Sarina Wiegman rues ‘unnecessary’ England loss and Mary Earps injury

Estimated read time 2 min read

Sarina Wiegman was left rueing a “really disappointing” and “unnecessary” defeat to France as England’s hopes of automatic qualification for Euro 2025 in Switzerland were left very much in the balance.

“I think our performance was good for most parts of the game,” said the Lionesses manager after her side succumbed 2-1, conceding two goals from corners. The result is really disappointing and I think unnecessary.”

When Beth Mead gave England the lead they looked set fair in front of a packed stadium but then things went badly awry against Hervé Renard’s streetwise France, raising fears of the European champions becoming embroiled in the lottery of the playoffs. “We had chances of scoring more but then they scored from a corner,” said Wiegman.

“That was disappointing. In the second half we controlled the match more but created only ‘almost’ chances. So it was very frustrating to concede a goal from another set piece, another corner. We know France are very good at that and we really wanted to defend set pieces very well. In some moments we did but, in too many moments we didn’t. It’s really disappointing and it’s very frustrating we missed some chances because normally we are very good at that.

“But France is a very good opponent, very pacy and very powerful. And I thought we played well at times, in and out of position. I think this team is developing – which makes it more frustrating.”

Hannah Hampton (right) will start in goal for England against France in Saint-Étienne on Tuesday.View image in fullscreen

To exacerbate Wiegman’s pain before Tuesday night’s return against the same opponents in St-Étienne, her goalkeeper Mary Earps injured a hip during the opening stages and left the stadium on crutches.

“I’m concerned,” she said, confirming she would start her replacement Hannah Hampton in southern France as England aim to finish at least second in a group also containing Sweden and the Republic of Ireland.

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After travelling to France they must visit a Sweden side they have already drawn with before hosting Ireland. “We want to finish first in the group,” said Wiegman. “But that’s a little further away now.”


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