Lauren James Chelsea 2023-24Getty Images

Lauren James can be England's salvation! Chelsea star is becoming a killer in front of goal and Lionesses need her to bail them out of Nations League embarrassment

Just before the hour mark at Kingsmeadow on Sunday, Lauren James darted onto a perfectly-weighted Fran Kirby through ball. Bearing down on goal, Leicester City goalkeeper Janina Leitzig rushed out to meet her, while Foxes centre-back Julie Thibaud tried halting her progress with a crunching tackle.

But James was unmoved, channeling Hernan Crespo in the 2005 Champions League final by nonchalantly lifting the ball over Leitzig and into the back of the net. The goal was the 22-year-old's second of the 5-2 win, a performance which followed up a stunning hat-trick at Stamford Bridge against Liverpool and a sumptuous assist in the Champions League victory over Paris FC.

James has always been eminently watchable; no Women's Super League player justifies the punters' entrance fee more regularly than her. But now she's becoming truly terrifying: an absolute killer in front of goal.

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