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England 4-1 France

Lionesses cruise to victory in Phil Neville's first match

Phil Neville’s reign as England Women’s head coach began with a resounding 4-1 win over France in the opening match of the SheBelieves Cup.

The former Manchester United defender was appointed Lionesses boss in January and his first match in charge should, on paper, have been a far more difficult assignment against a team ranked sixth in the world.

But his side blew away next year’s World Cup hosts and recorded their biggest-ever win over their opponents in the process.

Toni Duggan opened the scoring early on, Jill Scott added a second and Jodie Taylor nabbed a third before half-time.

Fran Kirby got in on the act just moments after the restart, and although Gaetane Thiney registered a late consolation, the Lionesses never looked in danger as they laid down a marker at the beginning of this annual friendly tournament.

England’s second SheBelieves Cup match is against Germany on Sunday night.

England (4-3-3): 1 Karen Bardsley (Manchester City); 2 Lucy Bronze (capt; Lyon), 5 Anita Asante (Chelsea), 6 Millie Bright (Chelsea), 3 Demi Stokes (Manchester City); 8 Jill Scott (Manchester City), 22 Keira Walsh (Manchester City), 10 Fran Kirby (Chelsea); 7 Nikita Parris (Manchester City), 9 Jodie Taylor (Melbourne City), 11 Toni Duggan (Barcelona).

Substitutes: 15 Abbie McManus (Manchester City) for Asante 14, 19 Melissa Lawley (Manchester City) for Parris 61, 16 Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City) for Kirby 71, 18 Ellen White (Birmingham City) for Duggan 71, 21 Carly Telford (Chelsea) for Bardsley 83, 14 Alex Greenwood (Liverpool) for Stokes 87.

Substitutes not used: 4 Fara Williams (Reading), 12 Hannah Blundell (Chelsea), 13 Siobhan Chamberlain (Liverpool), 17 Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), 20 Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), 23 Gabrielle George (Everton).

Goals: Duggan 7, Scott 28, Taylor 39, Kirby 47

Bookings: Bright 52

Head coach: Phil Neville


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