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Weekend Review: Super sub Kelly and top-class Toone see England enter history books

England end years of hurt at Wembley as Lionesses run out 2-1 winners in extra time for first-ever major honours

England created history after winning their first-ever major women’s tournament with a memorable 2-1 win over Germany at Wembley.

It was written in the stars for the Lionesses and head coach Sarina Wiegman, roared on by a crowd of nearly 90,000 and millions at home and in pubs across the country, to take the title on home soil.

Ella Toone came off the bench to score a wonderful opener before England were pegged back by Lina Magull as the game headed into extra time.

Manchester City’s Chloe Kelly, another substitute, scrambled the ball home from close range from a corner to send the country into delirium as she took her shirt off in a truly iconic sporting moment.

On the betting front, the bookies were happy to see the game end in a draw in normal time at odds of 11/5 and tick through to the 120-minute mark but were not without praise for the heroines.

Kindred Group’s Ali Gill said: “It finally came home on Sunday evening and how incredibly proud we all were. The Lionesses put in a mighty performance against the heavyweight Germans and nicked a late extra-time winner to send the stadium into elation.

“The interest throughout the tournament has been amazing and, to top it off, despite it being the opening weekend of the EFL season as well as Community Shield weekend, Sunday night’s game topped the turnover charts for the weekend.

“It was almost the perfect result for us with the draw in normal time being comfortably the best result in the book, whilst we still got to watch Leah Williamson lift the trophy.

“In the outrights, England weren’t without their backers, but with such strength in depth in the tournament and a lot of Kindred key markets involved and as patriotic as ever, we managed to land up in the black on that market too,” he added.

The interest around the game was backed up by both Entain and Flutter, with both firms revealing the high levels of interest before the final on Sunday.

Entain noted that by Friday, 1.5 million online bets had been placed on the encounter, with Ladbrokes and Coral experiencing a five-fold in increase in the number of bets placed on the tournament, versus the Women’s Euros 2017.

Flutter data confirmed this trend, with the final seeing the most bets ever placed on a female sporting event.

Paddy Power figures revealed there was a 26% increase in the volume of bets compared to the Women’s World Cup 2019 – the current event leading in this category.

Additionally, Paddy Power took £6.6m in bets during the tournament, prior to the final taking place. In comparison, the brand took £6.2m in bets throughout the World Cup.

Meanwhile, bet365’s Steve Freeth said: “If England were going to win it then doing it in extra time after a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes was the way we’d have wanted it, having built up the liabilities in the outright market at 9/2 and also Beth Mead as top goal scorer at 14/1. Congratulations to the Lionesses in what was a fantastic achievement.”

Elsewhere, the traditional curtain raiser for the new season saw Liverpool (23/10) run out 3-1 winners over rivals Manchester City (11/10) in the Community Shield at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium.

The Reds took a 1-0 lead after a Trent Alexander-Arnold struck from outside the area before City’s summer singing Julian Alvarez poked home to level affairs.

Mo Salah picked up from where he left off last season to dispatch an 83rd-minute penalty after Ruben Dias handled in the area before Liverpool’s new star, Darwin Nunez, nodded home on his full debut to make it 3-1.

City’s own superstar Erling Haaland failed to impress on his debut, with his misery compounded after somehow smashing the crossbar from two yards out in the dying moments.

Betfred’s Alan Firkins said: “Comes to something when City versus Liverpool is an appetiser for the weekend’s main footballing event, but the Scousers won an entertaining Community Shield and it is arguably Nunez one Haaland nil ahead of hostilities resuming for real in the coming days.

“Fred pushed Liverpool out to 7/2 for the title on Saturday morning, and they’re firmly back a point at 5/2 now. Haaland had a frustrating day, and yet still could have had two or three as soft as you like. Let the marathon, it’s not a sprint remember, commence,” he added.

Freeth revealed to EGR how despite Haaland not finding the back of the net, the bookie was battered after the firm’s super boost offer helped the punters pocket a few pounds.

He said: “Haaland may have had a stinker in front of goal in the Community Shield but his super boost backers of having a shot on target (1/3 – Evs) wouldn’t have been too concerned about his failure to find the back of the net.

“You rarely find Ashley Barnes in the same sentence as Haaland, but his super boost of a shot on target (1/2 – 6/4) against Huddersfield also copped. Nowhere near as expensive as the £51m Norwegian, but still well into six figures for us.”

Ever keen to create a stir on social media, Paddy Power announced after the Community Shield that the bookmaker was paying out on Liverpool to win the Premier League title before a ball has even been kicked.

Finally, in horseracing, the bookies finished Glorious Goodwood on top after 25/1 outsider Commanche Falls secured a second successive victory in the Stewards’ Cup.

Last year’s 10/1 winner was brought home by Connor Beasley, a short head in front of 12/1-shot Tabdeed to hand trainer Michael Dods another win. Dods-trained 33/1 runner Tinto managed to finish fifth,

Gill said: “As the curtain came down on Glorious Goodwood, the Stewards’ Cup headlined Saturday. In a tight finish at the line, 25/1 shot Commanche Falls got his nostril hair ahead of Tabdeed at 12/1.

“With a 150/1 and 33/1 priced runners in 4th and 5th, it was a great one for the book in what was, at times, a tough week for layers but ultimately a profitable one for us.”

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