England 6 Scotland 0, Women's Euro 2017: Jodie Taylor hits hat-trick as sorry Scots take a beating
This was the floor that was slippery when wet, the trip wire concealed in the undergrowth, the pot hole in the road, but England’s Lionesses did not slip, or stumble, they skipped serenely through a tricky looking test against Scotland to launch their European Championship campaign in ominous style. This performance will have been noted by all their rivals, most notably Germany and France, who were far less impressive in their opening games. England were the last of the pre-tournament favourites to play, but whereas the other matches have been tight, cagey affairs, this was a powerful display from Mark Sampson’s side, with Arsenal’s Jodie Taylor becoming the first English woman to score a European Championship hat-trick. There were superb performances all over the pitch, though, and another Arsenal player, Jordan Nobbs, who scored England’s fifth goal with an exquisitely controlled long-range volley, could well become the star of the tournament. Technically superb, she is also quick and tormented Scotland with her imaginative passing. Jodie Taylor is the first English woman to score a Euros hat-trick Credit: AFP By the end of the rout, it was easy to forget that Scotland were potentially dangerous opponents, desperate, as ever, to deflate English egos. They were ruthlessly and relentlessly outclassed, conceding three goals in each half. The grimace on the face of Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, in the stands, summed up their night perfectly. It was a humbling, bruising experience. For England, though, this was the perfect start that will send a shudder through the rest of the teams in Holland. Taylor’s hat-trick was a masterclass in clinical finishing, with the other goals coming from Birmingham City’s Ellen White and a late header from substitute Toni Duggan. “I have to congratulate Jodie who has joined an elite club,” said Sampson, about a player who was overlooked under former manager Hope Powell. “I’ve not seen a better striker in the game, anticipating a pass, she is world class. “I’m also really pleased with the overall performance. You could see the work the girls have put in preparing for this. We found a way to enjoy and thrive in a pressure situation and that is so important for the rest of the tournament.” Meet the Lionesses Taylor will always remember this night in Utrecht fondly, but she will want to forget the scuffed volley early on after Lucy Bronze had picked her out with an excellent first-time cross. It did not knock her self-belief, though, and she opened the scoring minutes later. Fran Kirby sprung the offside trap with a clever dummy to allow Bronze’s pass to find its way behind the defence. Taylor’s eyes sent Scotland goalkeeper Gemma Fay one way before rolling the ball another. Scotland were being torn apart and they conceded a second when they failed to deal with a set piece after some lovely skill from Kirby drew a foul. The delivery from Nobbs was sublime and although Scotland blocked an initial header from Jill Scott and cleared a second shot off the line, Taylor sniffed out a chance, reacting faster than anyone to hook the loose ball home. England's midfielder Jordan Nobbs tackles Scotland's midfielder Caroline Weir Credit: AFP Scotland were all over the place and when Scott’s long-range effort was tipped on to the bar by Fay, her defence was caught completely flat-footed, allowing White to stab the rebound into the bottom corner. The game looked done as a meaningful contest before half-time. Scotland tried to rally, but Taylor punished some poor defending again, running on to a header before delicately lifting the ball over the head of Fay. It was difficult not to start feeling a little sorry for Scotland, but the best teams are utterly ruthless and, having been criticised in the past for not killing teams off when they are on top, this was an important box ticked for Sampson’s side. Credit: AFP England did not ease off, although Taylor was allowed to put her feet up after an hour with Barcelona-bound Duggan coming on. Nobbs’ volley made it five, before Duggan scored a sixth with a close range header. “It was a really tough debut for us and we played against a very good side that is a contender to win this tournament,” said Scotland coach Anna Signeul, who revealed striker Jane Ross could miss the rest of the competition. “They were very good in all areas. We are really disappointed, but it’s not over for us.” 9:36PM FULL TIME And that's it! Utter domination from England. Scotland were much improved in the second half but England were just fitter, more composed, better on the ball, better organised, better movement... they were just better. By miles. 9:36PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAL England 6 (Duggan 90+3') - 0 Scotland Houghton heads a corner on, Duggan jumps at the post to head in past the goalkeeper. England have destroyed Scotland here. 9:34PM 90 mins +2 - England 5 - 0 Scotland Weir tries a speculative effort from 30 yards but Bardsley saves easily. 9:32PM 90 mins - England 5 - 0 Scotland Scotland are looking for a consolation goal but just can't create anything. Cuthbert shows great skill as she dribbles into the area but England surround the shot that comes in after and clear their lines. 9:30PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLL England 5 (Nobbs 87') - 0 Scotland What a volley! Scott is taken out by a poor challenge but England keep playing without moaning, move it out left and the cross comes in. Nobbs weighs it up and hits a first time volley into the back of the net. Great finish. 9:26PM 85 mins - England 4 - 0 Scotland Weir slides in from behind on Scott and gives away a free-kick on the right wing. Nobbs will take this one too but it's too straight a ball into the box and Scotland cope well this time. 9:24PM 82 mins - England 4 - 0 Scotland Free-kick for England wide left. Nobbs stands over it and send the cross into the six yard box. Scotland don't deal with it and the ball falls to Bright just outside the six yard box. She drills it across the area but it goes behind for a goal-kick. 9:20PM 79 mins - England 4 - 0 Scotland Weir sends a really good ball into the area from a free-kick 35 yards out on the left. Nobody gets their head on it and Houghton goes down after a little clash of heads. She's OK though. 9:17PM 76 mins - England 4 - 0 Scotland Scotland have a corner. The delivery is good, an in-swinger and the goalkeeper punches away. Duggan picks up the loose ball and charges with it, skins one defender way too easily and moves at speed up the pitch. Scotland deal with the danger and then take Corsie off for Jo Love. 9:15PM 73 mins - England 4 - 0 Scotland England's forwards are finding some really clever passes now. Scotland's defence is being taken apart by inside through-balls and intelligent running - England's fitness is showing now too. They're still going at full tilt. White comes off, Carney comes on. 9:12PM 70 mins - England 4 - 0 Scotland Houghton has just nutmegged Clelland near the penalty box while pretending to shield the ball for a goalkick and that won't sit well with the Scotland player. Duggan links with Bronze on the edge of the box, Bronze disguises the pass inside to Duggan and she's one on one! But takes a little too long and the goalkeeper closes the shot down. Corner. 9:09PM 67 mins - England 4 - 0 Scotland Everything about this goal is lovely. The Houghton diagonal ball out, the flick on from White and the deft finish from Taylor. #ENGSCOpic.twitter.com/oqdyovnyde— Ann Odong ⚽️�� (@AnnOdong) July 19, 2017 9:09PM 66 mins - England 4 - 0 Scotland Kirby comes off for Nikita Parris. Scotland string some passes together and (I think) Weir charges through the middle to the final third. England deal with it but soon after, Clelland is played in down the right, skips past the defender and doesn't go down under a high challenge... and there's a huge chance to pull one back! She has Cuthbert looking for the pass in the area... but gives the goalkeeper The Eyes and shoots near post, into the side netting. 9:05PM 63 mins - England 4 - 0 Scotland Jill Scott is booked, I think for persistent fouling, as she brings down Weir in the centre-circle with a late sliding challenge. Erin Cuthbert is getting ready to come on for Scotland! She's a very talented, creative midfielder and is 19 years old today. Happy birthday to you. But will she unwrapping a goal on this special day? Only time will tell. 9:02PM 60 mins - England 4 - 0 Scotland And here comes Toni Duggan. Taylor is taken off to save her legs for another battle and on comes a Barcelona player. Nobbs is a really tidy player, always a yard ahead of her opponent in thought and a couple extra in sheer pace. 8:58PM 57 mins - England 4 - 0 Scotland Congratulations @Jodes_14 first England player EVER to score a hat-trick at a major tournament #Lionesses#WEURO2017pic.twitter.com/00LBZNJMpl— Sportswomen (@SportswomenSky) July 19, 2017 Great punch away by Bardsley, who is taking absolutely zero prisoners with a confident clearance in her six yard box from a whipped Scotland free-kick from wide. 8:56PM GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLL! England 4 (Taylor 53') - 0 Scotland And it's that woman again - Jodie Taylor beats the offside trap as Dieke is caught and a header plays the striker clean through to get her hat-trick. The keeper comes off her line and it's a brilliant controlled finish to lob the ball over her head and make it four. 8:54PM 52 mins - England 3 - 0 Scotland After a decent spell of Scotland possession, England have it back and again they're passing well around the final third. Nobbs is closed down out on the right and the ball is cleared but England soon have the ball back and build from the back. 8:51PM 50 mins - England 3 - 0 Scotland England are passing the ball really well here, taking their time, not rushing it... and as I type that, a centre-back looks up and pings the ball forward 50 yards to the Scotland defence. Clelland gets her first touch and sprints past Houghton, who dives in to give away a corner. Bardsley punches the corner away well but it falls to Ross on the edge of the area! Her first touch isn't good and the ball gets away... aaaaand she's leaning back as she hits the shot way over the bar. 8:48PM 47 mins - England 3 - 0 Scotland Official attendance here: 5,578. Given that’s almost entirely travelling fans from England and Scotland, it’s impressive support. #WEURO2017— John Skilbeck (@JohnSkilbeckPA) July 19, 2017 Scotland look to have changed to a 4-4-2 now - perhaps this isn't damage limitation after all. 8:46PM KICK-OFF 2 We're back! Fiona Brown is off, Lana Clelland - who plays in Italy - is on. 8:43PM Taylor's second goal Credit: PA Really tidy finish. While Scotland defence panics, she waits for the ball to drop and finishes well under pressure, with bodies flying everywhere. 8:42PM The occasion might be getting Scotland here "Our two centre-backs were too slow to react," says Kim Little, in regards to Ellen White's goal. Gemma Fay isn't very tall and couldn't reach Scott's chipped shot which came off the bar but she couldn't do anything about the rebound, which was really well read by White. The Scotland defence didn't do quite as well and got caught standing like statues. 8:37PM Notes from Luke Edwards "Jodie Taylor will dominate the headlines with her two well-taken goals, but for me the real star performer is Arsenal's Jordan Nobbs. Technically, she is the best player on the pitch, has a great reading of the game and is also extremely quick. The 24-year-old from Teesside, who began her career at Sunderland, could easily be a star of this tournament on the evidence of this first 45 minutes." 8:32PM HALF TIME - England 3 - 0 Scotland Half the job is done for England and Scotland have been OK. They need to find some composure, keep their shape and actually pass the ball to players wearing the luminous pink tops though if they are to get anything out of this one. What can Anna Signeul say at half time to try and inspire a comeback? 8:31PM 45 mins - England 3 - 0 Scotland England are working really hard to win the ball back when Scotland do have it and Scotland's close control is letting them down under pressure. Nobbs is on the corner of the box, sees White pulling away to the back post and hits a straight ball over the top to her. White heads wide. 8:29PM 44 mins - England 3 - 0 Scotland Weir has a chance to get the ball in the box from 40 yards out and this time the delivery is excellent. No Scotland player is able to get their head on the ball though and England can break again. Taylor leads the line, spots Fay out of position and tries to put the ball over her ahead again, but this time slices it well wide. 8:27PM 42 mins - England 3 - 0 Scotland Nobbs shoots from long range but it dips into the arms of Fay in the Scotland goal. England are in total control of this game - Scotland are sat back with everyone behind the ball and can't pass it to each other when they try and break. 8:24PM 39 mins - England 3 - 0 Scotland White, Nobbs and Kirby are really clever with the ball, darting around the final third trying to ping passes into each other. 8:21PM 36 mins - England 3 - 0 Scotland Ross is working hard upfront but isn't getting a lot of support. She does really well to win a throw high up the pitch and Crichton keeps the ball close until a defender kicks it out for a corner. Houghton gets a head on the ball from the cross... Barsley tries a neat little back-heel but puts it out for a throw. 8:19PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLL England 3 (White 32') - 0 Scotland Uh oh. Scott looks up, the goalkeeper isn't off her line... but Scott tries to chip her anyway from about 35 yards. The ball comes off the bar (the goalkeeper can't reach it) and White is there to convert the rebound. Scotland are all over the place. 8:16PM 31 mins - England 2 - 0 Scotland Can Scotland find a way back into this one? Ross tries to take things into her own hands and tries a hit from 25 yards but it keeps rising way over the bar. England look confident now and Scotland still aren't. Bronze nutmegs Arthur on the right wing but her cross is just too high for White at the back post. 8:13PM GOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLL! England 2 (Taylor 26') - 0 Scotland This is a dreadful goal for Scotland to concede. The defending is panicked, players are throwing themselves around the box and England's stay calm and focused on the ball. Taylor hits a really smart finish across the goal and into the back of the net over the goalkeeper. Scotland's weakness from wide set-pieces exposed early on! 8:10PM 25 mins - England 1 - 0 Scotland A Scotland free-kick from distance doesn't reach the box... and is headed away but Scotland do seem to be getting more into this. Perhaps the early nerves have died down. Kirby wins a free-kick wide left with a clever drop shoulder and turn. This is a good chance for England. 8:07PM 22 mins - England 1 - 0 Scotland Credit: PA Stokes bursts forward down the left but her switched pass comes off a back. England keep the ball. Kirby is neat and tidy in the final third and tries to find a teammate but as the ball falls loose, the Scotland defender launches the ball as far away as possible. Now Scotland are threading some passes together and Evans does well to escape the attentions of White. Brown hits a hopeful ball into the middle but it's straight as an arrow and the goalkeeper has no problem catching it. 8:03PM 19 mins - England 1 - 0 Scotland Luke Edwards: "That was a really good finish from Jodie Taylor, especially as she had rather embarrassingly failed to connect with a volley moments earlier. She had a lot of time to think about things as she ran in on goal, but her eyes showed goalkeeper Gemma Fay one way before she rolled the ball the other side. Cool, calm and collected." 8:03PM 18 mins - England 1 - 0 Scotland Houghton gets bored of passing safely back and forth with the left-back Stokes and launches a Hollywood pass to the opposite wing. It's a decent ball but the header on gives possession straight back to Scotland and they attack immediately, winning a corner. Houghton tries to win the header and goes down in a heap as players come together in the box. Houghton is annoyed but it's her own fault - she hasn't read the play well enough and goes flying over the back of her teammate. 8:00PM 16 mins - England 1 - 0 Scotland Scott is wiped out as she tries to bring the ball past the halfway line but the free-kick is poor and Scotland can bring it out. Arthur humps it forward and England have a throw. When England went 1-0 up against Scotland... #WEURO2017#ENGSCOpic.twitter.com/iAh39UzgtW— Copa90 (@Copa90) July 19, 2017 7:58PM 14 mins - England 1 - 0 Scotland Scotland keep rushing things in defence and are throwing themselves into slide tackles and wild blocks around their own area. Kirby nearly produces an opening but Scotland hang on... and survive another corner. They need to calm this down and bit and show some composure. 7:57PM GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL! England 1 (Taylor 10') - 0 Scotland Taylor is through! A through-ball is sent between the midfield and defence and absolutely nobody tries to step across or block the pass or stop the run of Taylor. She's clean through, nobody can catch her and she slots calmly past Fay to open the scoring! 7:52PM 8 mins - England 0 - 0 Scotland England break with Kirby leading the charge, she passes to Nobbs who moves forward and then seems to run out of ideas. England keep the ball and tee up Nobbs for a hit on the edge of the box... but the goalkeeper saves low. Now Scotland are on the attack with Evans down the right. She spots the run into the box from Ross and plays an early cross but it's put out for a corner. England punt the corner away. 7:50PM 6 mins - England 0 - 0 Scotland Lucy Bronze gets forward as England work the ball down the left. She cuts inside and then oooocha that is... what I will describe as a mistimed challenge from Barsley on her. Scott is closed down and Scotland have a chance to knock it forward and play on the counter-attack... but the pass goes straight to England's defence. 7:48PM 3 mins - England 0 - 0 Scotland What a start! Lots of stuff is happening. Nobbs takes the corner but Houghton heads it miles wide. Fay comes off her line quickly to close down a hopeful through-ball. 7:47PM KICK-OFF And we're off and there's a pretty dreadful tackle inside the centre-circle as Scotland try a weird kick-off. And it's a corner after about 15 seconds! Ross comes forward and batters a long range shot which drifts towards goal... Bardsley palms it over... and punches the corner away. England break up the other end and Nobbs wins a corner with an attempted shot. 7:44PM Not a huge turnout There are a lot of travelling fans there who belt out the national anthems but the stadium in Utrecht is nowhere near full. The stands behind the goals are empty and those along the pitch aren't exactly rammed full. Right then - it's football time! 7:41PM Nicola Sturgeon is in the house From Luke Edwards: "Nicola Sturgeon is here, complete with Tartan scarf. Theresa May hasn't bothered. Poor form from the British PM." 7:40PM Here come the players But first, this is what the dressing rooms look like. Credit: UEFA Credit: UEFA 7:31PM Inside the dressing room A glimpse inside the @ScottishFA dressing room... Where to watch #WEURO2017 �� https://t.co/oVCOKrAznC#ENGSCOpic.twitter.com/Fztvr2aLaJ— UEFA Women's EURO (@UEFAWomensEURO) July 19, 2017 7:29PM Heather O'Reilly (USA) on the big players tonight "Jordan Nobbs is the total package of a footballer. She's my teammate at Arsenal so I've seen first hand what she can do. Great engine and she scores goals too. "For Scotland it's Caroline Weir. She's the player that can unlock England's backline. Her creativity and craftness on the ball is key." 7:25PM Michael Owen on the rise of the women's game "Gary Lineker was the first player to leave these shores (he's in Holland) to play for Barcelona. I think our league is so strong that it's like the Premier League and no-one wants to leave." 7:20PM Luke Edwards on England's lineup Trying to predict Mark Sampson's line ups before the game is a notoriously difficult task given his love for squad rotation, but the only real surprises are that Barcelona-bound Toni Duggan only starts on the bench, while Chelsea's Millie Bright starts alongside Steph Houghton in the centre of defence. England start the game as favourites but they are also under pressure. If they can beat Scotland in their opening game, they should be assured of a place in the quarter-final given how weak Portugal look. However, should the Scots cause an upset, England will probably need to beat Spain in their second group game on Sunday. Spain are many people's outsiders to win the Euros so... To make matters worse, England are notoriously slow starters in major tournaments, whether it is the men's or the women's team. If England win tonight in Utrecht it will be the first time they have won their first game since 2005. Ominously, former Scotland international Pat Nevin, who is here working for the BBC, fancies Scotland to win as they will catch England cold. He is Scottish though, so maybe he would say that... 7:10PM Mark Sampson says "We've had a nice relaxing day and tuned in later. "I think we've earned the right to be a team to come here and do something special. Scotland are a good team and have great individual talent. We're confident in our ability to thrive in this environment." 7:07PM Hannah Bardell in Scotland top SNP's Hannah Bardell wearing a Scotland football shirt in the House of Commons Credit: PA MP Hannah Bardell was wearing this earlier today. Supportive. 7:07PM Pre-match thoughts Kim Little: "I had surgery four weeks and I'm disappointed. I think it's great we've qualified and to play our first game against England makes it special. I think to get out the group would be great but it will be a hard thing. We're just glad to be here and experience it." Eniola Aluko: "I'm disappointed not to be on the pitch but I'm content being here! This is a huge time for England, finished with a bronze medal in 2015 and made the final last time." 7:04PM It's Balding! She's on screen, the coverage has begun! And the first question is if England can win their first international tournament in 51 years... can they? The favourites for the tournament are Germany, followed by France. 7:00PM Welcome Good evening everyone and welcome to our liveblog for this enormous match. I'm excited for tonight's game even though, as Scot (a neutral Scot, I might add) it does seem very possible that England could win it by a couple of goals or so. We shall see. A surprise is that Erin Cuthbert, the young starlet of this Scottish team, has started on the bench. That could be careful management or a ploy to bring her on later when England begin to tire. 6:57PM Scotland team #SWNT | Here is your Scotland team to face England in our #WEURO2017 opener. Come on Scotland! #OurGirlsOurGamepic.twitter.com/grNnCEjRbQ— Scotland (@ScottishFA) July 19, 2017 6:35PM Starting lineups England - 4-2-3-1 �� TEAM NEWS �� This is how @England will line up for our #WEURO2017 opener against Scotland! We kick off at 7.45pm, live on @Channel4. pic.twitter.com/ZgzAb0c0Vb— Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 19, 2017 Bardsley; Bronze, Stokes, Houghton (c), Jill Scott; Nobbs, Moore, Bright, White, Kirby; Taylor Scotland - 4-2-3-1 Fay; Barsley, Dieke, Brown, Jane Ross; Weir, Crichton, Corsie, Arthur, Evans; Brown 6:29PM Preview What is it? It's England vs Scotland! The old enemies meet in their opening fixture(s) of Group D in the women's Euro 2017 championships. This is Scotland's first appearance in a major international tournament. When is it? Wednesday 19th July, which is also called 'tonight'. Where is it? The game takes place in the Stadion Galgenwaard, Utrecht. Utrecht is in the Netherlands, also referred to as Holland. Dennis Bergkamp is from Holland. What time is kick-off? 7:45pm. What TV channel is it on? Channel 4 and Eurosport but if you can't get to a TV you can also follow all the action here on our liveblog. Alternatively you could watch it on TV and read analysis at the same time by utilising the mobility of some of this modern technology we all enjoy so much. Imagine - a TV AND a liveblog on your iPad? Mental. What is the team news? Scotland are without several key players for tonight... and the entire tournament. This one could be tough. Kim Little is the biggest miss, with the leading scorer forced to miss out through injury but her absence gives Erin Cuthbert a chance to shine. At only 18 years old, will the creative Chelsea midfielder find form? Scotland need her to! No pressure. Meet the Lionesses England, on the other hand, have a load of big names available to select for tonight, with almost all playing for top division clubs. Toni Duggan recently moved to Barcelona, for example. Who will play when England play Scotland tonight? My tactical guide brought to you by @OfficialPanini ... #WEURO2017#ENGSCO@UEFAWomensEUROpic.twitter.com/66Az8BhE3p— Paul Saffer (@UEFAcomPaulS) July 19, 2017 What are they saying? England manager Mark Sampson: “It’s the oldest international football fixture on the calendar. “With all the history between the two nations, this is a big fixture for both England and Scotland and chuck in that it’s the first game of a major championship it’ll be a real big game.” Scotland head coach Anna Signeul: Scotland women head coach Anna Signeul Credit: PA “It’s sad and I know that we’re not the only team before a major tournament that has been getting bad injuries, but for Kim Little, of course, that’s very sad. Jennifer Beattie, our central defender. Lizzie Arnot, our young player breaking through in the wide area. Emma Mitchell, full-back and now we’re also going into the tournament with Hayley Lauder with us here that also is trying to get back from an injury that she got just a week ago, so it’s really really tough for us as a team, of course. “Mostly it’s tough for these players. Kim and Jennifer have been in the team for ten years and they’ve been in all the play-offs when we’re been so close to qualifying, so I feel really, really sad for them. "They’re still young even if they are so experienced, so I just wish they get a good rehab and come back from their injuries and can be in the next qualifying campaign, so that Scotland can qualify for the World Cup and they can be in this situation in two years’ time.” What are the odds? England - 2/9 Draw - 19/4 Scotland 14/1 What's our prediction? Scotland are short on the quality of player that got them to the championships in the first place. This could - could - be a bit of a hiding for Scotland after an initially tight opening period. For that reason we're going for a 3-0 win to England.