Lauren Hemp, Alex Greenwood and Chloe Kelly all featured for England as they kicked off the European Championship qualifiers with a 1-1 draw with Sweden.

City team-mates Jess Park and Esme Morgan were also on the bench as the Lionesses were held in the first game defending the title they won in July 2022.

It was a tricky opening fixture against a Sweden side that reached the semi-finals two years ago as well as at last summer’s World Cup and included City’s Filippa Angeldahl in their starting line-up.

Hemp and Greenwood both started and England were ahead in the 24th minute when Alessia Russo headed home Lauren James’ cross from close range.

But Sweden carried a threat throughout and levelled midway through the second half through Fridolina Rolfo.


Kelly came on the 79th minute as England chased a winner, with Hemp playing through the middle and the latter went close bringing a save from Jennifer Falk and her followed up was cleared off the line.

In the other game in the group, France beat the Republic of Ireland 1-0, with only the top two sides guaranteed qualification. England travel to Dublin on Tuesday for their next qualifier.

They were not the only City players in action trying to secure their nation’s qualification for Switzerland 2025.

World champions Spain included Laia Aleixandri in their starting line-up as they began there qualification campaign with a ruthless 7-0 victory away to Belgium.

There was a blow for Sandy MacIver in Scotland’s 0-0 draw away to Serbia in Group B2.

The goalkeeper, who was winning her fifth cap, was forced off in the ninth minute with an injury.

Elsewhere, Kerstin Casparij was a late substitute as Netherlands were beaten 2-0 at Italy in Group A 1.