England's Women got their Euro2022 campaign off to a strong start with a 1-0 win in front of a sell-out Old Trafford against a stubborn Austria side.
Despite a shaky start, in which England's nerves were apparent, they began to take control of the affair and took the lead just after the quarter-hour mark when Beth Mead's cute finish was adjudged to have crossed the line despite a brilliant attempted clearance.
It was largely one-way traffic for the remainder of the first half, with Ellen White missing a pair of good chances when heading wide from 6 yards out and a brilliant save by Austria and England's Manuela Zinsberger on the stroke of the interval.
The Lionesses continued to push on in the second half, but struggled to find that elusive second goal as Austria continued to offer compact and stout resistance.
The second half continued in largely the same vein as both bosses looked to their benches, and as the game headed into it's dying stages nerves once again began to set into the England camp, with Mary Earps forced into action in the final 10 minutes of the encounter to ensure that the Lionesses emerged from their opening match with three vital points.
It means that England top Group A of the tournament, before they head to Brighton to take on Norway on Monday evening.
Mary Earps - 6
Was a passenger for much of the encounter, but did as necessary when called into action late on in the piece.
Lucy Bronze - 7
Was exemplary at right-back and nullified much of the Austrian threat on the left hand side, forcing an early change for the visitors.
Millie Bright - 8
Following a nervy few minutes, ensured that she was the first to every ball into the box to clear the danger. The standout defender.
Leah Williamson - 7
Looked shaky to begin with but grew into the game and continued to showcase her excellent distribution.
Rachel Daly - 5
Was guilty of giving the ball away cheaply on occasions and struggled to bypass the Austrian midfield at times.
Georgia Stanway - 7
Impressive in central midfield as England searched for a second goal. Shot well wide with her one effort on goal.
Keira Walsh - 5
Could never really get into the game.
Beth Mead - 7
Continued her Arsenal form and grabbed the opening goal of the tournament in style. Looked a constant threat during her hour on the pitch.
Fran Kirby - 7
A glorious pass to find Mead to open the scoring. Could perhaps have shown more composure on the stroke of half-time with a better pass. Was taken off as part of the triple change on the hour.
Lauren Hemp - 5
A mixture of wasteful shooting and passing made it a night to forget for the Lioness.
Ellen White - 6
Missed a pair of chances that she will feel she should have done better with in the first half. Taken off on the hour mark.
Ella Toone -6
Came on as England began soaking up pressure and could not do too much to ease it. Looked lively when she was given the ball.
Chloe Kelly - 5
Fired wide when she could have perhaps played in a teammate. Provided an addition of energy to the frontline.
Alessia Russo - 5
Couldn't get into the game at all and was the least lively of the three subsitutes.
Manuela Zinsberger - 7
Made one brilliant save in the dying seconds of the first half to keep the score at 1-0.
Laura Weinroither - 8
Kept the dangerous England left-hand side quiet for the majority of the game. Among Austria's best players.
Carina Wenninger - 7
Overshadowed by her fellow defenders but remained incredibly solid as the defenders ensured England had a tricky evening.
Viktoria Schnaderbeck - 8
A rock at the back of Austria's resolute defence, and the visitors will be hoping that her withdrawal in the final 15 minutes was purely precautionary.
Verena Hanshaw - 6
Solid but unspectacular. Lost Mead for the only goal of the game.
Sarah Puntigam - 6
Tasked with shielding the defence and did her job well, though she is unlikely to grab any plaudits for her efforts.
Barbara Dunst - 6
Forced a late save from England's shot-stopper with a strike that was heading in. Did little else of note.
Sarah Zadrazil - 7
Another featuring in a strong central trio for Austria that, on another day, could have walked away with a result.
Laura Feiersinger - 8
Ran the England midfield ragged and excelled for the visitors. Unlucky to have ended on the losing side.
Katharina Naschenweng - 5
An underwhelming performance on the left hand side of Austria's midfield which saw her hooked just 10 minutes into the second half.
Nicole Billa - 6
Had little support for most of the night and could not manage an effort on goal.
Julia Hickelsberger-Fuller - 6
Brought on to
Marina Georgieva - 5
Came on for the last 10 minutes and could not make an impact.
Marie-Therese Hobinger - N/A
On for the final five minutes.
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