Earps: The job isn’t done yet
Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps has reiterated that England’s job at Euro 2022 is not done yet.
The Lionesses, featuring Mary and her Reds team-mates Alessia Russo and Ella Toone, overcame Sweden 4-0 in the semi-final on Tuesday evening to progress to Sunday’s final at Wembley.
Despite the comfortable nature of the full-time scoreline, it could have been a very different story had the Reds goalkeeper not produced a commendable early stop with her left boot to prevent Sweden’s Sofia Jakobsson from finding the net inside the contest’s opening moments.
Earps then notably went on to deny dangerous-looking efforts from Stina Blackstenius either side of half-time, on the way to a fourth clean sheet in five matches at the tournament, as England triumphed again.
“I don’t think we know whether to celebrate or cry but the job isn’t done yet and I think we’re all just super focused.”
Throughout the tournament, our goalkeeper has always been alert, focused and ready to be called upon when needed.
Our no.27 says she was happy that she could have that presence again at Bramall Lane on Tuesday, as England set up a Sunday final with either Germany or France – who will contest tonight’s second last-four tie.
“I had a few things to do. I was just chuffed I could help the team and do my job – that’s all I really want to do.
“Just perform to the best of my ability and help the team put in a really strong performance, and I think we did that, and we got a really good result.”
Mary Earps. 👏 pic.twitter.com/VIzaFvFx9u— Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 27, 2022
So much ❤️ for that Mary Earps performance! pic.twitter.com/3S9w5Jvh8r— Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 26, 2022
|┻┳┻┳┻┳┻┳┻┳┻┳|— adidas UK (@adidasUK) July 26, 2022
|┻┳┻ Mary Earps ┻┳┻|
While a lot of attention has justifiably been on England’s free-scoring attacking during the tournament, the importance of the solid showings at the back may have naturally been flying somewhat under the radar in comparison.
Speaking on Sky Sports News on Wednesday morning, Sheffield United forward Courtney Sweetman-Kirk highlighted the strength of Sarina Wiegman’s defence in the run to the final, citing Earps’s early stop in Tuesday’s win.
“I think if you go a goal down within a minute it sets panic stations, so I think the fact she has kept that out, she has done very well,” Sweetman-Kirk said of Earps.
“In terms of the save, she’s made herself big and spread herself and I think, for a forward, that’s one of the hardest things to do, because she goes quite late, she keeps herself quite big until late.
“The best thing we could probably say about this defence in the tournament is that we haven’t spent a lot of time talking about the keeper or the defence. I think we’ve only conceded one goal all tournament so that’s unbelievable defensive capabilities.”