With a hat-trick from Beth Mead and a record-breaking scoreline, England booked their place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2022 on Monday night as they defeated Norway 8-0.
With so many star-studded players on both teams and a history of close encounters, the game played out in a way that few could have predicted, with Sarina Wiegman’s side ruthlessly dominating from start to finish in front of a sold out Amex Stadium.
Following positive displays against Austria on the opening night, captain Leah Williamson and Mead were once again handed starts, while Nikita Parris was on the bench but Lotte Wubben-Moy missed out through Covid-19.
Frida Maanum started and scored in Norway’s opening group stage fixture against Northern Ireland, but on this occasion, was only introduced off the bench.
The first goal of the night was fortunate via a Georgia Stanway penalty after Ellen White went down inside the area, but what followed over the next 80 minutes was anything but.
Looking confident with every attack, England continued to expose Norway down the right flank, and following some fine footwork and a pinpoint pass from Mead, Lauren Hemp was on hand to finish from close-range.
White then went on to make it three after robbing Maria Thorisdottir of possession and coolly finding the bottom corner, before Mead scored her first of the night, climbing high inside the area to head home past Peterson with accuracy and power.
The Lionesses were purring, and Mead's second goal and England’s fifth was undoubtedly the finest of the evening. Picking the ball up on the right wing, Mead wriggled her way through the Norway defence, skipping past two defenders with just three deft touches, before showing outstanding composure to send the keeper the wrong way.
Shortly after, Stanway and Fran Kirby combined once more with the latter picking out White at the back post to complete her brace, before substitute Alessia Russo headed home from a Lucy Bronze delivery.
That goal confirmed a new record, with Wiegman’s side becoming the first team in history to score seven in a single game at a men’s or women’s Euros - but they weren’t done there. Fighting for every last ball until the final whistle, Mead secured her hat-trick, reacting first inside the area to convert Keira Walsh’s parried shot.
With their victories over Austria and Norway, even if England lose against Northern Ireland on Friday, they will still finish top of Group A.
Meanwhile, Maanum will be hoping to return to the starting XI on Friday night when Norway take on Austria in the fight for a second-place finish and a spot in the quarter-finals.
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