o it turns out Norway were right to call themselves ‘outsiders’ before this clash with England.
Initially, such a statement from their boss Martin Sjogren had seemed like a game of wits, especially given the attacking talent at their disposal, but England’s emphatic 8-0 win here at Brighton proved it was. the truth.
Sarina Wiegman didn’t retaliate Sunday night when Sjogren made his comments and instead let her side do the talking — and my word did.
At half-time it was already 6-0, but truth be told it could have been 10, which is how England opened up Norway at will. They eventually finished on eight, which is a new record for the most goals scored by a team in a Euro men’s or women’s match.
Stanway opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a penalty and within 29 minutes the Lionesses scored five more. Wiegman wanted this team to be ruthless and against Norway they showed they could be.
Everyone was talking about Norway’s top three, but it was the English who went wild in the first half.
Beth Mead served two, as Ellen White and Lauren Hemp also got in on the act in a superb offensive performance.
Unsurprisingly, after the break England eased off, but Alessia Russo added a seventh and Mead scored his hat-trick nine minutes before the end.
England secured top spot in Group A with one game to spare and a quarter-final here in Brighton, most likely against Germany or Spain, but on this evidence Wiegman’s side will fear nothing. nobody.
She promised it would be an exciting and open game, thanks in large part to Norway’s love of attacking football, and it turned out to be the case.
England also wanted to ‘entertain’ and they reveled in an open game which was played in searing heat on the coast at Brighton.
It was thought that Wiegman would make some changes for this game against Norway, especially due to their strong attack, but instead she kept the same XI that beat Austria last week.
This meant Leah Williamson kept her place in the heart of defense and Stanway continued in midfield.
Stanway was full of racing as always and made no mistake where White fell after Maria Thorisdottir passed an arm past him. It looked sweet, but also awkward, and VAR agreed.
From there, England never looked back. Most of their joy came out wide, with Mead and Hemp causing carnage on the flanks. Lucy Bronze also happily joined at right-back.
Mead and Hemp combined for England’s second, which VAR awarded after the offside flag was wrongly raised, then White made it three before the half-hour after pinching the ball at Thorisdottir.
Mead and Hemp combined again for the fourth, this time the latter becoming provider. Shortly after, Mead’s solo run made it five, and by the time White grabbed a second, the Amex’s roof was about to come off.
It was more or less the same after the break, with Mead volleying a volley over the bar from a hemp cross and White nodding just wide.
Luckily for Norway, Wiegman made a triple change just before the hour mark and Kirby and White were taken off to be wrapped in cotton.
The mercy, however, was short-lived as 10 minutes into Russo, Bronze’s header was headed into the bottom corner.
By then, Norway were claiming a full time – but England still had time to clinch an eighth as Mead completed his hat trick.
The Arsenal striker pounced on a rebound in the box to score with the simplest of finishes that capped off a spectacular night for her and England.