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Sweden's winning combination

Ah, a story that wrote itself. Hedvig Lindahl and Magdalena Eriksson really are a dream Chelsea duo in matches as much as off the field.


Their meeting with Russia ended threw up a second clean sheet for the Blues goalie and an assist for our new signing, whose free-kicks were works of art, in her first start at a championship. Here's how it went down in Deventer.

A warm-down, doping control, and an hour and a half later, they were still chatting: the mood in the camp, the strategy going into the game, the task ahead, goalkeeping in general, a cheeky Chelsea angle, the ladies delivered.

The only downside of the night, at least for Netherlands and England fans, is Sweden now stand a chance of winning their group, thus shoving Germany onto the other side of the draw. There are some tasty encounters to come.
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Six of the best... and worst

It was the best of times and the worst of times for the British neighbours as the long-awaited derby between England and Scotland turned out to be one-way traffic. I barely managed to follow the second half, such was the pace of the action and the challenge of writing two simultaneous reports.


Below is a window into what I put together for the Daily Mirror. The top lines were a no-contest: Jodie Taylor becoming the first Englishwoman to score a hat-trick at a major tournament and the Mark Sampson's Lionesses proving themselves as contenders rather than pretenders for these championships.


The Chelsea piece was more complicated. We had as many as three Blues celebrating their role in the ultimate victory over their ancient rivals, but we couldn't take sides with teenager Erin Cuthbert lamenting Scotland's loss.

I did have the pleasure of speaking to Chelsea and England No.10 Fran Kirby straight after the game. She was delighted with her link-up play and clearly buzzing to hav…

Austria 1-0 Switzerland

I happened to be in Utrecht for the England versus Scotland press conference at the time of this one, but that's literally another story.


Interest in this game within the media centre grew as the surprise began to brew, the Swiss slipping up against their neighbours who were playing their first match at this expanded Euros competition. A debut to remember.

It was a frustrating evening for Chelsea midfielder Ramona Bachmann, though, who starred for Switzerland but couldn't quite carry the team.

England expects

This date and little else has been on the mind of England and Scotland since UEFA carried out the draw for Euro 2017 last year in Rotterdam.


The build-up has been big, expectations high and excitement even higher – not for my European Championship debut as a journalist, but for a British derby at a major tournament. What better chance to try and introduce fresh audiences to these Euro finals and to cut my teeth in the competition.

First up was a trip to the England training camp, a bucolic setting off the beaten track around Utrecht, in which the Football Association have clearly invested heavily. There I met Chelsea defender Millie Bright for an interview about Love Island as well as her emergence on the international stage.

Banter and Beyoncé abounded throughout the long weekend of preparations, which was when I also made my introductions with our prodigious striker Fran Kirby to discuss the mood in the squad and her return from injury.

Solid start for Swedes

A rematch of the Rio Olympic final, on paper, this was supposed to be the game of the group stage. Unlike ITV's Love Island, though, the Women's Euros are about as real-world as professional football gets.

Still, the goalless draw gave encouragement to the Swedish underdogs, who had struggled in the build-up. Chelsea No.1 Hedvig Lindahl was the best defensive player in my book and her new club-mate made a cool cameo.

This is my match report from Breda. The real drama, however, unfolded afterwards. First, I had to recall Magdalena Eriksson from the team bus for her debut interview as a Blue. Then, I had to recall some journos who had already left the ground to hitch a ride after missing the last train back.

Tournament Preview

My comprehensive Euro 2017 preview for the official Chelsea website was intended to go out the day before I left for the Netherlands. The arrival of Sweden left-back Magdalena Eriksson, replacing Portugal legend Ana Borges, however, meant the article needed updating with the bittersweet news while I was out seeing the best and worst of Amsterdam before the matches.


Norway skipper Maren Mjelde, who is about to become the first Chelsea Ladies player to lead out her country at a major tournament, played the lead role. You can expect to here a good deal more from her when the tournament kicks off with their encounter against the hosts at a sold-out stadium on Sunday.

That game will be the highlight of this weekend, and then I'm spending the day down in Breda (have a google...) watching Eriksson in her first appearance since signing for the Blues. Hedvig Lindahl will also feature against Germany.

Do click here for how a proud feature for Chelsea eventually looked.

Unleash the Lionesses

The recent upsurge in publicity ahead of Euro 2017 – on billboards and buses, on Twitter and Channel 4 – has filled me with excitement and pride. First the 'Unleash Fierce' campaign, then the TV trailer (now Little Mix have come into the mix, I hear) displayed the drive and determination of the England Women. It could hardly be more deserved for these role models.


Today I was delighted to introduce Daily Mirror readers to the squad in a 'Meet the Lionesses' preview feature. I will be doing exactly that this weekend.