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Player ratings as Lionesses hit double figures

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England concluded their World Cup qualifying campaign with a 100% record and without conceding a goal as they ran out 10-0 winners over Luxembourg on Tuesday evening.

The Lionesses’ qualification record reads played 10, won 10, goals for 80, goals against 0 following their convincing victory at the Bet365 Stadium.

England took the lead inside 11 minutes as Alessia Russo was tripped by Catherine Have on the spin. Georgia Stanway found the bottom corner from the resultant spot kick. Seven minutes later it was two, Russo nodding home Leah Williamson’s fizzing delivery.

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Stanway added her second and England’s third before the hour mark, netting through the legs of goalkeeper Lucie Schlimé to apply the finishing touches to a flowing team move.

Rachel Daly got in on the act before the half was out, heading home following a short corner routine. England had a fifth just a minute later. Another terrific team move ended with Mead evading two Luxembourg challenges and slamming into the net.

The onslaught continued in the second half as Beth England got herself on the scoresheet within three minutes of entering the fray, converting Mead’s measured cross.

Parris added a seventh just before the hour mark, confidently finding the bottom corner after being fed by Toone. Toone deservedly got herself on the scoresheet to cap a superb performance 18 minutes from time after Parris was brought down in the area. The Manchester United midfielder calmly dispatched the subsequent spot kick.

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Lauren Hemp stabbed home from a corner and England headed in Katie Zelem’s delivery on the stroked of half time as the Lionesses swaggered to a double-figure victory.

Attention now turns to Wembley and the hotly-anticipated visit of world champions the USA in October for Sarina Wiegman’s European Champions.

Rachel Daly, Nikita Parris

Daly was on the scoresheet in the first half / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

GK: Ellie Roebuck – 6/10 – One of three changes for England. Didn’t have a save to make but typically cool in possession – almost too cool in the second half as a pass back ran casually under her foot and goal-wards, but she recovered.

RB: Lucy Bronze – 9/10 – Combined well with Toone in the build up to England’s fourth. Frequently tore forward with purpose, seemed really in the mood and turned in a relentless performance.

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CB: Leah Williamson – 7/10 – Picked out Russo with superb, fizzing cross for England’s second. Frequently showed off her exquisite passing range. Replaced at half time.

CB: Alex Greenwood – 7/10 – Cracked the post with a header from a corner, and broke the lines with a great pass to Toone in the build up to England’s third. Provided the set piece delivery for England’s ninth.

LB: Rachel Daly – 7/10 – Headed home England’s fourth before picking out Mead for the Lionesses’ fifth. Replaced in the second half.

CM: Keira Walsh – 8/10 – Pulled off a couple of outrageous passes in behind, simply oozing confidence right now. Moved to a more advanced midfield role after the introduction of Zelem.

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CM: Georgia Stanway – 9/10 – Coolly found the bottom corner from the penalty spot, and doubled her tally by slotting the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs with a first-time finish having arrived late in the box. Replaced at half time.

CM: Ella Toone – 10/10 – In the very heart of the action and key to so many England goals with her superb passing and decision making; played Mead through in the buildup to England’s third, looped in the delivery for England’s fourth, fed Mead in the buildup to her side’s sixth and picked out Parris for the seventh. On the scoresheet herself from the spot.

RW: Nikita Parris – 8/10 – On the scoresheet for her side’s seventh with a really confident finish into the bottom corner and won the penalty for England’s eighth. A really energetic display.

ST: Alessia Russo – 7/10 – Won England’s penalty with fabulous turn. Timed her run to perfection to nod home England’s second, saw a couple of decent chances well saved by Schlimé. Replaced at half time.

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LW: Beth Mead – 8/10 – Picked out Stanway for England’s third. Produced a great feint to evade two Luxembourg challenges and slot home her side’s fifth, and found England for the Lionesses’ sixth.

SUB: Millie Bright – 7/10

SUB: Beth England – 8/10 – On the scoresheet within three minutes of coming on with a poacher’s finish. Combined well with Toone in the buildup to the Lionesses seventh.

SUB: Katie Zelem – 7/10

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SUB: Lauren Hemp – 7/10

SUB: Demi Stokes – 7/10

Player of the Match – Ella Toone



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Tajon Buchanan fit and ready for Canada after ‘tough process’ of recovery

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Canadian Men’s National Team forward Tajon Buchanan faces arguably the most crucial game of his life against Uruguay on Tuesday.

Sure, the clash in Bratislava, Slovakia, is just a mere friendly. However, it’s the CanMNT’s last match before John Herdman names his roster for the nation’s first World Cup since 1986 and second-ever.

And for Buchanan, it’s a chance to return to the field for the first time since Club Brugge’s match against Anderlecht in May after nursing a quad injury. Now, the 23-year-old must prove to Herdman that he’s fit and ready for Qatar 2022 – as he’ll continue to do when he returns to Belgium following this international break.

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“I was injured for two months, so it’s been a tough process but now that I feel good again, I can start training and get some games in. I feel good, so I am happy,” Buchanan said on Sunday. “I was just in warm-ups in the first game of the season — a [Belgian] Super Cup game — and I took a shot in warmups and I felt something in my quad. Ever since then, it’s been an up-and-down journey.

“I tried to come back in training and hurt it again so it was a tough period, but I am good now and ready to play some games.”

It was quite a surprise to see Buchanan travel with the national team considering he hasn’t managed a single appearance for Brugge this season.

However, it’s vital the 23-year-old gets minutes not just for the World Cup, but to prepare him for the rest of the Belgian season, and Herdman has praised the First Division A champions for their handling of Buchanan’s situation.

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“I think Brugge have done a good job the last few weeks getting him ready to return to play,” Herdman said. “And for a player, a first injury, it takes time to trust your body again. He had some good moments [on Sunday] and he fit right back into our structure.”

Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.



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Eric Cantona suggests David Beckham has made ‘big mistake’ with World Cup ambassadorship

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Eric Cantona has insisted that ex-professional footballers such as former Manchester United teammate David Beckham have made a ‘big mistake’ in becoming ambassadors for this winter’s World Cup in Qatar.

There have been several major criticisms regarding the showpiece tournament, largely relating to Qatar’s human rights record and its treatment of migrant workers.

Cantona, one of football’s most outspoken and charismatic figures, revealed in January that he would be boycotting this year’s World Cup.

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“It’s only about money and the way they treated the people who built the stadiums, it’s horrible. And thousands of people died. And yet we will celebrate this World Cup. Personally, I will not watch it. I understand football is a business. But I thought it was the only place where everybody could have a chance,” he told The Athletic.

He also said that he does not expect players to take up the same stance, adding: “If you have a player who says, ‘I will boycott the World Cup’, you say, ‘Bravo’. But you cannot condemn a 20-year-old player, who has a 10-year career, who lives in a world surrounded by people from football 24 hours per day.

“But do speak about the federations, speak about the politicians, who have the power to say, ‘No, we do not go to the World Cup’. We cannot be disappointed if players don’t want to boycott the World Cup, because at the top, the politicians, the presidents, the federations, the ministers…the real power, everywhere in the world, they have the power to boycott it. It is too easy to say the players.”

Cantona was then asked what he thought of ex-players, such as global icon Beckham, endorsing the World Cup and Qatar’s efforts in ambassadorial roles and if he would take on such a job.

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“I would not do it at all. I do completely the opposite. In January 2022, I started to say that. Maybe I was the first one,” he replied.

“But I am free to do it. And of course, an ex-player paid to do this kind of thing…It could be they don’t know what has happened there.

“Or, if they know it, I think they did wrong. I think they made a big mistake. A big, big mistake.”



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Mohamed Salah to return to Liverpool after being released from Egypt duty

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Mohamed Salah is set to leave the Egypt national team camp ahead of schedule and return to Liverpool training.

The forward scored twice in a 3-0 win against Niger on Friday, but manager Rui Vitoria has confirmed that his star man will be rested for Tuesday’s friendly with Liberia.

Salah will not be at risk of injury while on international duty and will now head back to Merseyside ahead of Liverpool’s return to Premier League action.

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The Reds welcome Brighton to Anfield on Saturday, with Roberto De Zerbi taking charge of his first Seagulls match after replacing Graham Potter in the dugout.

Jurgen Klopp’s side head into the encounter having won just two of their opening six Premier League games, and sit four points behind Brighton in the table.

Scott SaundersGraeme BaileyToby Cudworth and Sean Walsh bring you a brand new episode of Talking Transfers. The team discuss Jude Bellingham’s future, Bayern Munich’s interest in Harry Kane, widespread Premier League interest in Mykhaylo Mudryk and plenty more. Available on all audio platforms.

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

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Salah has scored just two Premier League goals so far this season, while Liverpool are yet to see the best of summer signing Darwin Nunez.

Liverpool’s last two matches have both come in the Champions League – a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Napoli and a narrow 2-1 win over Ajax – due to postponements in relation to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Their last league outing was their 0-0 draw in the Merseyside derby at Everton on September 3.





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