Spain star Irene Paredes accuses referee of England bias after Euro 2022 clash

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Spain star Irene Paredes has accused the officials of favouring Euro 2022 hosts England after the Lionesses came from behind to win Wednesday’s quarter-final in Brighton. Ella Toone’s late equaliser caused controversy, with Spain insisting that there had been a foul in the build-up.

England trailed following Esther Gonzalez’s opener early in the second half. But Manchester United attacker Toone met Alessia Russo’s knock down to volley home six minutes before full-time. 

Georgia Stanway’s stunning long-range strike in extra-time sent Sarina Wiegman’s side into the semi-final. Spain were fuming at the decision to allow Toone’s goal, though, with several players confronting referee Stephanie Frappart after it appeared Russo might have unfairly challenged to win her header. 

Frappart was not advised to check the VAR monitor and the goal was awarded. Barcelona defender Paredes has incredibly insisted that the officials were biased towards England. 

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The 31-year-old raged to Spanish media after the game: “It’s a very clear foul that she (Frappart) doesn’t want to whistle or revise it and that changes the game. They don’t feel like checking it because you’re in England.”

Stanway’s fantastic strike settled a tense period of extra time. The Manchester City star was allowed space to drive forward from midfield and hammer a thumping effort past goalkeeper Sandra Panos. 

The 23-year-old revealed afterwards that she was not sure if her shot was goalbound until it hit the net. “Unreal. That just shows the level that we’re at. We get a setback and we come back and do it. We put in a massive shift. Job done and we’ll focus on the semis,” Stanway told BBC Sport.

“I wasn’t too sure (if the shot was going in). It’s one to be proud of. I’ll remember today. We put in a massive shift. We just have to enjoy this moment and crack on.”

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Fellow goalscorer Toone added: “We never gave up. It was the first time we’ve gone behind and we showed character and resilience. We pushed each other. Buzzing. The fans helped as well.”

England are now favourites to win the tournament, which is being hosted on home turf. They will face either Sweden or Belgium in the last four. 

Head coach Wiegman said: “I think we showed resilience to come from behind. From the 80th minute, we changed our shape and we scored a goal really quickly so then we could revert back to our original shape and in extra-time, from the moment that we scored, we were a little better and a little fresher. 

“After that, they were pushing for another goal. For fans in the stadium and for those watching on TV, I think it was an incredible game. The fans in the stadium were so behind us, it was an incredible experience.”

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