England v Austria player ratings: Beth Mead stars but two Lionesses fail to live up to hype

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Group A - England v Austria - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - July 6, 2022 England's Beth Mead applauds fans after being substituted - England v Austria Euro 2022 player ratings: Beth Mead stars but two Lionesses fail to live up to hype - REUTERS
Group A - England v Austria - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - July 6, 2022 England's Beth Mead applauds fans after being substituted - England v Austria Euro 2022 player ratings: Beth Mead stars but two Lionesses fail to live up to hype - REUTERS

The Lionesses made a winning start to their Euro 2022 campaign by beating Austria 1-0 in front of a tournament record crowd of 68,871 at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Beth Mead grabbed the decisive goal in the 16th minute for the hosts and although Sarina Wiegman's team struggled to create clear-cut chances, they will be delighted with the three points.

Austria were on the back foot for much of the game but came close to an equaliser in the 78th minute but England goalkeeper Mary Earps did well to keep out a curling effort from Barbara Dunst.

But who shone on an historic night for women's football in Manchester?

England

Mary Earps

Had a quiet first half but saved Dunst’s swirling effort which could have turned the game on its head. Got down brilliantly to save another moments later. 8

Lucy Bronze

Didn’t have the best game by her standards. For all her barnstorming runs, the former Fifa Best Player of the Year found herself repeatedly ambushed by Austria’s defence. 5

Women's Euro 2022 - Group A - England v Austria - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - July 6, 2022 England's Lucy Bronze reacts after the match - REUTERS
Women's Euro 2022 - Group A - England v Austria - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - July 6, 2022 England's Lucy Bronze reacts after the match - REUTERS

Millie Bright

England’s standout defender by a mile. Stuck her head on everything that Austria sent into the box and looked comfortable, even without her usual centre-back partner, Alex Greenwood. 7

Leah Williamson

Had a shaky start defensively when she gave the ball away cheaply, but grew into the game. Controlled the tempo well from the back on a big night for her side. 6

Rachel Daly

Looked defensively solid and threaded through a series of fine passes when England broke on the counter and combined especially well with Hemp and Kirby. 6

Georgia Stanway

England’s main source of creativity in an occasionally subdued midfield. Pulled the strings and linked up well with Daly down the wing. 7

Keira Walsh

Walsh is often the glue in England’s midfield. She held it together when it mattered, but was not the usual creative outlet she can be. 6

Beth Mead

Chested a tricky ball down and kept her cool in front of goal to score England’s opener and combined well with Kirby and Hemp. 8

Fran Kirby

Dinked the ball over a well-drilled Austrian defence beautifully to set up Mead for her goal. Looked threatening when she slipped inside the number 10 role, although left Walsh isolated on occasions. 7

Women's Euro 2022 - Group A - England v Austria - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - July 6, 2022 Austria's Sarah Zadrazil in action with England's Fran Kirb - REUTERS
Women's Euro 2022 - Group A - England v Austria - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - July 6, 2022 Austria's Sarah Zadrazil in action with England's Fran Kirb - REUTERS

Lauren Hemp

Looked her usual lively self down both flanks and caused problems for Austria, but struggled to make an impact and didn’t live up to the hype currently surrounding her. 6

Ellen White

Had a bit of a quiet evening. Missed a gilt-edged chance when she flashed a header wide of the post and spurned another chance towards the end of the first half. 5

Substitutes

Ella Toone

Didn’t really see that much of the ball when she entered the fray on the hour mark, but hustled in the midfield to win back possession. 5

Chloe Kelly

Looked menacing when she was on the ball with a flurry of threatening runs, but dragged a shot wide. Helped back in defence when it mattered.

Alessia Russo

Intermittently injected some firepower when she came on and was unfortunate not to properly connect with Hemp’s second-half free kick. 6

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