Alessia Russo makes case for Plan B as England ponder Ellen White conundrum

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 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Only a brilliant or foolish manager would replace their country's all-time leading goal-scorer, playmaker and the tournament's top scorer with their side 1-0 down in a knockout game, but Sarina Wiegman is no fool.

The England boss' gamble to substitute Ellen White, Fran Kirby and Beth Mead by 63 minutes of last night's dramatic win over Spain paid off spectacularly as substitutes Ella Toone and Alessia Russo combined for the equaliser, as the Lionesses underlined their strength in depth.

Georgia Stanway struck a stunning 96th-minute winner to set up a European Championship semi-final next week, a fair reflection of England's dominance after Wiegman wrung the changes and tweaked her side's system.

While Spain, who were among the pre-tournament favourites, have experienced winners and eye-catching technical quality - demonstrated by the magnificent Aitana Bonmati, who refused no post-match interviews in Spanish or English, despite her disappointment - England came into the finals with unrivalled options.

Their squad strength and Wiegman's ability to change matches from the bench was a theme of her tenure even before the Euros and it is now proving crucial during the tournament.

Russo and Toone, the best friends from Manchester United, have been excellent from the bench and crafted the breakthrough last night, the former heading down Lauren Hemp's cross for Toone to volley home six minutes from time, raising the roof on the Amex.

Russo now has three goals and an assist from the bench at the finals and is pressuring Ellen White, who remains stranded one goal short of Wayne Rooney's all-time England record.

Toone and Chloe Kelly have also made a positive impact, adding energy and a willingness to shoot on sight.

Wiegman has named the same XI for all four matches, including the dead rubber against Northern Ireland, but the question now for the Dutchwoman is whether to make changes for the semi-final against Sweden or Belgium in Sheffield or keep her game-changers as a Plan B.

Wiegman has spoken of the importance of maintaining momentum through continuity but she may have been concerned at England's toothlessness for long periods on the south coast, against a Spain side who are among the best at managing games.

Amid the focus on Wiegman's attacking options, perhaps the likeliest change on Tuesday is Alex Greenwood for Rachel Daly, which should have happened earlier last night after Spain substitute Athenea del Castillo beat the left-back too easily for Esther Gonzalez's goal.

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