Sarina Wiegman was delighted with both the result and the performance as her England side blew away two-time European champions Norway on Monday night, scoring eight goals without reply, but was quick to keep her players’ feet on the ground.
The rout continues Wiegman’s hugely impressive record as England boss, with the Lionesses only failing to hit the target once in 16 unbeaten games under her stewardship.
She admitted rewriting the record books with the European championship’s biggest victory was not necessarily top of her priority list, but was nevertheless delighted with how one-sided the Norway contest was as England booked their place in the knockout rounds as Group A winners.
When asked what pleased her most, she replied: “The great win. But also the way we played and kept playing the way we did 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.
“They changed their shape, but we had an answer for that too. I’m really happy with the performance of the whole team and happy to go into the next round.
“We hope they enjoyed and hope to make the nation proud. We’ve had two games now, we are trying to play our best game and today we did.
“We were 2-0 up pretty quickly. Then we got momentum so we could play the possession game, but they had a hard time getting pressure on the ball and we just had so much space to score goals. You could really tell that the players enjoyed it, the ones on the pitch and the ones that came on. We saw after the game that the whole team enjoyed it. It was very nice and we will stay grounded.”
Beth Mead’s hat-trick powered England’s ruthless goalscoring display, while Ellen White also registered two goals on a night where England’s margin of victory was written into continental history. No team – men or women – had previously scored seven goals at a European championship finals.
Speaking on Mead’s contribution, having scored 18 times in 16 appearances under Wiegman, the manager added: “She shoots the ball between the posts and bar and does really well!
“We create chances and sometimes we want to be more ruthless, but Beth is really eager in front of goal. She has done really well. She’s had a good season with Arsenal too and she keeps having the form. It’s really nice.”
Asked if England have laid down a marker as one of the tournament’s most-fancied sides, Wiegman concluded: “We have seen some big scores, some very good matches so I don’t know. I’ve seen a couple of very good teams that can play high tempo, lots of power.
“So they might be impressed with this performance, but we’ve seen our opponents have done really well too, so we can expect some very good games coming soon.”
Eidevall: Mead exemplary wide forward
Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall hailed Beth Mead’s performance as the best by any wide player at Euro 2022 so far, after her hat-trick against Norway helped England secure a quarter-final spot.
In a rampant first half, Mead and White each scored twice, while Lauren Hemp and Georgia Stanway also got on the scoresheet as the Lionesses ran riot at Amex Stadium.
Within 41 first-half minutes England had equalled the record for most goals scored by a team in a women’s Euro match and Eidevall, who manages Mead at club level, was full of praise.
“England played them to pieces,” he told the BBC. “Don’t take anything away from Beth Mead. It’s the best performance of a wide player at this tournament, and there have been plenty.
“I hope wide forwards are watching this on TV, this is what you need to do to score goals. England looked two or three levels above Norway. I expected an even game, but it was very impressive from England.”
Sjogren: Last 80 minutes were horrible
While Norway boss Martin Sjogren had said pre-match that his team were “definitely” underdogs heading into the game, how things played out was some shock to the system for the side ranked three places below England at 11th in the world, who were 4-1 victors over Northern Ireland in their opener at St Mary’s last Thursday.
Sjogren said when asked for his feelings post-match: “It’s not easy to put into words.
“Of course everyone felt devastated about the way we looked tonight. I really, really feel terrible for the players’ sake, to be out there and to be beaten by England 8-0 in a game we had been looking forward to for quite some time.
“We had a good feeling before the game, we thought we had a good plan, and I thought we played well the first 10 minutes, but then after that, the last 80 minutes was more or less horrible to be honest.
“England played very well. They made it hard for us. We knew beforehand that England was going to come out better than they were in the first game against Austria.
“But I also think we we made it a little bit too easy for them losing the ball in very, very dangerous places. We didn’t really get into all those duels we were talking about. So we made some very bad mistakes.
“But on the other hand, you make mistakes when you play good teams. So, you know, England, they were very good tonight, but we weren’t so.”
Follow Euro 2022 across Sky Sports
Keep up with all the latest from Euro 2022 across Sky Sports and Sky Sports News this summer.
Coverage will be anchored by Sky Sports WSL presenter Caroline Barker, alongside Jessica Creighton and Kyle Walker. Meanwhile, Karen Carney, Sue Smith, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and Laura Bassett will give analysis throughout the tournament.
They will also be joined by experienced England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley and Manchester City defender Esme Morgan.
The pundits and presenters will work from the Sky Sports Women’s Euro 2022 Mobile Presentation Bus, which will follow the Sky Sports News team around the country to the various stadiums where matches are being played.
In addition, Sky Sports’ Essential Football Podcast will be rebranded for the tournament to Sky Sports Women’s Euros Podcast from 21 June. Hosted by Charlotte Marsh and Anton Toloui, it will feature exclusive news and player interviews in addition to a strong programme line-up around the tournament.
Euro 2022: The groups…
Group A: England, Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland
Group B: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland
Group C: Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Switzerland
Group D: France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland
Euro 2022: The schedule…
Wednesday July 6
Group A: England 1-0 Austria
Thursday July 7
Group A: Norway 4-1 Northern Ireland
Friday July 8
Group B: Spain 4-1 Finland
Group B: Germany 4-0 Denmark
Saturday July 9
Group C: Portugal 2-2 Switzerland
Group C: Netherlands 1-1 Sweden
Sunday July 10
Group D: Belgium 1-1 Iceland
Group D: France 5-1 Italy
Monday July 11
Group A: Austria 2-0 Northern Ireland
Group A: England 8-0 Norway
Tuesday July 12
Group B: Denmark vs Finland – kick-off 5pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Germany vs Spain – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Wednesday July 13
Group C: Sweden vs Switzerland – kick-off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Netherlands v Portugal – kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Thursday July 14
Group D: Italy vs Iceland – kick-off 5pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Group D: France vs Belgium – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Friday July 15
Group A: Northern Ireland v England – kick-off 8pm, St Mary’s
Group A: Austria vs Norway – kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Saturday July 16
Group B: Finland vs Germany – kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK
Group B: Denmark vs Spain – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Sunday July 17
Group C: Switzerland vs Netherlands – kick-off 5pm, Bramall Lane
Group C: Sweden vs Portugal – kick-off 5pm, Leigh Sports Village
Monday July 18
Group D: Iceland vs France – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Group D: Italy vs Belgium – kick-off 8pm, Manchester City Academy Stadium
Wednesday July 20
Quarter-final 1: Winners Group A v Runners-up Group B – kick-off 8pm, Brighton and Hove Community Stadium
Thursday July 21
Quarter-final 2: Winners Group B v Runners-up Group A – kick-off 8pm, London Community Stadium
Friday July 22
Quarter-final 3: Winners Group C v Runners-up Group D – kick-off 8pm, Leigh Sports Village
Quarter-final 4: Winners Group D v Runners-up Group C – kick-off 8pm, New York Stadium
Tuesday July 26
Semi-final 1: Winners quarter-final 1 v Winners quarter-final 3 – kick-off 8pm, Bramall Lane
Wednesday July 27
Semi-final 2: Winners quarter-final 2 v Winners quarter-final 4 – kick-off 8pm, Stadium MK
Sunday July 31
Winners semi-final 1 v Winners semi-final 2 – kick-off 5pm, Wembley