Sarina Wiegman reflects on England’s ‘frustrating’ defeat to France

  • England suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of France in their UEFA Euro 2025 qualifying campaign
  • Mary Earps was forced off with an injury in the opening 10 minutes of the game
  • Sarina Wiegman reflects on a ‘frustrating’ night for the Lionesses
Sarina Wiegman during England's Euro 2025 qualifier against France
Sarina Wiegman during England's Euro 2025 qualifier against France / DARREN STAPLES/GettyImages

England manager Sarina Wiegman branded her side’s 2-1 loss against France ‘frustrating’ after a goal from Beth Mead initially gave them the lead at St James' Park.

Despite suffering a sucker punch early doors when goalkeeper Mary Earps was forced off with a hip injury, Mead restored the calm with a composed finish from close range. However, the Lionesses were cruelly undone by two set-piece goals from Elisa De Almeida and Marie-Antoinette Katoto.

The result moves England outside of the automatic qualification spots in their group. France currently lead the way, closely followed by Sweden, who recorded a significant win over the Republic of Ireland in the other game.

Losing is something the Lionesses have only very recently had to become accustomed to under Wiegman, but it makes things no less painful for the manager.

"It's frustrating, because I think we played pretty well," the England boss told ITV post-match. "I'm really disappointed because this is a very unnecessary loss.

"I thought we played well in the big moments of the game and we created many chances and could have scored more than one. We conceded two goals from set plays, from which we have to do better. 

"In these matches you don't get too many chances, in the first half we created multiple chances and we scored one. In the second half we were dangerous, the final pass needed to be better but we controlled most of the game and they weren't that dangerous, except for the corner.

Sarina Wiegman, Ella Toone
Sarina Wiegman following England's defeat to France / Stu Forster/GettyImages

"I'm really disappointed about that because I think we can do better than that and it was unnecessary. In the end we tried to force a goal, but the execution didn't go well enough."

England have a huge opportunity to make things right in a few days time when they take on France again, this time in Saint-Etienne. Tuesday night's clash will present an opportunity to close the gap on the top two places in the group, while ensuring the team are well-placed heading into July's fixtures against Sweden and the Republic of Ireland.

"We have to win out in France if we want to be in a good position in July," Wiegman concluded. "Today, we wanted to go and win and most of the time we played well.

"We'll review tomorrow. We're very disappointed now, that is very clear because really we all feel it was very unnecessary but then we'll move on to Tuesday."