England 8 Norway 0: Lionesses roar in historic Euro triumph
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The tournament hosts scored six times in a rampant first-half display, with Georgia Stanway’s 12th-minute penalty and a finish from Lauren Hemp three minutes later being followed by a brace apiece from Ellen White and Beth Mead.
That equalled the most amount of goals scored by one team in a Euros match, and England went on to set a new record for the most emphatic victory at a finals, surpassing their 6-0 win over Scotland in 2017, following an effort from substitute Alessia Russo and Whitby’s Mead completing her hat-trick.
Mead added: “I don’t think I even dreamt of this, but I’m just so happy I can get the goals again to help the team. Unbelievable night. I can’t believe it.”
The Arsenal striker, who has scored four goals in England’s first two games, however, was quick to play down talk of the Golden Boot.
She said: “To be fair, I haven’t even thought about it. I just want to get goals for my team and help us win.”
With the remarkable win seeing them seal top spot in Group A, the Lionesses will be returning to Brighton a week on Wednesday to play the runners-up in Group B - which features Germany and Spain - in the last eight.
The demolition job was watched by a crowd of 28,847, from which cries of “football’s coming home” rang out at various stages as England’s unbeaten run under boss Sarina Wiegman extended to a 16th match with a 14th victory.
Their group fixtures conclude with Friday’s meeting at St Mary’s with now-eliminated Northern Ireland, who had lost 2-0 to Austria earlier on Monday.
England had opened their campaign with last week’s 1-0 win over Austria at Old Trafford, and Wiegman opted to name a line-up unchanged from the one that had started in Manchester.
After an uneventful opening 10 minutes, the game burst into life when White went down in the box under the attentions of Maria Thorisdottir, and German referee Riem Hussein pointed to the spot, with Stanway subsequently stepping up and firing the spot-kick past Guro Pettersen with aplomb.
Moments later England scored again, Mead crossing from the right and Hemp flicking the ball in from close range, with the effort being given via a VAR check after the flag had initially gone up for offside.
Norway tried to hit back as Karina Saevik sent a tame effort wide, but England were soon back on the attack - and blitzed their opponents with four more goals in quick succession.
Having just sent an effort off-target, White took advantage of sloppy play by Thorisdottir in the 29th minute, seizing possession, advancing into the box and slotting home.
Mead was next to get in on the act with a quickfire double, heading in from Hemp’s cross in the 34th minute and dancing past three helpless-looking Norway players in the area and striking beyond Pettersen in the 38th.
And another three minutes after that, White - taking her record haul of goals for the Lionesses to 52 - notched her second of the contest, converting on the stretch at the far post as she met Fran Kirby’s delivery.
Hunting for a hat-trick, White headed wide early in the second half, shortly before being replaced by Russo in a treble substitution by Wiegman.
Russo then made it a magnificent, unprecedented seven in the 66th minute, heading in Lucy Bronze’s delivery.
Alex Greenwood, another substitute, subsequently hit the bar before the eighth arrived in the 81st minute when Pettersen parried and the superbly in-form Mead produced a simple finish to complete the rout and her hat-trick - her fourth goal of the tournament, having notched the winner against Austria, and her 17th for England since the start of 2021-22.
Wiegman told BBC Sport: “It was a very special night. We didn’t expect to make such a big win as we did, but we played really well, we really exploited their weaknesses and we’re really happy.
“But at the same time, it’s just one game. We know we’re through now, we’ll just enjoy the moment and then we just really stay grounded and go to the next game.”