George’s Park in their first game in almost a year. It was also a first game under interim coach Hege Riise.

Planned Lionesses games against Germany and Norway had to be cancelled towards the end of last year, while the coronavirus pandemic also claimed the 2020 Olympics, where a number of England players were expected to feature last summer.

It means that the last game England had played before this one was the 1-0 defeat to Spain at the 2020 SheBelieves Cup and the visit of Northern Ireland was an important chance for the squad to regain a winning feeling after a tumultuous 11 months.

Ellen White completed a hat-trick inside the first 49 minutes of the contest, while Lucy Bronze had also found the net in the first half of an unsurprisingly one-sided affair.

Rachel Daly made it 5-0 midway through the second half and Manchester United midfielder Ella Toone converted from the penalty spot for the sixth on her senior international debut.

Jill Scott was honoured before kick-off to mark her 150th appearance for England.

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Ellie Roebuck (GK) - 6/10: Largely a spectator but looked comfortable with the ball at her feet.

Lucy Bronze (RB) - 9/10: Her quality as the reigning FIFA Best Women’s Player of the Year really shone though, both scoring and providing two assists in the game.

Leah Williamson (CB) - 6/10: Hardly tested but, with Millie Bright absent, will hope her polished performance helped stake her claim for a long-term starting role.

Steph Houghton (CB) - 6/10: Equally untested. All of England’s defenders will face tougher days.

Alex Greenwood (LB) - 6/10: Saw more of the ball in an attacking capacity than defensive.

2. Midfielders

Jill Scott (CM) - 7/10: Captained the side on her 150th international appearance and laid on White’s hat-trick goal. A commanding presence in midfield as expected.

Georgia Stanway (CM) - 7/10: Showed her versatility once more by playing an unusually deep role in the first half and then operating further forward after half-time.

Jordan Nobbs (AM) - 6/10: Played the ‘number 10’ role well but appeared to be a slight injury doubt at half-time and was withdrawn.

3. Forwards

Rachel Daly (RW) - 8/10: Saw plenty of the ball on the right flank in the first half in particular. Switched to left midway through the second half and got on the score-sheet.

Ellen White (ST) - 10/10: Bagged a hat-trick with typically clinical finishes and was clearly hungry for goals. Had one ruled out for offside and had other chance to add to her tally as well.

Lauren Hemp (LW) - 7/10: Put a number of teasing crosses into the penalty area and impressed during her hour on the pitch.

4. Substitutes

Ella Toone (CM) - 7/10: Handed a deserved senior debut as a half-time substitute and looked bright in central midfield. Confident to step up and convert a penalty.

Sandy MacIver (GK) - 6/10: Another deserving senior debutant, with the Everton stopper replacing starter Roebuck at the hour mark.

Chloe Kelly (RW) - 7/10: Was close to a first senior international goal from a well worked corner routine and won the penalty that provided England’s sixth goal.

Lotte Wubben-Moy (CB) - 6/10: The Arsenal defender was a third England debutant off the bench and slotted in at the back for the final 10 minutes.

Bethany England (ST) - 6/10: Didn’t enjoy the same chances White had. Unable to convert her only real chance in stoppage time with a misplaced header.

Ebony Salmon (LW) - 6/10: A late addition to the squad and was given an opportunity to make her debut in the closing stages.

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