Women's World Cup: How did England's players perform in France?

Phil Neville speaks to his players after their defeat by Sweden in the third-place play-off
Phil Neville speaks to his players after their defeat by Sweden in the third-place play-off

England "touched the hearts of the nation" according to head coach Phil Neville, but they could only finish fourth at the World Cup after defeat by Sweden.

After being knocked out in the semi-finals by the United States, they could not match the bronze medal they won at the 2015 tournament under former boss Mark Sampson.

Despite a disappointing finale, England's tournament has been deemed a success. But how did the players perform?

Lucy Bronze
Lucy Bronze impressed at right-back but was at fault for one of the goals in England's semi-final defeat by United States

The ratings are compiled as an average from BBC Sport's player rater.

The outstanding performers

Ellen White

England's star performer in France with six goals, a tally that would have been eight had crucial "equalisers" not been ruled out against the United States in the semi-final and against Sweden in the third-place play-off.

The striker has benefited hugely from Phil Neville's decision to stop her running out wide so she could concentrate on being a predator in the box. Whatever Manchester City paid Birmingham City to sign the 30-year old forward before the World Cup, it wasn't enough.

Average rating: 7.2

Did you know? White scored six goals from 17 shots at the World Cup.

Lucy Bronze

Once again showed she is the best right-back in the world, if not the best player full stop, as Phil Neville has described her.

Few defences have been able to contain the marauding Lyon player, and her thunderous strike in the 3-0 quarter-final win over Norway showed the finishing touch that England craved.

The only disappointment was the semi-final, when she lost Christen Press for the United States' opening goal. A future England captain.

Average rating: 6.8

Did you know? Bronze made 16 successful dribbles at the World Cup; the most of any player for the Lionesses.

Jill Scott

Scott ran England's midfield and was one of their most consistent performers. Neville's claim that she was "irreplaceable" held true, and the 31-year-old's boundless energy helped guide fellow midfielder Keira Walsh through her first World Cup.

The Manchester City club-mates made a good pairing, but were exposed by Neville's decision to opt for 4-4-2 against the USA rather than the 4-2-3-1 he had preferred for the rest of the tournament.

Average rating: 6.8

Did you know? Scott has now made 21 appearances in World Cup matches, more than any other England player in the competition (men and women).

Karen Bardsley

The fourth quarter of the Manchester City spine that ran through the England team, goalkeeper Bardsley made some crucial saves as England conceded only one goal in the first five games. There was some occasional hesitancy, but she confirmed her status as England's number one, even if she missed the semi-final through injury.

Average rating: 6.8

Did you know? Karen Bardsley had a 92% save percentage at the World Cup, conceding just one goal in her four appearances.

Steph Houghton

After taking time to get used to the captain's role, Houghton has proven herself to be a leader of the highest calibre.

When England have faltered at the back, she has been there to pick up the pieces, and, off the pitch, team-mates talk of a leader who always has their backs.

The fact that her performances have come at a time when her husband is dealing with illness makes it all the more impressive.

Average rating: 6.6

Did you know? Houghton completed more passes than any other England player at the World Cup (388).

Beth Mead
Beth Mead set up two England goals in her debut World Cup

Players whose stock rose

Rachel Daly

Impressed against Japan in the group stages, and although she didn't reach the same heights in the semi-final, she still added energy and a feistiness to the right side of England's midfield.

Average rating: 6.1

Did you know? Daly completed six of her eight attempted dribbles at the World Cup, with a success rate of 75%.

Beth Mead

Arsenal forward Mead can rightly feel aggrieved at being dropped for three successive games after a good start to the tournament, and made amends in the semi-final against USA by setting up Ellen White's opening goal.

There are times when Mead needs a better final ball, but she set up three goals and gets into positions to make things happen.

Average rating: 6

Did you know? Prior to the final, only Netherlands midfielder Sherida Spitse (with four) has registered more assists at this World Cup than Mead's three.

Georgia Stanway

Only started one game - the last group match against Japan - but the youngest player in England's squad made a huge impression with some clever inter-play, sharp shooting and an assist for White's goal.

Reduced to substitute appearances otherwise, which may have been harsh given that Fran Kirby had a mixed tournament in the number 10 position. A bright future looks assured.

Average rating: 6.0

Did you know? Against Japan, Stanway became the youngest Englishwoman to start a World Cup match since Karen Carney in September 2007.

Keira Walsh

Another World Cup debutant who looked comfortable in the England midfield. Offers the type of crisp passing that England have missed, and can break lines or ping the ball crossfield.

There were moments where her distribution was awry, but sometimes the 22-year old was not helped by a lack of options further forward when England played out from the back.

Average rating: 5.9

Did you know? Walsh was the second-youngest player to appear for England (behind Georgia Stanway), making five starts.

Carly Telford

Solid if unspectacular, but showed that she can deputise for Bardsley in goal when called upon, and did not look fazed after waiting 12 years to make her major tournament debut.

Average rating: 5.4

Did you know? Telford became the oldest player to make her England debut in the competition since Kerry Davis in June 1995 versus Nigeria.

Others:Karen Carney (average rating 5.9) showed glimpses of her wizardry, but didn't get many minutes. Abbie McManus (5.1) looked capable when called upon, Jade Moore (5.6) added bite in midfield. Jodie Taylor (6.0) scored against Argentina but had to play deputy to White.

Millie Bright
Millie Bright was sent off against the United States in the semi-final for two bookable offences

Room for improvement

Toni Duggan

After struggling in her first game - the final group match against Japan - she improved in the 3-0 last-16 win against Cameroon with two assists, but failed to make an impression against Norway or the USA.

Looks as if she has regressed since moving to Barcelona, and will hope a move will reignite her England career.

Average rating: 6.2

Did you know? Duggan ended on the winning side in all three of her appearances for England at the World Cup.

Nikita Parris

Much was expected from the Lyon winger, and although she dazzled early on down England's right with Lucy Bronze, she seemed to struggle after her missed penalty against Argentina in the second group game.

Another missed spot-kick in the quarter-final against Norway didn't help, and she looked uncomfortable behind White in the semi-final. A lot better down the right side, but Parris will reflect on a mixed tournament.

Average rating: 6.2

Did you know? Parris won more fouls (11) and fouls in the final third (five) than any other England player.

Fran Kirby

Kirby showed glimpses of what she is capable of with some strong running from midfield, and improved a struggling England in the second half against the US. But it often looked as if her team-mates lacked confidence in her - with Chelsea boss Emma Hayes saying they should pass to the Blues forward more.

Finally showed her quality as she scored a fine goal in the third-place game against Sweden.

Average rating: 6.1

Did you know? Despite only starting five of seven games, Kirby created more chances than any other England player (11).

Alex Greenwood

Manchester United left-back Greenwood offers plenty going forward, including from set-pieces, but at times can struggle against fast wingers and gets caught out of position.

That was the case for Scotland's goal in the opener, which England won 2-1, and her lay-off for Kosovare Asllani's strike in the third-place play-off was textbook - but for all the wrong reasons.

Average rating: 6.1

Did you know? Only Lucy Bronze (17) made more tackles than Greenwood (12) among English players.

Demi Stokes

Manchester City left-back Stokes is better defensively that Greenwood, but is another player who struggled to play out from defence and often passed the ball backwards rather than being more positive.

Average rating: 6.1

Did you know? England kept a clean sheet in both of the group stage games that Stokes started.

Millie Bright

The Chelsea centre-back was England's best defender at Euro 2017 but she didn't reach the same heights in her first World Cup.

She admitted that some of her passing "could have been crisper" during the tournament, and Neville's insistence on playing out from the back didn't suit her, but the team overall struggled on that front.

Bright can't have too many complaints about the red card in the semi-final defeat.

Average rating: 5.5

Did you know? Bright made the most headed clearances of any England player (eight).

Not rated

Lucy Staniforth (12 minutes), Leah Williamson (six minutes) and Mary Earps (did not play) were not involved enough to be rated.

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