SUSSEX: England hammered Norway by a record 8-0 margin in a sensational display at the Women's European Championship on Monday, as the hosts became the first team to book a place in the quarter-finals and the first to score eight goals at a Euro finals.
England, who on Wednesday left a Women's Euros record crowd at Old Trafford wanting more after their 1-0 win against Austria in the tournament opener, dominated the match against poorly-defending Norway, their toughest group opponents on paper. The Lionesses went 1-0 up through Georgia Stanway's 12th-minute penalty and netted again three minutes later with Lauren Hemp bundling Beth Mead's cross over the line.
The forward initially saw the offside flag going up, a decision which was overturned following a VAR intervention. England, who are on their longest ever unbeaten run of 16 games - all under coach Sarina Wiegman who took over from Phil Neville in September 2021 - already lead 3-0 before the 30-minute mark, after forward Ellen White joined the scoresheet.
Mead went on to add two more goals for England inside four minutes, first nodding home after a wonderful cross from Hemp and then taking advantage of an individual effort. Pressing high and threatening to score from every attack, England made it 6-0 before halftime as White stretched to put the ball in once more following a beautiful cross from Fran Kirby.
England's top scorer White improved her record to 52 goals, and she needs only one more to join Wayne Rooney as the country's most prolific player of all-time. A fine header by Alessia Russo in the 66th and another strike from Mead for her hat-trick nine minutes from time wrapped up the win as England became the first side at a Euros - men's or women's - to score eight goals in one game.
"I can't put it into words. I'm just loving being here, loving being part of this team and loving every minute," Mead told BBC. "It's an incredible feeling to feel how I do right now. I don't think I even dreamt of this. I'm just so happy I got the goals to help the team.
"The girls need to enjoy this one. These are the moments we need to enjoy." England top Group A on six points ahead of Austria, who beat Northern Ireland 2-0 on Monday to earn their first three points.
Norway, twice Euros champions, dropped to third on three points with the Northern Irish yet to pick up a point from their two games.