England manager Phil Neville slams ‘nonsense’ third-place play-off, Latest Football News - The New Paper

England manager Phil Neville slams ‘nonsense’ third-place play-off

England manager Phil Neville took a dig at the third-place play-off after his side lost the Women's World Cup fixture 2-1 to Sweden on Saturday at the Allianz Riviera in Nice.

Early goals from Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson were enough to see off the Lionesses, who pulled one back through Fran Kirby and had an Ellen White equaliser ruled out for handball.

"I just think maybe it was a carry-on from the semi-final, the emotion," said Neville.

"The two goals probably sparked us into life. After that, I thought it was the best we've played."

It was a second defeat in under a week for the Lionesses, who suffered their third straight major tournament semi-final loss after a 2-1 defeat by reigning champions the United States last Tuesday.

"Both teams looked shot, to be honest, almost on their knees," added ex-Manchester United defender Neville.

"It's a really difficult game to get up for. It's a nonsense game. We came to this tournament to win it, not to finish third or fourth."

However, his opposite number, Sweden coach Peter Gerhardsson, disagreed, saying winning a bronze medal was a "huge difference" to finishing fourth. - REUTERS