England talking points as Ella Toone nets late winner in thrilling comeback vs Netherlands

It was a nightmare start for the Lionesses, who went behind inside 12 minutes thanks to a cool finish from Lineth Beerensteyn. The Juventus forward doubled the visitors&apos advantage before the break, seizing on some shoddy England defending and squeezing the ball beyond the grasp of a stretching Mary Earps.

Beerensteyn&aposs brace meant the Lionesses had it all to do in the second-half but two goals in the space of two minutes from Georgia Stanway and Lauren Hemp restored parity on the hour-mark at a raucous Wembley Stadium.

That quickfire double opened the door for Manchester United&aposs Ella Toone to net the winner in stoppage time, keeping England in the hunt for progression to the Nations League semi-finals. Sarina Wiegman&aposs side now have a few days to recover before they take on Scotland at Hampden Park next Tuesday. The Lionesses need to top their group if they are to make it to the competition&aposs last four and also secure Team GB&aposs qualification for next summer&aposs Olympics.

Here are four of the biggest talking points from Wembley…

England show their mettle

No one of an England persuasion was under any illusions about the significance of Friday night&aposs Wembley showdown to Wiegman&aposs side.

The Lionesses were sitting third in Group A1 ahead of the clash and needed to beat the Netherlands if they were to keep their double-pronged dream of Nations League glory and Olympic qualification alive.

“Obviously we want to put the things right that werent so good in the Belgium game, and its going to be a difficult game for us. We know its a must-win,” midfielder Keira Walsh told the media earlier this week.

“Im hoping we can show the resilient side to us and the character, and put in a good performance.”

Indeed, the Lionesses made a promising start against the Dutch, looking far more spirited than they did in their 3-2 defeat to Belgium. But Beerensteeyn&aposs early goal, mere seconds after England should have been awarded a corner kick, seemed to take the wind out of the hosts&apos sails.

Suddenly, the Lionesses – who have grown so accustomed to excelling under pressure during Wiegman&aposs tenure – looked to have lost their nerve. That pressure told again when some calamitous defending and poor goalkeeping paved the way for the Netherlands&apos second.

The half-time introduction of Beth Mead, making her first England appearance in more than a year, seemed to prove the catalyst for a Lionesses&apos renaissance, with Stanway and Hemp reigniting hope of yet another famous night under the Wembley arch.

Toone&aposs strike in additional time not only helped England yield the three points but, after a challenging few months, also offered a much-needed reminder that the Lionesses are made of stern stuff.

Hemp hits half-century

Ahead of the game, Lauren Hemp conceded there was “no better place than Wembley” to win her 50th cap for the Lionesses.

“It&aposs pretty surreal,” she said. “Every cap is special to me but obviously to make 50 would be incredible. If you had told me when I was younger that at the age of 23 I would have 50 caps, I wouldn&apost have believed you.

“It will be an amazing occasion for me to be able to do that but we&aposll have to wait and see.”

The Manchester City winger might have been coy about her chances of bringing up a half-century of England appearances on Friday night but, considering the scintillating form she has been in for Gareth Taylor&aposs side of late, there was little doubt she would be one of the first names on the teamsheet for the Lionesses&apos crucial Nations League clash with the Dutch.

Hemp has managed three goals and two assists in seven Women&aposs Super League (WSL) games so far this term and scored the winner for Sarina Wiegman&aposs side against Belgium in October. Her imperious form over the summer was central to England&aposs progression to the Women&aposs World Cup Final, while the fact she has managed to amass 50 senior caps before even reaching her 24th birthday speaks volumes about the magnitude of her talent.

She gave an early glimpse of her quality when she nearly teed up Lauren James with an inviting ball into the box before her curling effort was smartly palmed to safety by Daphne van Domselaar. She crowned another solid display with an excellent finish after the break to draw the hosts level in front of 71,632 fans at Wembley.

While England&aposs Nations League future hangs in the balance, the evening is one that will surely live long in the memory for Hemp and her family.

A night to forget for Earps

The injury gods haven&apost been kind to England over the course of the past year. Captain Leah Williamson, star forward Beth Mead and midfield linchpin Fran Kirby were all sidelined for the Lionesses&apos trip Down Under over the summer, with the former still unavailable as she continues her recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

Millie Bright has skippered the side in Williamson&aposs absence and the Chelsea defender has worn the armband with great distinction. However, when the 77-cap centre-back withdrew from the England camp with a knee injury last week, Wiegman had a decision to make.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Dutchwoman opted to bestow the captaincy on goalkeeper Earps, who has come up clutch for the Lionesses on countless occasions over the past two years. Fresh from being crowned the BBC&aposs Women&aposs Footballer of the Year, Earps was subject to plenty of adulation from the crowd as the lineups were read out at Wembley.

But the Manchester United shot-stopper was left frustrated when some shoddy defending opened the door for Lineth Beerensteyn to fire home inside 12 minutes. It was Earps herself, though, who was at fault when Beerensteyn found the back of the net for a second time.

It should have been a straight-forward stop for the 30-year-old – certainly it was one she has made for both club and country several times. But inexplicably the ball squirmed beyond her grasp and England found themselves with a mountain to climb in the second half.

While it seems harsh to suggest relegating Earps – who has so often been the hero for Wiegman&aposs side – to the bench, the impressive recent form of Manchester City goalkeeper Khiara Keating will surely have given the England boss plenty to think about.

Defensive disaster

Earps was not the only one culpable for England&aposs subpar showing. With Bright and Williamson out, it was always going to be tough for Wiegman to configure a back-line capable of keeping a fairly potent Netherlands&apos attack at bay.