England could have slumped ­further after failing to progress to the Nations League finals last year, with Team GB missing out on the Olympic Games as a result. Instead, they talked of resets, fresh starts, new beginnings. They turned that talk into action in Spain, with a 5-1 defeat of Italy added to an impressive 7-2 win against Austria on Friday to begin the charge towards retaining their European title next year.

“I think I might be the most happy with that part,” Sarina Wiegman said after the defeat of Italy. “Of course it was a huge disappointment in December, although I thought we had a really good camp in December and our game flowed again, so that was already really good. I think that’s what you saw now, too – lots of energy in the team, minutes, players ready to go but also the connection with the under-23s … we ticked so many boxes we would have liked to have ticked.”

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