England vs Belgium LIVE: Lionesses retain the Arnold Clark Cup with six-goal win

England have won the Arnold Clark Cup for the second time after thrashing Belgium 6-1 in Bristol, giving the Lionesses the perfect start to their World Cup year under Sarina Wiegman.

Two goals each from Chloe Kelly and captain Leah Williamson helped wrapped up a dominant result in front of over 26,000 fans at Ashton Gate. The victory added to wins against South Korea and Italy this week as the Lionesses took maximum points from the three-team tournament and comfortably retained their title.

Wiegman’s side won the inaugural edition of the Arnold Clark Cup last year ahead of their historic victory at the European Championships, and the Lionesses will hope the tournament once again acts as the perfect platform before this summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

England will face China, Denmark and Haiti in Group D of the World Cup, while the Lionesses will look to extend their unbeaten run under Wiegman - which now stands at 29 matches - when they take on Brazil and Australia in friendly matches in April.

Follow all the reaction as the Lionesses face Belgium for the Arnold Clark Cup:

England vs Belgium

  • England win the Arnold Clark Cup after defeating Belgium 6-1 in Bristol

  • 90+2 GOAL! Williamson adds second to cap late flurry of goals (ENG 6-1 BEL)

  • 90’ GOAL! Belgium’s Elena Dhont pulls one back with late screamer (ENG 5-1 BEL)

  • 89’ GOAL! Bronze adds fifth from set piece as England cruise to title (ENG 5-0 BEL)

  • 79’ GOAL! Stanway cross turned into her own net by Belgium defender Biesmans (ENG 4-0 BEL)

  • 49’ GOAL! Kelly adds her second after Hemp makes immediate impact (ENG 3-0 BEL)

  • 41’ GOAL! Williamson doubles England’s lead with header from Bronze cross (ENG 2-0 BEL)

  • 12’ GOAL! Kelly gives Lionesses perfect start after brilliant James dribble (ENG 1-0 BEL)

FULL TIME! England retain the Arnold Clark Cup!

21:36 , Jamie Braidwood

GOAL! England 6-1 Belgium (WILLIAMSON 90+2’)

21:34 , Jamie Braidwood

Williamson makes it six! What is going on?!

GOAL! England 5-1 Belgium

21:33 , Jamie Braidwood

Wow - what a goal from Belgium’s Elena Dhont!

GOAL! England 5-0 Belgium (BRONZE 89’)

21:31 , Jamie Braidwood

There’s a fifth! Five stars for England as Bronze taps in another for the Lionesses from a set piece.

England 4-0 Belgium

21:29 , Jamie Braidwood

85 mins; The changes have taken some of the pace out of the game, while Belgium are also well beaten by this point. Chloe Kelly, deservedly, is named player of the match. She may have scored two tap-ins but her all-round attacking play has been outstanding.

England 4-0 Belgium

21:24 , Jamie Braidwood

81 mins: Park is on for Toone, while the crowd cheer a rare touch for Mary Earps.

GOAL! England 4-0 Belgium (Biesmans OG 79’)

21:21 , Jamie Braidwood

England have a fourth! Stanway makes a brilliant run off the shoulder and Kelly picks out her run. Stanway pulls it back and her cross is turned into her own net by Biesmans for an own goal.

England 3-0 Belgium

21:18 , Jamie Braidwood

77 mins: The attendance at Ashton Gate tonight is confirmed as 26,169.

England 3-0 Belgium

21:17 , Jamie Braidwood

75 mins: Sarina Wiegman could have her feet up on the bench by this point. So too could Mary Earps in the England goal.

England 3-0 Belgium

21:14 , Jamie Braidwood

71 mins: Further changes for England: as Rachel Daly replaces Alessia Russo. A clear sign, then, that it’s Russo and Daly who are likely to compete for the starting spot at the World Cup. Daly is also going for the golden boot, and is only a goal behind Kelly.

England 3-0 Belgium

21:12 , Jamie Braidwood

68 mins: Hemp has slotted into England’s attack superbly and goes close after cutting inside from the right wing. Stanway then reads the play well and steps in to make the interception. Her shot is deflected narrowly wide.

England 3-0 Belgium

21:08 , Jamie Braidwood

65 mins: OFF THE BAR! What a save this is from Evrard, the Belgium goalkeeper. She gets a fingertip save on a swirling drive from Toone, hit from almost the same spot as Kelly earlier.

England 3-0 Belgium

21:05 , Jamie Braidwood

62 mins: A second change for England as Alex Greenwood is replaced by Jess Carter at left back.

England 3-0 Belgium

21:02 , Jamie Braidwood

60 mins: OFF THE BAR! So close again from Kelly! This time she ducks right and takes aim across goal. The shot is vicious and glances the top of the bar. What a way to score a hat-trick that would have been.

England 3-0 Belgium

21:01 , Jamie Braidwood

56 mins: The chances keep coming for the Lionesses - Bronze sees space for a forward run and picks out an excellent cross towards Russo, who is unlucky that her flicked header drifts wide.

GOAL! England 3-0 Belgium

20:56 , Jamie Braidwood

53 mins: That’s so good from Kelly. A brilliant run into the box, ducking and diving between challenges, creates space for the shot, which is lifted over the bar from the angle.

GOAL! England 3-0 Belgium (KELLY 49’)

20:52 , Jamie Braidwood

It’s two for Chloe Kelly! But it’s brilliant from Lauren Hemp, who picks it up on the left and glides inside. She sets up Russo, who shoots. The goalkeeper spills but Kelly is there to poke in England’s third.

Kelly is now leading the way for the golden boot!

England 2-0 Belgium

20:51 , Jamie Braidwood

48 mins: England have picked up where they left off before the break. Toone threatens with a dipping shot from distance before England play in Hemp down the side.

England 2-0 Belgium

20:47 , Jamie Braidwood

Back underway! Lauren Hemp is on for Lauren James at the break.

Hemp was England’s player of the tournament in last year’s Arnold Clark Cup, which just underlines the strength in depth that Wiegman now has in her squad.

HALF TIME! England 2-0 Belgium

20:45 , Jamie Braidwood

Wiegman is set to make some changes at the break, as the England manager looks to shuffle her squad and perhaps reward some of those players who featured against Italy on Sunday.

HALF TIME! England 2-0 Belgium

20:35 , Jamie Braidwood

England have had 71 per cent of the possession and 14 shots so far. At times, it’s felt like wave after wave of England attack, which is so dangerous given the attacking talent Wiegman has at her disposal.

HALF TIME! England 2-0 Belgium

20:32 , Jamie Braidwood

And that’s half time! England are in control after a dominant first-half display.

GOAL! England 2-0 Belgium (WILLIAMSON 41’)

20:28 , Jamie Braidwood

The captain doubles England’s lead! There’s a touch of controversy around the goal as the ball seemed to brush off Russo’s arm in the build up, but no matter. From the corner, England kept the attack going and it broke to Bronze on the left. The full-back picked out a lovely cross to the back post, where Williamson climbed to power the header into the net.

The cross from Bronze was sublime.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:26 , Jamie Braidwood

39 mins: Close! James threatens again - Bronze creates space with the overlapping run as James cuts inside onto her left foot. It sits up a bit, as James’ shot rises over the bar.

James then slips in Stanway, whose touch takes her towards the byline where she wins the corner.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:25 , Jamie Braidwood

38 mins: Not this time though from James, who burned the Belgium full-back Cayman with a step-over but then overhit her cross towards the back post. The acceleration from James after the drop of the shoulder is just special, though.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:23 , Jamie Braidwood

36 mins: Good defending from Biesmans, who beats Russo to James’ cross. The delivery from James was brilliant again, hit first time and with no hesitation from the right wing.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:22 , Jamie Braidwood

34 mins: England are so clearly on top that the Lionesses just need to make sure they don’t get sloppy in the final third. There have been a few examples of players straying offside or not picking the right pass when it mattered.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:20 , Jamie Braidwood

32 mins: Brilliant from Kelly, who turns in the box and then wriggles away from a challenge to get to the byline. It takes a risky challenge from Biesmans to slide in and stop her run. The defender was able to get just enough of the ball.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:18 , Jamie Braidwood

29 mins: The Belgium midfielder Missipo reacts to a challenge from Stanway from behind, which the referee has to intervene on.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:15 , Jamie Braidwood

28 mins: England are able to find James out wide, and the cross towards Russo is dangerous too. The flag is up for offside though.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:13 , Jamie Braidwood

26 mins: Toone with a lovely backheel flick towards Kelly, who cuts inside but sees her shot blocked and out for a corner. From the delivery, Bright has a chance after rising in the box, but it’s headed over.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:12 , Jamie Braidwood

24 mins: England are moving the ball really well into the final third - with James and then Williamson threading passes through the lines. Bronze and Toone are guilty of a couple of loose touches when the ball does get there, but England quickly win it back and go again.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:10 , Jamie Braidwood

23 mins: Keira Walsh missed the win over South Korea due to illness but has just elevated their control as the Barcelona midfielder returns to Wiegman’s strongest line-up.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:08 , Jamie Braidwood

20 mins: England are getting so much possession on the edge of the Belgium box. Now Toone tries a flick towards Kelly, when she had the chance to shoot. Belgium are barely getting out of their half.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:05 , Jamie Braidwood

18 mins: England are enjoying this. Toone does a step-over on the edge before Stanway drops a shoulder and shoots. It takes a deflection and loops up to James - but the volley is straight at the goalkeeper.

England 1-0 Belgium

20:03 , Jamie Braidwood

16 mins: James creates more danger for England from the right side, her cross just a bit above Kelly at the back post. Greenwood picks it up on the other side and whips a ball towards the box, but Russo is just eased away from it by the Belgium defender.

GOAL! England 1-0 Belgium (Kelly, 12 min)

19:59 , Jamie Braidwood

Chloe Kelly scores after great work by Lauren James down the right, who dribbles into the box and crosses low for her winger on the opposite side. The ball pops up off a Belgian defender and Kelly taps home. A well-deserved opener for England.

England 0-0 Belgium

19:56 , Lawrence Ostlere

9 min: This is an extremely one-sided affair, thus far. Alex Greenwood gives away a free-kick and it gives the visitors a rare breather.

England 0-0 Belgium

19:55 , Lawrence Ostlere

7 min: England should be in front already! Keira Walsh plays a typically piercing pass through the Belgian defence for Chloe Kelly, who whips a delivery across the six-yard box for the arriving for Lauren James. The whole stadium expects the net to bulge but somehow James fires over the bar.

England 0-0 Belgium

19:52 , Lawrence Ostlere

5 min: A couple of half-sighters for Alessia Russo, first with a long-range shot which was blocked, and then a moment later with a header which she tried to flick on target but couldn’t quite connect properly.

England 0-0 Belgium

19:50 , Lawrence Ostlere

2 min: A really bright and energetic start from England. Chloe Kelly gets in behind down the left side of the box and drills in a low cut-back, which has to be cleared behind for a corner.

Kick-off! England 0-0 Belgium

19:47 , Lawrence Ostlere

We’re under way... although Georgia Stanway forgot about taking the knee and had to retake the kick-off.

Sarina Weigmann speaks to ITV

19:38 , Lawrence Ostlere

More from the England manager before kick-off:

“You can tell Lauren James is in good form and enjoying herself. She is a very talented player and has been for years. Now she is fit she gets some consistency at Chelsea and that does her good and does us good as well.

“Of course we want to retain this cup and that is how we approach this and every game, to win it. Of course when there is a cup to win we want to win it.”

Sarina Weigmann speaks to ITV

19:35 , Lawrence Ostlere

“I think Rachel Daly and Alessia Russo are both very good so they are competing for the position. Of course we all know Alessia is an incredibly talented player so we wanted to see that today. The competition in the team is very high and that is good for us.

“We don’t have to know our best XI yet. We want to try out a couple of things this week, see lots of players and see their connection and manage loads. Of course we are going to play to win this game but we don’t have to decide the starting line-up for July yet.”

England line-up

19:29 , Lawrence Ostlere

A reminder that England just need to avoid defeat tonight to retain their title. Here’s that XI again:

Earps; Bronze, Bright, Williamson, Greenwood; Stanway, Walsh; James, Toone, Kelly; Russo.

England team news

19:24 , Lawrence Ostlere

England boss Sarina Wiegman has made nine changes to her starting line-up for their final Arnold Clark Cup match against Belgium at Ashton Gate.

Keira Walsh and Alex Greenwood are the only survivors from the team that started Sunday’s 2-1 win over Italy as Wiegman, whose side need to avoid defeat to retain the trophy, named almost the same XI as she had for the 4-0 win against South Korea last Thursday.

Skipper Leah Williamson is among those returning and the attack was back to featuring a front three of Alessia Russo, Chloe Kelly and Lauren James.

Sarina Wiegman says lack of diversity within Lionesses squad ‘won’t change overnight’

19:18 , Lawrence Ostlere

Here’s more from Sarina Wiegman on the issue:

Millie Bright positive about “more diverse future” for English women’s football

19:06 , Lawrence Ostlere

Defender Millie Bright, whose manager at Chelsea Emma Hayes last week described women’s football as “quite middle class” as she expressed concerns about opportunities for girls, said: “I think we have addressed it and changes are in place. But, again, it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight.

“I don’t really think you can put a timeframe on it, but I think it’s nice knowing changes have been made and that things are in place to allow it to be more diverse in the future.”

England’s Millie Bright in training with manager Sarina Wiegman (PA)
England’s Millie Bright in training with manager Sarina Wiegman (PA)

Sarina Wiegman says lack of diversity within Lionesses squad ‘won’t change overnight’

18:58 , Lawrence Ostlere

More from Tuesday's pre-match press conference, which saw Wiegman asked about diversity, with regard to the current England set-up, a talking point last summer when the Lionesses' starting XI at the Euros featured no players from black, Asian or mixed heritage backgrounds.

Earlier this month the Football Association announced a new-look women's and girls' player pathway that it said was to "unearth the very best talent in England, while also making the game more diverse, accessible and inclusive", with up to 70 Emerging Talent Centres being established across the country, catering for players aged eight to 16.

Wiegman was asked about that - as well as the lack of diversity in the England Under-23s team for Monday's 4-1 win against Belgium - and how long she thought it would be before true representation was seen in the squads.

And she said: "You're not going to change it overnight. Over the last weeks the FA, we launched I think an improved pathway which really is about of course performance, but also inclusivity, diversity and accessibility.

"And hopefully in the future, and I don't know how long that will take, we get of course very, very good players, but it represents more the diversity of our community."

England Women celebrate after winning Euro 2022 (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)
England Women celebrate after winning Euro 2022 (Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Wire)

England vs Belgium: Team news!

18:44 , Jamie Braidwood

That is strong from Sarina Wiegman: it’s the same team that started against South Korea, but with Keira Walsh - who missed that game due to illness - starting in midfield and Leah Williamson moving back to defence.

The first-choice XI ahead of the World Cup?

England vs Belgium: Team news!

18:43 , Jamie Braidwood

England: Earps; Bronze, Bright, Williamson, Greenwood; Stanway, Walsh; James, Toone, Kelly; Russo

England vs Belgium

18:40 , Jamie Braidwood

Team news is expected shortly: will Wiegman rotate back to the team that thrashed South Korea or have any of the Lionesses fringe players done enough to earn a starting spot tonight?

England vs Belgium

18:36 , Jamie Braidwood

The England team arriving at Ashton Gate - which is sold out tonight.

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)
 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

England vs Belgium

18:34 , Jamie Braidwood

Rachel Daly remained resolute she would “play anywhere” for England after another impressive audition for the permanent number nine role in the Lionesses’ 2-1 victory over Italy in the Arnold Clark Cup.

England extended their unbeaten streak to 28 games after Daly scored headers in either half to make it two wins from two for the hosts, who beat South Korea 4-0 in their tournament opener.

Daly plays up front for Aston Villa and is the Women’s Super League’s joint leading goal-scorer alongside Manchester City’s Bunny Shaw, netting 10 so far this season, but was employed at left-back throughout the Lionesses’ Euro 2022-winning campaign.

“I will always say I will play anywhere,” Daly told ITV. “I am happy to score but winning the game was in the forefront of my mind and that is what we needed to do and that is what we did and delivered and the team played brilliantly today.

“I think I am pretty good in the air. It probably helps when I am playing all over the place in different positions. For me, right place right time, fantastic ball from Lauren James for the second one and Robbo (Katie Robinson) the first one. I am here to score goals when I play up front, we got the win and that is the most important thing.

“That is what comes with the depth that we have in this squad. We have some unbelievable players in this team and every single one of them is capable of playing at any time and you saw that tonight.

“There were some amazing performances, there is plenty more to come. It keeps us on our toes. but the competition is so healthy and one that we all thrive in and want that challenge.”

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

England vs Belgium

18:21 , Jamie Braidwood

Sarina Wiegman says she does not know what her best XI is as the Lionesses manager prepares to make further changes tonight against Belgium.

Wiegman has rotated her team throughout the Arnold Clark Cup so far and said ahead of tonight’s match: “It shows the team is really good and it’s hard to make decisions.

“We don’t really know the strongest XI at the moment but we don’t need to know yet.

“I think the depth in the squad is growing. What you see now is that it’s really hard to make decisions. We have such a big group that are able to play on that stage.

“We have more than 11 players who could start in the team. It’s not that they’re not good enough to start, it’s just technical choices we make.

“We don’t have to make that decision now. But it’s actually really exciting.”

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

England vs Belgium: Early team news

18:17 , Jamie Braidwood

Kiera Walsh’s return to England’s line-up against Italy means that neither side have any injury concerns heading into Wednesday’s encounter.

Both sides have rotated heavily throughout the tournament but may well opt to put forward their strongest sides for this tournament-deciding encounter.

Predicted line-ups

England: Earps; Bronze, Bright, Williamson, Greenwood; Stanway, Walsh; James, Toone, Kelly; Russo

Belgium: Evrard; Cayman, Kees, De Neve, Meersman; De Caigny, Detruyer, Vanhaevermaet, Biesmans, Dhont; Wullaert

When is England vs Belgium?

18:16 , Jamie Braidwood

The match will kick off at 7:45pm GMT on Wednesday 22 February at Ashton Gate

How can I watch it?

It will be shown live on ITV 4, with coverage starting at 7pm. It will also be available to watch online on the ITV X platform.

Good evening

18:15 , Jamie Braidwood

Hello and welcome to live build-up to England vs Belgium - the final and deciding match of the Arnold Clark Cup. England are one step away from retaining the Arnold Clark Cup and take on Belgium in a winner-takes-all match that will determine which nation lifts the trophy. The Lionesses avoided a scare in their last match against Italy but a brace from Rachel Daly saw them claim a 2-1 victory and extend their unbeaten run under Sarina Wiegman to 28 matches.

Belgium have also won their opening two matches – both 2-1 against Italy and South Korea – and will want to cause an upset against the European Champions. The question now is whether Wiegman will revert to an almost full-strength line-up or continue to rotate and let her squad players compete in tonight’s crucial outing.

Follow all the action as the Lionesses face Belgium for the Arnold Clark Cup

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)