A dominant display at Estadio Nuevo Mirador last night saw England beat Austria 7-2 under the lights in Marbella.

Manager Sarina Wiegman said the friendly marks the start of England’s Euros campaign despite the qualifiers for the tournament not beginning until April.

She also described it as the dream debut for 20-year-old midfielder Grace Clinton.

Clinton, currently on loan to Tottenham from Manchester United, carried her fine WSL form into the international break, as she headed in England’s second goal of the night.

She scored alongside Alessia Russo who capitalised on an early chance in the third minute, as well as Beth Mead, Jess Carter and Rachel Daly who also added to the tally.

‘’She [Clinton] played well and has done really well in training.’’ Weigman told ITV Sport.

‘’She was enjoying herself and it was a very good goal, I’m very happy for her,’’ she added.

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Having last faced Austria in the opening tie of the Women’s World Cup last summer, beating them just 1-0, England were perhaps expecting more of a test from the game last night.

But after significant defensive errors from their opponents, including one from Arsenal goalkeeper Manu Zinsberger, the Lionesses quickly had a 2-0 lead by the 18th minute.

This fast start was slightly stunted on the half-hour as Virginia Kirchberger headed the ball into the back of the net following Austria’s first corner of the game.

However, England responded with little mercy as Beth Mead restored England’s two goal advantage a mere seven minutes later, lifting the ball into the top left corner.

Halftime 3-1

As the second half began Wiegman made a double change to her side, bringing on Chelsea’s Lauren James for Lauren Hemp and Arsenal’s Lotte Wubben-Moy for Alex Greenwood.

Russo claimed her second goal of the night 15 minutes into the second half with a close-range finish following chances from Ella Toone, Maya Le Tissier and Georgia Stanway.

Her cool finish came just minutes before she was subbed off to make way for Rachel Daly in the 62nd minute.

Brace secured, Russo left the field with fellow goal scorer Clinton who was brought off for Jess Park, as well as Niamh Charles who came off for Jess Carter.

Wiegman’s substitutions didn’t take long to make an impact as Carter’s instinctive back heel flick, assisted by Wubben-Moy, took the score line to 5-1 in the 70th minute.

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Then, in the final few minutes of the game, a flurry of goals quickly ensued as Kirchberger offered Austria a second consolation header with just three minutes to go.

But she will have ultimately been left disappointed as a further two late goals from Mead and Daly strongly capped off England’s night with an impressive 7-2 score line.

Despite conceding two goals to set piece situations, Wiegman and the Lionesses will be undoubtedly pleased with such a dominant performance.

Their next game will see them face Italy on Tuesday 27 February in another friendly.

The game kicks off at 5pm with live coverage available to watch on ITV.

Featured Image courtesy of Steve Calcott via Flickr. No changes were made to this image. License details found here.

By Emilie Mwanza

Founder of Beyond The 90. Trainee multimedia journalist based in Preston.