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In Focus: Five key talking points from England 4-0 Japan
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William Furness
Ella Toone celebrates England's third goal of the night
Ella Toone celebrates England's third goal of the night

England cruised past Japan 4-0 in Spain as they extended their unbeaten run under Sarina Wiegman to 25 matches.

Rachel Daly opened the scoring in the 38th minute and then three goals in the second-half from Chloe Kelly, Ella Toone and Jess Park sealed a convincing win.

Park came on in the 88th minute for her debut and within two minutes tapped home the Lionesses fourth goal — it was a fantastic moment which capped off a great night for England. 

Weigman was forced into changing to some key players. Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby both missed out but her side still had more than enough quality and dynamism to blow Japan away. 

Lionesses flex their muscles 

Wiegman was forced into some changes which meant England had to dip into their depth. 

Manchester City duo Lauren Hemp and Alex Greenwood were ruled out, Kirby missed out through an illness and defender Bronze recovered from Covid but picked up a knock. 

Millie Bright was the only player that remained from the back four who started in the draw with the Czech Republic in their last outing on the 11th of October. 

Esme Morgan, Rachel Daly and Niamh Charles all came in for the Lionesses and it was the perfect showcase for just how much depth England possess as they beat Japan, who are 11th in the world rankings, with ease despite missing some of their star players. 

Debut to remember 

Just as the game seemed to be petering out in the 88th minute at 3-0, Jess Park came on to make her debut — a fantastic moment for her regardless if it was only a few minutes.

However, in no time, Ebony Salmon darted into the box well and found Park who had the entire goal to aim at as she put home a memorable, but all too easy, debut goal. 

It was a memorable moment for the 21-year-old and she grinned ear to ear during her celebrations, scarcely believing what's just happened, or how easy it was. 

Park is on loan at Everton from Manchester City and this will do no harm for her growing reputation. 

Versatile Daly can do no wrong 

Daly can do no wrong this season. For Aston Villa in the WSL, she has five goals in six games, mainly playing as a forward. 

However, Wiegman has clearly seen her use elsewhere, as she featured as a right-back against Japan.

Even in a back four, this did not stop her productivity, as she opened the scoring in the 38th minute. The 30-year-old pounced on a loose ball to produce a composed finish with her side-foot.

She was fantastic in all areas, always being ambitious in possession and providing a dangerous overlap on the right-hand side. 

Her versatility will be an extremely attractive quality to Weigman as she plots her best squad going into the World Cup in 2023.

Rachel Daly had a fantastic game at right-back
Rachel Daly had a fantastic game at right-back

Kelly causing chaos 

Kelly, the Lionesses hero in the summer, was a constant threat down the left-hand side. 

She was stretching the Japanese defence and holding the width superbly; the 24-year-old was a menace with her crossing and was at the heart of most England attacks in the first-half. 

In the 25th minute, she should have had an assist to her name. The winger played in a fantastic ball to Alessia Russo, who was on the six-yard line and should have done better than put her header inches wide.

The opening goal will not be associated with Kelly but it was her fantastic deep cross that begun the chaos in the Japanese box. 

In the second-half, she showed her ruthless end product rather than creativity, as she superbly smashed home Beth Mead's cross to make it 2-0 in the 53rd minute. 

Clinical Toone 

Toone sealed the win in the 77th minute as she made it 3-0 with a clinical chipped finish. 

The build-up play was equally smooth; it was a delightful reverse pass from Salmon to put Toone through on goal. 

The 23-year-old is more known for her creative spark but she proved that she does have a cool head in front of goal also. 

If this trend continues, it will make for a very exciting prospect. 


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