Sarina Wiegman said England’s trip had yielded “many positives” after the team concluded their double-header of friendlies in southern Spain with a 5-1 win over Italy.

Four days on from the 7-2 defeat of Austria at the Estadio Nuevo Mirador in Algeciras, another thumping victory for the Lionesses at the same venue began with Lotte Wubben-Moy heading her first international goal in the opening minute.

Lauren Hemp extended the lead with a brace, the second via an excellent header, and after Michela Cambiaghi pulled a goal back for Italy in stoppage time at the end of the first half, substitutes Ella Toone and Rachel Daly completed the rout in the second half.

Boss Wiegman told ITV: “I think the whole camp, a lot of things pleased me.

“I think we had the opportunity to play many players…see what the level was, that was exactly what we wanted, see players in some positions and the connections between players, and then the competition.

“And when you have then such good wins as we had tonight and last Friday, that’s really nice too of course.”

Next up for England are the opening Euro 2025 qualifiers in April as Wiegman’s side begin the journey of defending the title they won on home soil in 2022.

When asked if the camp had given her the answers she needed ahead of the matches in April, Wiegman said: “You never know, because things in football can change so quickly, but it gave us many answers on questions we had at this moment.

“We could take this opportunity to see so many players and play two very good games, train also, see the under-23s (who joined the senior team on the trip). So just very many positives about this week.”

Those positives for Wiegman – who saw Leah Williamson withdraw from her original squad due to injury and Fran Kirby do so between the two matches – included debuts being made by 20-year-old Grace Clinton, a goalscorer in the Austria match, and Millie Turner introduced as a substitute against Italy.

On Arsenal defender Wubben-Moy, after her 12th senior appearance for the team, Wiegman said: “I think she’s definitely taken a step forward because she’s developing a lot and very good.

“That’s what we see weekly at Arsenal and that’s what she shows here too. What you can (also) see is the competition in the position is just really high.”

Wubben-Moy heading in from an Alex Greenwood delivery was an early example as England – on a night that saw them also make some notable errors at the back – demonstrated the problems they can cause from corners.

Wiegman added: “We are always working on it. We had a little more emphasis on it, we had a little more time this week.

“So it’s really good to see that it had so much effect and hopefully we can do that again in the following games.”

Lauren Hemp scored a first-half brace as England beat Italy 5-1 in the second of their double-header of friendlies in southern Spain.

Four days on from defeating Austria 7-2 at the Estadio Nuevo Mirador in Algeciras, the Lionesses started the ball rolling for another thumping win with Lotte Wubben-Moy heading home her first international goal in the opening few seconds.

Hemp then added two efforts, the second an excellent header, to put England three goals up just past the half-hour mark.

Michela Cambiaghi pulled a goal back for the visitors in first-half stoppage time before substitutes Ella Toone and Rachel Daly completed the rout after the break.

After this positive start to the calendar year, next up for England are the opening Euro 2025 qualifiers in April as Sarina Wiegman’s side begin the journey of defending the title they won on home soil in 2022.

Having made five changes to her starting line-up from the Austria game, Wiegman saw England begin in similar fashion, again taking the lead in the opening moments.

This time it came even quicker than Alessia Russo’s third-minute finish against the Austrians, with Wubben-Moy heading in from Alex Greenwood’s corner in the first minute to break her England scoring duck.

Wubben-Moy saw a further header turned around a post by Laura Giuliani soon after before the Lionesses’ lead was extended in somewhat fortuitous circumstances following another Greenwood corner.

The Manchester City defender’s 21st-minute delivery was met by a Giuliani punch and Aurora Galli attempted to clear the ball, only to see it hit Hemp and go in.

After Grace Clinton’s strike was caught by Giuliani and Niamh Charles breathed a sigh of relief when her attempted pass to Mary Earps was intercepted by Cambiaghi but the ball was run out of play, Hemp made it 3-0 in the 34th minute with a fine header as she connected with Georgia Stanway’s cross.

Wiegman’s side pushed for more with Greenwood curling a free-kick wide and Giuliani denying Chloe Kelly and Russo before first-half stoppage time saw Earps called into action to block a Sofia Cantore shot, and then beaten as England lost possession near their own box and Cambiaghi slotted in.

Lauren James was one of two players brought on at the interval and her curling effort from just outside the box was well saved by Giuliani in the 64th minute.

Five minutes later James latched on to a long ball forward from Greenwood, produced a cross from the left to Toone – just off the bench herself – and the Manchester United player finished with a rising side-footed effort.

There was a let-off for Earps when her kick went straight to Cantore and she passed to Cambiaghi, who could only shoot wide from a good position.

England then punished an Italian error in the 79th minute as the recently-introduced Daly pounced on an underhit backpass, took the ball past Giuliani and stroked it in for 5-1.

James almost added a sixth goal in the closing stages, with Giuliani doing well to save her shot.

Inter midfielder Davide Frattesi has hailed the man-management skills of Simone Inzaghi as the Nerazurri boss prepares to shuffle his pack once again against Atalanta.

The Serie A leaders boast a nine-point lead over Juventus and could stretch it to 12 with the right result against Gian Piero Gasperini’s side on Wednesday night.

Inter are set to be without key men Marcus Thuram, Francesco Acerbi and Hakan Canhanoglu, but are ready to bolster the starting XI by recalling some of the players who were rested for Sunday’s 4-0 walkover against Lecce.

Nicolo Barella is expected to reclaim his leading role in the centre of the park, with Benjamin Pavard and Alessandro Bastoni poised to return to the backline after sitting out at the weekend. Striker Marko Arnautovic is also eyeing a promotion from the bench.

And Frattesi, who scored Inter’s second goal against Lecce, believes Inzaghi’s ability to keep the whole squad ready to compete at the highest level is a huge strength.

“It’s best to see a team where everyone is involved. Credit to Inzaghi for not leaving anyone behind,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Even when they were always playing the same ones, he came to talk to us and motivate us, making us feel important. I didn’t think I’d be a starter here straight away, it would have been stupid to even think so – but the bench is an opportunity for growth.

“Inzaghi knows how to manage us and when you have a bad day, he tells you the right words.”

Atalanta will return to the San Siro just three days after their most recent visit, which ended in a hard-fought 1-1 draw with AC Milan.

They will run out lying in fifth place, but just two points adrift of Bologna in fourth and with a game in hand.

On Sunday, La Dea trailed to Rafael Leao’s superb third-minute strike, but got themselves back into it before the break courtesy of Teun Koopmeiners’ penalty, controversially awarded for a high challenge by Olivier Giroud on defender Emil Holm.

Gasperini saw his side lose the reverse fixture against Inter 2-1 in November despite a performance with which he was largely satisfied, and he knows they will need to play at least as well to return with some reward for their efforts.

Gasperini told a press conference: “Inter are a complete team in all respects. Inzaghi has done a great job. Inter have quality players in every department. They play as a team, both in domestic and European competitions.

“We played a good game in the reverse fixture. It was a pretty even match. We aim to repeat that performance.”

Derek McInnes believes Kilmarnock will on Wednesday night face a vastly-improved Rangers team to the one who lost at Rugby Park on the opening day of the cinch Premiership season.

A 1-0 win for the Ayrshire side on August 5 heaped immediate pressure on then Gers boss Michael Beale, who lasted only until October when he was replaced by Philippe Clement with the Light Blues trailing Celtic by seven points at the top of the table.

The Belgian boss has turned Rangers’ fortunes around, bringing the Viaplay Cup to Ibrox and guiding the Govan side to the last 16 of the Europa League where they will play Portuguese side Benfica, as well as overtaking their Old Firm rivals by two points in the league.

Killie themselves are in good form, with their only defeat in the last 14 games coming at Ibrox on January 2, but manager McInnes is bracing himself for a night of “bedlam” when the Ibrox men visit for the second time this season.

He said: “The biggest compliment I can give the current manager is that even with a lot of the players that played that day, there’s far more robustness about Rangers, there is a strength about them, they certainly have the added confidence that winning gives you.

“When maybe the performance that day was a wee bit unsure, there is a certainty about them now. You know what you’re going to get.

“I actually like the way he plays, there is a directness, there is a simplicity, an organisation, you see the detail in their work in and out of possession.

“They don’t think they are anything they are not. They play forward, they ask the question, put balls in the box, take shots on from distance. They work you and you need to be able to stand up to that.

“We’re expecting a tough game but equally, I expect Rangers to get a tough game from us, if we can be anything like ourselves.

“We feel there is a performance in us that can upset Rangers and cause Rangers problems.”

Rangers, who have won nine in a row, scored in the second minute of their commanding 5-0 win over Hearts at Ibrox at the weekend and McInnes expects the start on Wednesday night to be important.

The former Gers midfielder said: “It will be bedlam here, there will be a brilliant atmosphere.

“It is a type of game players want to be involved in and that focuses you, the game demands that and concentration.

“When you are playing against players who want to start quick and come here and flex their muscles, you have to be ready to fight fire with fire and we want to make sure that we try to own that pitch, impose ourselves on the game, like we do any home game.

“Some games are easy to do that, tomorrow night will be a challenge against a strong Rangers team but we have to have the belief going on to the pitch that we are capable of getting a result.

“I know we have the performance in us to win the game and we have to do so much right to make sure that is the case.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers stressed the advantages of positivity from the stands ahead of Wednesday’s visit of Dundee after finding dissent over a substitution “strange”.

Boos rang out from the away support at Motherwell on Sunday when Rodgers brought on Paulo Bernardo for Tomoki Iwata with the scores tied at 1-1 with 13 minutes left.

The criticism likely stemmed from supporters’ desire to see someone else coming off other than Iwata, who had not played since December 13 because of injury, but Rodgers felt it did not help the player coming on.

Celtic went on to win 3-1 with substitutes Adam Idah and Luis Palma getting all three goals between them and Rodgers brought up the jeers when asked about the importance of utilising his bench.

“It’s very important, especially when you get booed for taking off a defender and putting on an attacker,” he said. “That seemed strange.

“You are talking 95 to 100-minute games now, so your bench is very, very important. Having the depth to bring players on make an impact is very important.”

When asked how he felt about the criticism, Rodgers said: “It doesn’t really matter to me, it’s more for the player coming on and the team.

“It’s a negative reaction which I don’t quite understand. You are 1-1 in the game and take off a defensive midfield player and bring on an attacking player who has scored goals this season and you get booed. It just seemed a little strange.

“But thankfully the players’ mentality on the pitch was superb, they kept going, they kept fighting and all the great work they did – especially in the second half in terms of tiring the opponent out – led to a couple of goals at the end.”

When asked about the effect of criticism from the stands, Rodgers said: “It’s not only for Celtic, it’s in general in any club, if that feeling rolls down from the stands onto the pitch and it’s negative, then what do you expect?

“You will get players who will have a nervousness, so the game will look different.

“Whereas if they have that positive reaction and that support, it’s like life, if you get that support and that feeling that people are behind you, everyone, then you will have a greater chance to succeed.”

Sunday’s encounter continued a recent trend where Celtic put together two very different halves of football, as Motherwell deservedly led at half-time. On other occasions, they have struggled to build on a comfortable first half.

“To be fair, it’s been like that for bits of the season,” Rodgers said.

“I see people saying ‘they don’t know their best team, they don’t know the best structure’. We know clearly what the structure is. And it’s not about the best team, it’s the team that finishes the game.

“You play so many games, you are looking for an energy in the game that you can’t possibly keep for 90 minutes unless you make those changes.

“Each game tactically is different. It’s not about finding your best 11 because they won’t finish the game. You have to adapt within the game.

“But there’s no doubt you need to have that ruthless mentality and we would want that for longer periods, of course.

“And we will continue to analyse that to see where we can improve. But by the end of the game, if we have won the game, then that’s what is most important, as well as performing well.”

Brighton have suffered a blow with the news that Kaoru Mitoma is expected to miss the rest of the season.

The Japan winger, who has lit up the Amex Stadium for much of the last two campaigns, has suffered a back injury which could leave him on the sidelines for three months.

He has already missed a chunk of the season due to an ankle injury and his participation in the Asia Cup.

Mitoma’s prolonged absence will be a big blow in the Seagulls’ quest for a top-six finish in the Premier League, their Europa League campaign – where they play Roma in the last 16 – and their FA Cup challenge, which continues at Wolves on Wednesday.

Boss Roberto De Zerbi said at a press conference to preview the trip to Molineux: “It’s a bad, bad situation. It’s the back injury which kept him out against Everton (at the weekend). It’s an important problem. I think two or three months, (so) finished (for) the season.”

The Seagulls will also be without Evan Ferguson (ankle) and Joel Veltman, while Danny Welbeck is a doubt and Billy Gilmour is suspended.

“Ferguson tomorrow, he can’t play,” De Zerbi added. “Welbeck has a problem and we have to make a check.

“Veltman as well can’t play and the other players injured can’t play.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp feels he needs “miracles” to get a number of his injured players back sooner rather than later.

Midfielder Ryan Gravenberch was the latest to be ruled out – for at least two matches – after he was carried off on a stretcher in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final victory over Chelsea.

But Wataru Endo is also a doubt for Wednesday’s FA Cup visit of Championship high-flyers Southampton after he left Wembley on crutches and wearing a protective boot, which would take the number of first-teamers unavailable to 13.

And Klopp admitted veteran midfielder Thiago Alcantara – who has made one five-minute substitute appearance since April – may not play again for the club as his contract expires in the summer.

Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Dominik Szoboszlai are closest to returning, but they may not be risked in the cup.

“We need miracles with a few players,” Klopp said. “I don’t want to rule them out for too long.

“But it is touch and go with a lot of players who were not available for the final: Darwin, Mo, Dom – we have to see what they can do (on Tuesday).

“In an ideal world you’d think about these kind of things but we obviously don’t live in an ideal world so we will see when the players arrive and they get checked.

“When the players arrive and I can look in their eyes and see who might be ready then I will make the line-up.”

Klopp is likely to have to rely on a number of the younger players who made such an impression at Wembley, with 19-year-olds Bobby Clark, son of former Newcastle midfielder Lee, and James McConnell likely to start against Saints.

Although the pair have made just one start apiece in cup competitions this season, Klopp has total faith in their ability to step up in the team’s hour of need – although he urged fans to make allowances for them.

“First and foremost, they don’t have to show anything. Our boys played in youth teams and under-21s and only came up recently and trained with us: absolutely nil experience but a lot of talent and they showed that,” he added.

“If you play more of them (against Southampton) from the start and we have a look and think, ‘Hmm, they are not as good as I thought on Sunday’, that would be horrendous so there is absolutely no pressure.

“All what these boys have to do is to really enjoy what they are doing. They have to defend like men, otherwise they cannot play.

“I saw them doing that (on Sunday) and it obviously helped and it gave confidence and there are so many things you cannot buy. Usually you need years for getting these kind of experiences that they got in a flash.

“It’s possible and a few of them have to start, that is clear, and if they do they will do the job and we all have to help them with celebrating the right things and not moaning about the wrong things.”

Following the capture of a record-extending 10th League Cup on Sunday, Liverpool have made tentative moves regarding an end-of-season parade.

It is not something they would not usually do for a victory in that competition but they want to mark the end of Klopp’s nine-year reign this summer.

“That is the one part which is not so cool that it could be seen as that (a farewell to him)” he said. “I don’t think that makes sense.

“But besides that, I am a big supporter of trophy parades and if there is a parade I will be on the bus, no doubt about that.”

Philippe Clement would welcome an England recall for Rangers goalkeeper Jack Butland but knows Gareth Southgate needs to make that decision.

A Sky Sports report claimed the 30-year-old, who won the last of his nine caps in September 2018, is in contention for the Brazil and Belgium friendlies at Wembley in March ahead of the 2024 European Championships this summer.

Ahead of the cinch Premiership trip to Kilmarnock on Wednesday night – where Gers boss Clement revealed striker Kemar Roofe will not be considered because of the artificial surface – the Belgian said of the Butland report: “I would love that he would be there because he deserves, he is ready in that way.

“If he deserves enough, that is the decision of Southgate of course.

“He (Butland) has been really good for the team although he has had less to do in the last couple of weeks.

“But he keeps the same concentration, the same seriousness and he is important in the dressing room and in training, and he is going to be important in the next couple of weeks and months because we have a lot of games to go and a lot of important games where you need players with personality.”

Derek McInnes’ side have gone unbeaten in seven games in all competitions since losing 3-1 at Ibrox on January 2 and sit in fourth place.

Clement’s team are two points clear of Celtic at the top of the table but he is wary of the Ayrshire side’s form and their artificial surface providing a potential double-whammy to their title challenge.

He said: “It is a difficult challenge and we will approach the game with respect for the opponent but also respect for ourselves, to play our own game although you need to adapt to a totally different kind of football because of the pitch.

“I made the comparison with tennis. Playing at Wimbledon or on a clay court.

“It is a little bit like that, of course a different sport but the ball goes faster (on artificial turf) so you need to be a little bit more precise.

“On a grass pitch when you give a pass it slows down after a while. On artificial, it keeps its speed or goes even faster along the way.

“The ball bounces in a totally different way, also the way of turning, sprinting, stopping – a lot of things that are different but it is what it is.

“It is not easy but we did it before at Livingston and we need to do it again.

“The most important thing is getting three points but it will be a totally different game.

“We are going to go there with full focus but we know it is one of those dangerous moments, it can be a bump on the road.”

Mauricio Pochettino is confident he retains the backing of Chelsea’s owners but conceded his future was out of his hands after defeat in the Carabao Cup final increased scrutiny of his position.

The under-fire Argentinian said he had supportive conversations with the club’s co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali following Sunday’s 1-0 extra-time loss to Liverpool.

Defeat at Wembley sparked further criticism of Pochettino and his expensively-assembled squad – including scathing comments from Gary Neville – as they failed to overcome inexperienced rivals who were missing a host of star names.

Chelsea, who are languishing in 11th place in the Premier League and sit closer to the relegation zone than the top four, return to action on Wednesday evening at home to Championship club Leeds in the FA Cup fifth round.

“I said hello to the owners when I saw them in the stadium and after (the final) I met Behdad and we were talking,” said Blues boss Pochettino, who has lost forward Christopher Nkunku to another injury.

“We were sharing our opinions about the game and the opportunity we missed to win a trophy because I think we played really well during the 90 minutes.

“We created the best chances, we were not clinical enough but that is what has happened since the beginning of the season.

“They (the owners) showed their support and after the game, Todd sent a nice message.”

Asked if he would be given time to turn things around, Pochettino replied: “It’s not in my hands. We have a very good relationship with the owners, with the sporting director.

“It’s up to them to trust or not. It’s not the coach’s decision.”

Manchester United boss Erik Ten Hag has hit back at Jamie Carragher’s criticism of his side’s defending.

Speaking on Sky Sports on Monday evening, former Liverpool defender Carragher was scathing about United’s display in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Fulham, which ended a five-match winning run that had fuelled some optimism around Old Trafford.

But Ten Hag accused Carragher of being biased against his side, saying: “First of all, some analysts are very objective in their comments, very good advice, some are very subjective.

“Jamie Carragher is one of them. From the first moment on he has criticised and now he wants to make his point.

“Probably in the first half an hour, yeah, he had a point. Fulham in their midfield set-up a little bit surprised us and then we have to find the solutions. After half an hour we found the solutions.

“I was not pleased with the performance in defending, especially with the left side, how we did the pressing because they came out, especially in the first half an hour, several times on the left side and that can’t happen.

“And that has everything to do with willingness, spirit and passion. That was in the previous weeks very good from this team and therefore we won football games.

“I know footballers are not robots, sometimes they have bad days. But it can’t be, it’s unacceptable and we have to do better tomorrow. But in the weeks before we have done very well.”

Ten Hag also gave a staunch defence of Antony, whose future is the subject of much speculation.

The United boss did not comment on whether the Brazilian winger could be sold in the summer but insisted he can get back to his best after failing to make the starting line-up in the Premier League this year.

“I backed him for a long time,” said Ten Hag, who previously managed Antony at Ajax.

“I know his abilities and he has great abilities. I know from the past, he is unstoppable, no defender can stop him because he’s one of the quickest players in the first 10 yards. When he plays that game, he will perform.

“I’m very confident he will do it for the future. He is resilient, he is a character and he will fight back. I back him and he now has to wait for his chance and once he is there he has to pick up.”

United face a crunch week in their season, with Wednesday’s FA Cup fifth-round clash against Nottingham Forest followed by the Manchester derby at the Etihad on Sunday.

The FA Cup is the Red Devils’ last chance of silverware, while defeat on Sunday could spell the end of their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

“When you are unbeaten for January and February and you lose one game – we know our aim is to win every game, at United you have to win every game,” said Ten Hag.

“Obviously it was a poor performance, a poor defeat, we are aware of this and we want to stay in every competition so, yeah, we have to win tomorrow. But it doesn’t change our approach because that is for every game.

“So many more defining moments will be coming up. The first game is the most important.”

Midfielder Casemiro is available for the trip to Forest after being forced off against Fulham with a cut to his head.

Jamaica's young Reggae Boyz remain in the driver's seat to secure the coveted Group F top spot, following their 2-0 win over Grenada in their second encounter at the Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship qualifiers in St Kitts and Nevis on Monday.

The Jamaicans, who clipped Martinique 1-0 in their opening contest on Saturday, made it two-in-two, courtesy of goals from Nicholas Simmonds (30th) and Ronaldo Barrett (82nd). It was the first goal for both players at this level and the first time Jamaica have secured consecutive wins at the tournament since 2022. It was also the country's first consecutive clean sheet at the tournament since 2018, and first win against Grenada at this level since that 2018 outing.

Simmonds, who represents Richmond Kickers in the United States, was delighted by his first start and, by extension, his first national goal.

"It felt good so thanks to coach for giving me the start and it was also great to get a goal in. I am just happy to wear the national colours and I am looking forward to a good game against Bermuda, the team chemistry is really good, so we should again do well in that game," Simmonds said in a post-game interview.

With the win, the John Wall-coached young Reggae Boyz remain in pole position on six points, and only require a draw against second-placed Bermuda (three points) on Wednesday to confirm their spot in the Concacaf Championships round where the top six teams –United States, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic -awaits.

The final round will be staged in Mexico in July, where four spots to the 2025 FIFA Under-20 World Cup will be up for grabs.

Elsewhere in Group F, Martinique rebounded from their loss to Jamaica to edge Bermuda 2-1.

Hervinsonn Gervais (33rd) and Awon Guillaume (63rd) scored for Martinique, while Riley Robinson (82nd) pulled one back for Bermuda.

Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago will be among those in action on Tuesday, as they lock horns with Canada in a much-anticipated Group D top-of-the-table clash with Canada, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

The two will meet in the 6:00pm feature contest, after Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines square off in a 3:00pm contest of academic interest.

This will be the 10th all-time meeting between Trinidad and Tobago and Canada at this level, with the North American boasting seven wins, one loss and one draw from their previous encounters. Both teams are currently locked on six points, with Canada ahead on goal difference. The winner progress to this summer’s Championship.

 

Caribbean representative Dominican Republic ended their Concacaf Women's Gold Cup campaign winless, as they went down 0-3 to Argentina, while Mexico stunned tournament favourites United States 2-0, in the final round of Group A fixtures at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, on Monday.

The results saw Mexico finishing tops in the group on seven points, with United States second on six, while Argentina improved their chances of being one of the two best third-place teams to progress to the quarterfinals, as they end third on four points. Dominican Republic finished without a point and conceded 16 goals.

Dominican Republic vs Argentina

With two third place spots up for grabs at that point, both Dominican Republic and Argentina started purposefully and with some intensity as they went in search of their first win.  The fact that Argentina held Mexico to a goalless stalemate to start the tournament, while Dominican Republic lost 0-8 to the same opponent, meant the South Americans were a bit more confident, and they put that on display in the early exchanges.

They pushed back their Spanish-speaking Caribbean rivals into a defensive posture and fired a few warning shots from a distance, before they inevitably broke the deadlock in the 30th minute. Midfielder Dalila Ippolito fired home from a one-on-one situation with Dominican Republic's goalkeeper Paloma Pena, after the opponents defence failed to take care of possession.

Argentina doubled their lead in the second half through Celeste Dos Santos's 76th-minute effort, which polished off a tidy one-two combination with Mariana Larroquette.

And the win was capped by Maricel Pereyra in the 90+4, who fired home from just outside the 18-yard area.

United States vs Mexico

The feature contest of the group ended with Mexico securing a historic 2-0 win over four-time World champions United States to take top honours.

It is the first Mexico win against the United States since 2010, a span of 16 matches. The two goals also snap a streak of 33 straight matches in which the United States kept a clean sheet in Concacaf competitions.

Both teams gave as good as they got in end-to-end action, with strikers Sophia Smith of United States and Mexico's Maria Sanchez testing the goalkeepers Esthefanny Barreras and Alyssa Naeher, who both proved equal to the task.

Mexico eventually found the go-ahead goal in the 38th minute when Jaqueline Ovalle capitalized on a defensive error by Becky Sauerbrunn and fired past the hapless Naeher, who was left for dead after advancing off her line.

Karla Nieto went close to doubling the lead on the stroke of half time, but her well-struck shot from just outside the 18-yard box, rattled the crossbar.

United States went in search of the elusive equaliser, but their hunt ended fruitless, as Lindsey Horan fired a freekick over the crossbar in the 56th, while Trinity Rodman's 89th-minute effort went just wide of the upright.

And if that wasn't bad enough, Mayra Pelayo rubbed salt in the United States wounds in the 90+5, when she rifled home a right-footer from outside the box, that lodge in the top right corner, to gift Mexico an historic victory.

 

 

Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott accepts he will have to continue to push himself “to the max” as injuries threaten to derail the club’s bid for an unprecedented quadruple.

The 20-year-old played the full 120 minutes of Sunday’s Carabao Cup extra-time win over Chelsea just four days after playing the entirety of the 4-1 victory against Luton, in which he scored a 90th-minute goal and had to be hauled off the turf at the end of the game.

His previous four appearances had all been as a substitute and amounted to just 153 minutes, but with 12 first team players unavailable through injury, fringe and academy players are now finding they are having to play more significant roles.

That is likely to be the case against Sky Bet Championship high-fliers Southampton in the fifth round of the FA Cup at Anfield on Wednesday – the third of four games in 15 days.

“Digging in deep – it came off the back of 90 minutes in midweek – is what you live for. This is why you’re a footballer,” said Elliott, who collapsed to the ground in exhaustion as the rest of the team ran to celebrate Virgil van Dijk’s 118th-minute goal at Wembley.

“You need to push yourself to the max in order to get results and we did that.

“To come away with a victory is massive but we need to put it behind us, make sure we are recovered and focused on Wednesday.

“It will be another big test against Southampton as they are doing well this season and are going to cause us problems.

“I can’t wait for another game.”

Wednesday looks like a significant hurdle for Liverpool – top of the Premier League by a point and facing Sparta Prague in the Europa League – to overcome in their quest to win four trophies taking into account their injury situation and the emotional toil of the cup final just a few days ago.

Elliott insists it is up to the players to battle their way through if of they want to keep the bid on track.

“It’s going to be hard. It is just down to us. We need to put in the fight, desire and hunger and who knows at the end of the season,” he added.

Sweden midfielder Kristoffer Olsson is on a ventilator in hospital after collapsing at home due to a brain condition, his club Midtjylland have announced.

The 28-year-old, who had a spell at Arsenal as a teenager, has not appeared for the Danish club since December and there had been mounting speculation over his absence.

Midtjylland said in a statement on their official website: “In view of the increasing rumours and speculation that are circulating about the reason for Kristoffer Olsson’s absence in the recent period, we are forced to make this announcement to the public.

“The 28-year-old Swedish international lost consciousness in his home on Tuesday 20 February and was transferred to Aarhus University Hospital, where he has been admitted and on a ventilator.

“Kristoffer Olsson is affected by an apparently acute disease related to the brain, which is not caused by self-harm of any kind, nor is the cause due to external factors.

“A team of Denmark’s leading medical experts is currently working hard to make a diagnosis and initiate the right treatment.”

Midtjylland called for “respect and understanding” and added: “Everyone at FC Midtjylland is of course deeply affected by Kristoffer’s sudden illness and our thoughts and full support go to Kristoffer and his family.”

Arsenal wished Olsson, who has won 47 caps for his country, a “full and speedy recovery” on social media.

Olsson joined the Gunners from Swedish side Norrkoping aged 16 and made one senior appearance as a substitute in a League Cup game against West Brom.

He is currently in his second permanent spell with Midtjylland and has also had stints at AIK, Krasnodar and Anderlecht.

What the papers say

Big changes could be in the pipeline at Chelsea on and off the pitch this summer, according to various reports. The Daily Mail says Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim is a possible replacement for manager Mauricio Pochettino.

On the field, the club are looking to sell defender Trevoh Chalobah, 24, and Albania forward Armando Broja, 22, according to The Daily Telegraph. England midfielder Conor Gallagher, 24, and Spain left-back Marc Cucurella, 25, could also leave in the summer.

Summer changes are also expected at Manchester United. The Manchester Evening News says Brazil winger Antony, 24, is among the players they would be prepared to sell.

Victor Osimhen is eyeing a move to the Premier League, according to The Sun. Arsenal and Chelsea are believed to be heading the race for the Napoli striker, 25, although Manchester United and Paris St Germain are also reportedly  interested.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Alphonso Davies: Real Madrid have reached agreement to sign the Bayern Munich and Canada left-back, 23, in the summer or next year, according to The Athletic.

Joao Palhinha: Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Arsenal are chasing the Fulham and Portugal midfielder, 28, reports Football Insider.

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