Harry Maguire returns to his former home to cheer on England in their Euro 2022 semi-final… and has the last laugh after sitting alongside Swedish Man United team-mate Victor Lindelof and Juan Mata
- Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Juan Mata among 28,624 fans at Bramall Lane
- England included three Manchester United WSL stars in 4-0 win over Sweden
- Goalscorer Alessia Russo and goalkeeper Mary Earps among Lionesses’ stars
It was a Manchester United love in at Bramall Lane on Tuesday, as three of their senior male stars went to cheer on United’s female stars during England’s Euro 2022 semi-final.
United’s WSL star Alessia Russo scored the third of the Lionesses’ four goals as the tournament hosts routed Sweden, ranked the second best team in the world behind the USA.
Premier League defenders Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire represented both sides on the pitch, accompanied by Juan Mata, who left the Red Devils when his contract expired at the end of last season.
Victor Lindelof, Juan Mata and Harry Maguire enjoyed a quality football game at Bramall Lane
Maguire came through the Sheffield United youth system, and he made 134 senior appearances for the Blades at the start of his illustrious career.
The 29-year-old centre back was part of the England men’s squad that were runners-up at the delayed Euro 2020 last summer, and he was on hand to see the women at least equal that.
On Instagram after the match, Maguire posted: ‘Great atmosphere and performance at the Lane @lionesses were unbelievable, euro finalists, so proud of you all @england’.
Former Blades defender Maguire went back to his old ground with two fellow internationals
He tagged former Spanish international Mata, 34, and Lindelof, as the trio made up just some of the 28,624 fans packed into the stands at Bramall Lane, setting a record attendance for any women’s Euro semi-final.
Mata’s Spain were the team England defeated in the quarter-finals in Brighton to reach this stage, while Lindelof’s Sweden were on the losing side this time out in Sheffield.
Versatile defender Lindelof, 28, has 52 caps for the men’s national team, but he was only able to look on as his female compatriots were easily pushed aside by the Lionesses.
The Sweden side were constantly denied during the match by the goalkeeping heroics of Mary Earps – another Manchester United legend, with 58 WSL appearances since joining the Red Devils in 2019.
Earps was instrumental in stopping Stina Blackstenius from getting any goals for Sweden, particularly early in the second half, when she tipped over a looping effort from the Arsenal striker at close range.
Manchester United’s WSL shotstopper Mary Earps played a vital role in keeping Sweden at bay
All three of United’s players in the 23-woman England squad played, with Ella Toone getting 11 minutes on the pitch as a late replacement for Chelsea’s Fran Kirby.
The men who remain at the club are back at training under new coach Erik ten Hag, with preparation under way for the new Premier League season which starts for them on August 7.
Meanwhile, three of United’s women have a date with Wembley Stadium on Sunday evening against the winners of the second semi-final between Germany and France.
Once back on club duty, the female Red Devils will begin their WSL campaign with a trip to Tottenham Hotspur in the opening round of fixtures.