Boss content as England held to a scoreless draw by Spain in Arnold Clark Cup

Sarina Wiegman believes England exhibited a “more mature” performance during their goalless draw against Spain in the second round of fixtures in the Arnold Clark Cup.

By Sonia Twigg
Sunday, 20th February 2022, 7:37 pm

England went into the game looking to make a mark against a Spain side built around a core of players from Champions League winners Barcelona, after a 1-1 draw against Canada in the opening round.

Wiegman made eight changes from the Canada clash, with Sheffield pair Millie Bright and Ellioe Roebuck both on the bench and the Lionesses managed to keep Spain quiet for the most part, which pleased the England manager.

“What I liked most today was that we had a plan on how we wanted to play and how we wanted to play against Spain because Spain has a different style again than Canada had and I think how we did that as a team,” the Lionesses manager said.

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Nikita Parris of England is challenged by Ona Batlle of Spain during the Arnold Clark Cup match between England and Spain at Carrow Road (Photo by Harriet Lander/Getty Images)

“Because we substituted a lot and we had other players on the pitch than we had on Thursday and I think that’s what made me the most happy about this was that we really stuck to the plan.

“I hope that what we are going to do is we are going to reward ourselves, because we created chances.”

England only had 34 percent of the ball, but Spain struggled to convert their possession into chances, managing just four on target during the 90 minutes.

“I think the difference between Canada and today was against Canada it was really different second half and we lost so many possessions and unnecessary and I think now, although we had near the end of the game we had some struggles, but we kept up the good and we created some chances and we could have scored.

“So yes I think this was more mature than against Canada and that’s development, that’s nice.”

Spain coach Jorge Vilda admitted he was not worried despite his side having 11 shots but being unable to score.

“I would be worried if we weren’t creating chances but that isn’t the case, because we’ve had them in all the game,” the Spain coach said.

“Perhaps at times (we) needed to be a little bit more cutting edge to get the opportunity that we needed to score the goal that we’re after, we will continue to work on this ahead of the Euros this summer.

“What we’ve seen today was a fantastic game with a bit of everything in it, I have said several days ago, our main objective is to use this tournament as a means of allowing ourselves to improve, we’re doing just that.

“So I feel that as a whole it was a fair result and we’ll have to just take what we can from this game moving forward.”