Lionesses fall short against Spain in World Cup final: Gunners Down Under

Arsenal striker Alessia Russo was substituted at half time in England’s defeat

Lionesses fall short against Spain in World Cup final: Gunners Down Under

England had to settle for the silver medal after losing to Spain. Credit- BBC Sport

A 1-0 defeat to Spain ended England Women’s hopes of winning a very first FIFA Women’s World Cup title, with Arsenal players Lotte Wubben-Moy and Alessia Russo on the losing side in Sydney.

Olga Carmona’s 29th minute strike was enough for Spain to prevent the Lionesses from adding World glory to their European title in 2022. Mary Earps saved Jenni Hermoso’s second half penalty to prevent Spain taking full control of the game, but England struggled to create chances and were dominated throughout in terms of possession.

Alessia Russo kept her place in the side, meaning that Arsenal’s summer signing has started all seven of England’s World Cup games after coming off the bench in every match of last year’s European Championships campaign.

However, Russo was replaced at half time along with Rachel Daly as Sarina Wiegman switched to a back four. Lauren James and Chloe Kelly were introduced, but England lacked a real focal point upfront in the absence of Russo. Defender Millie Bright being thrown up top late on perhaps exemplified this point.

Lotte Wubben-Moy watched all of England’s victorious Euros games from the bench last summer and had to do the same in Australia this year, having no involvement on the pitch for the Lionesses. Arsenal legend Jordan Nobbs, now of Aston Villa, also failed to play any minutes.

I will be putting together a full review of Arsenal players’ involvement at the now concluded 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be up on the Gooner Fanzine website tomorrow.

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