England 8 Norway 0: a record-breaking night for the Lionesses
Sarina Wiegman’s team roar into the quarter-finals of the Women’s Euros
Norway ‘completely stunned’ by England
England have qualified for the quarter-finals of the Uefa Women’s Euro 2022 after thrashing Norway 8-0. In their second game of the tournament, the Lionesses produced a “sensational, record-breaking performance” to stun their group A rivals, said Emma Sanders on the BBC. A sell-out crowd of 28,847 at the Amex Stadium in Brighton were treated to “a memorable night” as England “broke their own tournament record”. Norway, who are ranked 11th in the world, were “outplayed, outclassed and completely stunned by an England team oozing confidence”.
Mead stars with hat-trick
Beth Mead scored a hat-trick and Ellen White netted two as England ran riot in Brighton. Georgia Stanway, Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo were also on the scoresheet. Arsenal forward Mead, who also scored England’s winner against Austria in their opening match of group A, is the tournament’s top scorer with four goals. “I just can’t put it into words,” England’s hat-trick hero told BBC One. “I don’t think I even dreamed of this. I’m just so happy I got the goals to help the team. I’m just loving being here, loving being part of this team and loving every minute.”
Wiegman ‘did not expect’ to win 8-0
The Lionesses are on a 16-match unbeaten run and have won eight on the bounce since Sarina Wiegman was appointed as head coach in September. This is now the sixth time that England have scored eight or more goals under Wiegman. Leading 6-0 at half-time, the Lionesses broke the record for goals in a first half, The Guardian said. It was a record that France had set only 24 hours earlier in their 5-1 victory over Italy in group D on Sunday. Wiegman was delighted with the “great win” and also the way her team kept playing in the second half. “We were already up 6-0 but we still kept the ball going. I did not expect to win 8-0, absolutely not.”
‘As close to perfection’ you can get
If the rest of Europe were not worried about facing the hosts, “they will be now”, said Luke Edwards in The Telegraph. This was “as close to perfection” as you are likely to get from an England team. They did not just beat Norway, “they thrashed them, destroyed them, ripped them apart”. Speaking on the BBC, ex-England goalkeeper Rachel Brown-Finnis described the performance as “spectacular” in every department while former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright said “that is as good as it gets”.
‘Sterner challenges’ ahead
The “biggest drubbing ever” in the tournament’s history was “flawless”, said Kathleen Mcnamee on ESPN. But “further tests await” the Lionesses. England’s title hopes will be “sent into overdrive now”, and head coach Wiegman will need to keep her players grounded, she added. There could be another high-scoring result in their final group A game against Northern Ireland on Friday, but with Germany or Spain their likely opponents in the next round, there will be “sterner challenges”. In previous international tournaments England have impressed in the early stages, before struggling in the knockout rounds. There is, however, “a different feeling” around this squad. “Maybe these Lionesses will be the ones to go all the way.”