Phil Neville delighted for England's 'massive player' Jodie Taylor

Jodie Taylor scored her first England goal since April, 2018, to send the Lionesses into the last 16, much to Phil Neville's delight.

Cock-a-hoop: Jodie Taylor (front) celebrates after scoring a goal on Friday. Photo: AP

Phil Neville lauded Jodie Taylor as a "massive player" for England after she ended her goal drought to send the Lionesses through to the last 16 of the Women's World Cup.

Taylor scored 61 minutes into Friday's clash against Argentina to earn all three points for England, which moved onto six points at the top of Group D to secured its place in the knockout stage.

It was a dominant performance from England in Le Havre, and the scoreline would have reflected it if not for a superb display from Argentina goalkeeper Varina Correa, who made a string of top-class stops — including one from Nikita Parris' first-half penalty. Taylor, though, stepped up to end Argentina's resistance, nudging in from Beth Mead's sensational cross to open the scoring and end a run of 430 days without an international goal.

REPORT | Argentina 0-1 England

And manager Neville was full of praise for the 33-year-old, claiming her performances in training had left him in no doubt she would end her barren spell. "She's a massive player, a big-game player," Neville told a news conference.

"It's always nice when your forwards are scoring because the hotel's happy, when your centre forwards are bouncing round the hotel because they're scoring goals. They live off goals. I told Jodie before the game that I knew she would score. You reap your rewards from your training performances.

 

"She thrives off service, she thrives off balls through and the support from around her."

England was well on top from the off, and Neville paid tribute to Correa for her fantastic performance. "I thought we were outstanding. We asked them to play with patience, and we dominated the whole game," the former Manchester United player added.

"We've got a team that are really enjoying this World Cup. Goalkeepers in women's football get a lot of criticism, but what we've seen tonight from the Argentina goalkeeper was a performance of world-class ability."

Argentina head coach Carlos Borrello, meanwhile, believes his side's defensive approach was correct, and was proud of a resilient display. "I think we have to be very conscious of where England are [as a team] and where Argentina are," Borrello said.

"We weren't going to go out against them on the attack but we didn't come here looking to lose. I think experience does teach us certain things and we also have to focus on the physical side of things. England's players are athletes and in that part they were stronger than us."

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