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Rachel Corsie: Scotland shown steep learning curve in Spain’s ruthless victory in Seville

Rachel Corsie in action for Scotland during the FIFA Women's World Cup qualifier between Scotland and Ukraine at Hampden Park.
Rachel Corsie in action for Scotland during the FIFA Women's World Cup qualifier between Scotland and Ukraine at Hampden Park.

It was a tough night for Scotland on Tuesday as the team rounded off 2021 with defeat to Spain in Seville.

The game was a disappointing end to the window and will be a painful one to look back on for all the players involved.

The 8-0 scoreline was clinical and the way Spain possessed the ball and used it ruthlessly was a different level to anything I have experienced.

Scotland made changes from the XI that started against Ukraine the previous week.

Jen Beattie missed out through injury, meanwhile full-backs Nicola Docherty and Rachel McLauchlan also started, as Christy Grimshaw and Chloe Arthur started on the bench due to the tactical changes.

The adjustments were part of the plan that the team is in a process of building towards, however the learning curve was far steeper than anticipated.

Enduring the pressure that comes with their dominance was always going to make for a night that needed concentration and discipline in bounds.

Unfortunately, we were unable to effectively limit them in too many areas and the performance showed there is certainly a lot of work we all need to take ownership of.

The next time the team will be together will be for the international friendly window at the end of February, where hopefully we can continue building in a positive direction.

High scoring and record-breaking Home Nations

After England managed to navigate their way to a 1-0 win and prevent a possible banana skin against Austria, they put on a record-breaking display against Latvia, winning 20-0.

The ten-day camp was a special one for Ellen White, as she celebrated her 100th appearance with the only goal in the match against Austria.

That was followed up by a hat-trick on Tuesday which takes her to the top of the all-time leading goalscorer charts for England, ahead of Kelly Smith’s previous record.

White now has 48 goals in 101 appearances for her country and doesn’t look like she plans to stop there.

Ellen White became England’s top goals scorer after scoring in their 20-0 rout of Latvia. Photo by Kieran Riley/Shutterstock

Northern Ireland scheduled their fixtures so this window would mean a double header against North Macedonia.

With a record-breaking opening 11-0 win last week in Skopje, there was a similar outcome at Seaview on Monday night.

The 9-0 win included five different scorers, with Kirsty McGuinness leading the charge as she netted a hat-trick. Everton’s Simone Magill also got herself on the scoresheet and had her hand in another four assists.

Wales started the window on fine form too as they ran out 5-0 winners against Greece as they attempt to keep their challenge of finishing in the top two on track.

Despite facing Group I leaders, they put on an impressively competitive performance against France on Tuesday, losing 2-0 in the end in Guingamp.

FA Cup final poised to be a London derby spectacle

Both Arsenal and Chelsea will have been eager to have their players return from international duty through the week so they can prepare for the great spectacle this weekend.

The 2020/21 FA Cup final will – finally – be held at Wembley stadium this Sunday, with this season’s two WSL frontrunners facing off against each other in a hotly anticipated combat.

The two teams last met in the final only three years ago, where on that day Chelsea ran out 3-1 winners.

Swiss forward Ramona Bachmann was the hero that day as her brace gave the Blues a 2-0 advantage, and despite Viv Miedema pulling one back for Arsenal, Fran Kirby’s goal sealed the victory in 2018.

Before that, Arsenal took the top prize when the sides met in the 2015/16 final, Dan Carter, now at Brighton, scored the only goal that time around.

The Gunners have won the title more than any other club in women’s history having lifted the trophy an incredible fourteen times since 1970.

Poised at one win apiece, the game is going to attract global interest and the crowd at Wembley is expected to break the record books too.

After last season’s trophy had to be lifted behind closed doors, it is anticipated that over 45,000 will be at the game this weekend.

With two London teams in action, it will likely be an atmosphere like no other as fans of both clubs are likely to attend in numbers at one of London’s most prized arenas.

Putellas wins acclaimed Ballon d’Or

FC Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas picked up the Ballon d’Or on Monday night, after what has been a 12-months filled with success.

Putellas scored as her side beat Chelsea 4-0 in the Champions League final in May, where she also finished the competition as the tournament’s top scorer.

A trio of Barcelona and Chelsea players made up the final list, which included Vivianne Miedema, who earlier in the same week was awarded BBC Women’s Football of the Year.

SWPL Cup Final at Firhill

The Scottish League Cup final will be played at Firhill on Sunday, with Glasgow City and Celtic fighting it out for the first silverware of the season.

The trophy will exchange hands for the first time since 2015, with Hibernian having won the last four competitions, but were dumped out in this year’s semi-final courtesy of Celtic.

Six-time winners of the SWPL Cup, Glasgow City will be hoping to lift the trophy once again as new boss Eileen Gleeson seeks to win her first piece of silverware after taking over the reins last month.