Alex Greenwood: England defender stretchered off after suffering head injury in Nations League contest with Belgium

England defender was treated on the pitch for 13 minutes in the first half before she was stretchered off; Lionesses manager Sarina Wiegman said after the 3-2 Nations League defeat in Belgium that Greenwood was “walking around” and “doing fine”

Image: Alex Greenwood was treated on the pitch for 13 minutes following a clash of heads

Alex Greenwood was carried off on a stretcher after being involved in a clash of heads during England’s Nations League match against Belgium in Leuven.

Defender Greenwood collided with Belgian forward Jassina Blom after 20 minutes, leaving both players down on the turf.

Greenwood received treatment – including oxygen – on the field for about 13 minutes before being placed on a stretcher and taken off, with Jess Carter coming on as her replacement. Blom was able to continue with a head bandage and was eventually substituted in the 74th minute.

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Image: Greenwood was carried off on a stretcher in Belgium

Speaking after England’s 3-2 defeat, manager Sarina Wiegman said: “Alex Greenwood is fine. I’ve not spoken to her or the doctor. She is walking around and is okay, but she has a concussion. It is good news that she’s walking and doing fine.”

Having been a goal down at the time of the incident via Laura De Neve’s free-kick, the Lionesses turned things around through goals from Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby putting them 2-1 up heading into first-half stoppage time.

Belgium captain Tessa Wullaert (45+6), however, scored the first of her two goals just before the break to level for the hosts. And grabbed the vital winner from the penalty spot Georgia Stanway’s handball with five minutes of normal time remaining.

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Sky Sports’ Anton Toloui analyses the Lionesses’ 3-2 loss to Belgium in the Women’s Nations League.

Did Greenwood’s injury have a detrimental effect in England’s defeat?

Sky Sports’ Charlotte Marsh:

“In many ways, yes. Not because of the incident itself, although it will surely have affected the players to see their team-mate and friend stretchered off, but her defensive qualities were sorely missed.

“Greenwood was one of England’s best players at a sometimes underwhelming World Cup for other members of the squad. Although England’s defence has struggled in recent games – keeping just one clean sheet in seven games – there is a comfort knowing Greenwood is there to often have a vital impact.

“Perhaps this was best demonstrated with two first half chances for Wullaert. The first inside six minutes saw the Belgium captain drive through after a sloppy midfield pass. However, Greenwood just dropped back to play Wullaert offside and the flag eventually went up.

“Later, as Wullaert raced through to equalise for Belgium, neither Millie Bright or Jess Carter could get close to the striker. While positioning would also have been different, Greenwood’s tactical thinking and defensive abilities were certainly missed in that moment.

“Her ability on the ball and the subsequent errors made in her absence were a huge part of the Lionesses downfall too, with Lucy Bronze telling ITV Sport: “Alex having to come off when she’s one of our key ball players didn’t help, but a similar thing happened against Holland when we gave the ball away too easily”.

“Hopefully, Greenwood will recover well from her concussion and be available for England’s vital final Nations League games in December. It’s clear she will be a huge loss otherwise.”


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