Hey guys! The UEFA Women’s Euros was hosted by England this year and I was lucky enough to watch the opening match at Old Trafford on 6 July. I’ve been a massive fan of football for about a year since the UEFA Men’s Euros so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of seeing such an exciting match and being part of the Lionesses’ Euros journey. After they ended up winning the Euros, this match is even more special to me. It was definitely an experience that I will never forget and I am so excited to be able to share a more detailed account of it with you!
6 July 2022
I travelled via train to reach Manchester and I arrived at Manchester Piccadilly about 3pm. The friends who had invited me to accompany them met me from the station and led me to the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel where we were staying. I can’t fault the hotel at all and everything about my stay there was really positive. The bed was really comfy, the room was spacious and the view of Manchester from the window was absolutely stunning. They even gifted you with a free drinks token to use at the hotel bar which I thought was a lovely touch. I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone staying in Manchester.
A couple of hours later, we headed out to have dinner at the Alchemist. This was definitely an excellent dining choice as the stunning interior coupled with the delicious food and drinks made it very hard not to like it. I ordered the Frube mocktail which combined the delicious contrasts of fruit and white chocolate. My main course was a Halloumi wrap with chips which I enjoyed just as much as my mocktail. Finally, brownie for desert was the perfect way to finish off the meal and satisfy my sweet tooth.
After this it was match time! We decided to take the bus to Old Trafford which took about 30 minutes from Piccadilly Gardens. At this point, the excitement was building about seeing Old Trafford for the first time in real life and watching the match! There is no feeling like watching a football match live and I couldn’t wait to soak up the incredible atmosphere within Old Trafford.
It was pretty hard to miss Old Trafford as we approached it on the bus. It commanded attention with its massive exterior that stood out from all the surrounding buildings. Two banners were fixed onto the front to advertise the fact that the stadium was hosting a match for the Women’s Euros. We headed inside with all the other supporters and found our seats. It was a really interesting perspective as we were quite close to the pitch and just above one of the goals. I worked out that we would see different parts of the game in the different halves; England would be defending that goal in one half and trying to score in that goal in the other half. As England were warming up on the pitch, Earps, Hampton and Roebuck were using that goal for their warm up so it was really interesting to observe.
Before the match began, the official opening ceremony took place on the pitch. It was pretty spectacular to witness. Lots of UEFA Euros flags were brought onto the pitch alongside fabric rolls that had all the different nations flags on them that were partaking in the tournament. Whilst this was going on, smoke cannons were exploding on the edge of the pitch, releasing bursts of colour into the air. It was the perfect way to start a very exciting tournament!
The atmosphere in Old Trafford was electric as the match kicked off. From the start of the match, England were trying to push forward and score but the Austrian defence was pretty tight and hard to break down. A moment of brilliance from Mead got the ball into the net and even though it went to a VAR check, the goal thankfully counted because it had crossed the line before one of the Austrian defenders had cleared it. Although England created some good chances throughout, they struggled to convert those chances into goals. However, something I noticed during that match and throughout the rest of the tournament is that the Lionesses are really good at working as a team. Each player excels in their role and supports the other people in the team without trying to take all the glory for themselves. This is probably why they had so much success during the tournament overall. Although I thought everyone played well in this opening match, a player that stood out for me was definitely Millie Bright. She was positionally fantastic and was always in the right place to clear away loose balls or break up Austria’s attack. It was been brilliant to see her partnership with Williamson develop over the course of the tournament and they are both so key to the success of the team defensively. Overall, the match was such an amazing experience and to have been part of the Lionesses’ Euros journey was so special!
Thank you for reading this post! There’ll be another one out soon but until then bye for now!
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull