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England vs Belgium LIVE: Lionesses retain the Arnold Clark Cup with six-goal win

England 6-1 Belgium: The Lionesses lifted the Arnold Clark Cup for the second time after thrasing Belgium at Ashton Gate

Jamie Braidwood
Wednesday 22 February 2023 22:28 GMT
Arnold Clark Cup: Wiegman believes Belgium could be 'challenging' for England

England have won the Arnold Clark Cup for the second time after thrashing Belgium 6-1 in Bristol, giving the Lionesses the perfect start to their World Cup year under Sarina Wiegman.

Two goals each from Chloe Kelly and captain Leah Williamson helped to wrap up a dominant result in front of over 26,000 fans at Ashton Gate. The victory added to wins against South Korea and Italy this week as the Lionesses took maximum points from the four-team tournament and comfortably retained their title.

Wiegman’s side won the inaugural edition of the Arnold Clark Cup last year ahead of their historic victory at the European Championships, and the Lionesses will hope the tournament once again acts as the perfect platform before this summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

England will face China, Denmark and Haiti in Group D of the World Cup, while the Lionesses will look to extend their unbeaten run under Wiegman - which now stands at 29 matches - when they take on Brazil and Australia in friendly matches in April.

Follow all the reaction as the Lionesses face Belgium for the Arnold Clark Cup:


FULL TIME! England retain the Arnold Clark Cup!

Chloe Kelly and skipper Leah Williamson notched a brace apiece as England completed a successful defence of the Arnold Clark Cup by thrashing Belgium 6-1 at Ashton Gate.

Needing only to avoid defeat to retain the trophy, the Lionesses took the lead via Kelly in the 12th minute following good work by Lauren James, before Williamson’s header doubled the advantage just prior to the break.

Kelly then put dominant England three goals up five minutes into the second half, making the most of the opportunity when goalkeeper Nicky Evrard spilled Ella Toone’s shot.

While the Manchester City forward, England’s match-winner in last summer’s Euros final, fell just short of a hat-trick, seeing a further effort clip the bar, she ends up as the tournament’s leading scorer with three goals.

There was also a 78th-minute Julie Biesmans own goal, and late finishes from Lucy Bronze and Williamson, either side of Elena Dhont’s reply for Belgium, as England made it three wins from three outings in the round-robin tournament and 25 in 29 games unbeaten overall under Sarina Wiegman.

England retain Arnold Clark Cup as Lionesses cruise to dominant win over Belgium

England 6-1 Belgium: The Lionesses defended the Arnold Clark Cup as Sarina Wiegman’s team added their third victory of the tournament

Jamie Braidwood22 February 2023 22:25

FULL TIME! England retain the Arnold Clark Cup!

The scenes at full time:

(The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
Jamie Braidwood22 February 2023 22:28

FULL TIME! England retain the Arnold Clark Cup!

Here’s Sarina Wiegman, chatting to ITV:

“It’s very nice! Cool stadium, good game, lots of goals, we conceded one - less happy about that, but it was a great goal. It’s been a good week for the team. We saw lots of things, so a good step forward for preparations for the World Cup.”

On Chloe Kelly: “She’s done well. There’s so much joy in this team, she’s in good form and she’s dangerous. It’s good for her.”

On Lauren James - how much more is there to come? “I think a lot more, we’ve said it a couple of times this week, she’s a great talent, she needs to get a bit fitter to keep that level for 90 minutes, I hope she keeps enjoying herself.”

Ahead of the World Cup: “The level of this team is really high, the depth is good and we still have five months to go. The games were good but we know we have to step up more.”

Jamie Braidwood22 February 2023 22:12

FULL TIME! England retain the Arnold Clark Cup!

Here’s the Arnold Clark Cup golden boot winner Chloe Kelly:

“It’s a great feeling, great tournament before the World Cup, it’s building momentum. I didn’t realise (about the golden boot) but the team has been excellent, so we keep going forward. I was a little bit gutted (to not get the hat-trick) but it’s about the team tonight - we were brilliant. Lucy called me the tap-in queen, so I’ll take that!

“It’s very special to be part of such an amazing group. The performances on the pitch shows how great we are and the depth of the squad is exciting moving forward.”

Jamie Braidwood22 February 2023 21:58

FULL TIME! England retain the Arnold Clark Cup!

Leah Williamson lifts the trophy - as England add a second Arnold Clark Cup to their Euros victory!

What a journey the Lionesses are on under Wiegman: 29 matches, 25 wins, four draws, no defeats, and three titles.

And Sweet Caroline is on.

Jamie Braidwood22 February 2023 21:49

FULL TIME! England retain the Arnold Clark Cup!

Lauren James wins player of the tournament! Very well deserved. The winger wasn’t even in the Euros squad last summer - an unbelievable addition to England’s attacking options.

Jamie Braidwood22 February 2023 21:46

FULL TIME! England retain the Arnold Clark Cup!

It’s been another brilliant tournament for England - the opposition wasn’t as tough as last year but the Lionesses knew that and everything this week has gone to plan. They look close to a settled team, rotated well and have an abundance of players in form going into April’s tests against Brazil and Australia.

Chloe Kelly wins player of the match and the golden boot!

Jamie Braidwood22 February 2023 21:44

FULL TIME! England retain the Arnold Clark Cup!

Jamie Braidwood22 February 2023 21:36

GOAL! England 6-1 Belgium (WILLIAMSON 90+2’)

Williamson makes it six! What is going on?!

Jamie Braidwood22 February 2023 21:34

GOAL! England 5-1 Belgium

Wow - what a goal from Belgium’s Elena Dhont!

Jamie Braidwood22 February 2023 21:33

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