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Record Breaking England Smash 8 Past Norway To Progress To The Knockout Stages

England produced a brilliant display to beat Norway 8-0 as they recorded their biggest victory at a major tournament curiosity of a fantastic hat-trick from Arsenal’s Beth Mead in complete domination at the Amex Stadium.

"England womens World Cup 2019" By Liondartois, Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Coming into the match, the two sides had both won their opening matches against Austria and Northern Ireland respectively as this was expected to be England’s biggest test of the group stage with the visitors ranked 11th in the world. Sarina Wiegman’s England side was unchanged from the one-nil victory over Northern Ireland while Norway made just two changes to the side that thumped Northern Ireland four one. Risa and Sævik came in for Maanum and Eikeland as they hoped to be able to stop the England attack.

England looked bright from the opening minutes of the game as just nine minutes in Ellen White excellently turned away from Maria Thorisdottir who grabbed her shoulder bringing her down in the area as the referee pointed to the spot. Georgia Stanway stepped up firing the ball into the top corner to give the hosts the deserved early lead.

England were on a roll as just three minutes later, Lucy Bronze and Beth Mead played a lovely one-two down the right-hand side which allowed Mead to play a lovely ball across the face of the goal which Laura Hemp bundled into the back of the net. Initially, the flag was raised for offside but on further inspection from VAR, it was clear that she was onside as England doubled their lead.

Just before the half-hour mark, England made it three as Ellen White disposed Thorisdottir inside her own half as England’s top goal scorer drove towards the goal and coolly slotted the ball past Pettersen to get her first of the evening. Just minutes later, a lovely through ball from Lucy Bronze fell to a Norwegian defender but it was chased down and won back by White on the right-hand side. She played the ball back to Hemp who produced a beautiful cross into the box straight onto the end of Arsenal’s Beth Mead who nodded it past the keeper to make it four.

Just four minutes after Mead’s first goal she had her second as some superb footwork beat three Norwegian defenders inside the area as they slotted the ball into the bottom corner for the goal of the night and give the Lionesses a five-goal advantage. As halftime approached there was time for one last England goal of the half as Stanway flicked a Lucy Bronze ball in behind the defence for Fran Kirby who stopped a brilliant back post run from Ellen White who netted from close range for her second of the evening and the Lionesses sixth as they went into half time in full control.

England came out in the second half and as expected they look in cruise control as they nicely knocked the ball around which Norway had no answer for. Twenty minutes into the half they got their seventh of the evening as a looping Bronze ball found its way onto the head of Rosso who got highest to headed past the keeper from inside the six-yard box.

The Lionesses were in complete control as Alex Greenwood rattled one off the crossbar before Beth Mead got her hat-trick as she tapped in the rebound of Kiera Walsh’s shot to round off a record-breaking eight-nil victory for the Lionesses.

Norway coach Martin Sjogren said that it will be ‘hard to forget’ as he labelled his team ’more or less horrible’ for the majority of the match.

" The last 80-85 minutes were more or less horrible, to be honest."

“ England played well. They made it hard for us. I also think we made it a little bit too easy for them losing the ball in very dangerous places. But you make mistakes when you play good teams.

Contrastingly, England boss Sarina Wiegman was ‘very satisfied with her team’s excellent performance and loved how much the fans ‘enjoyed the fixture’ as well as feeling that the players ‘made the nation proud’.

" We were 2-0 up pretty quickly then we got momentum and we could just play the possession game. We had so much space to create chances and score goals. You could tell the players enjoyed it on the pitch."

" I hoped they [the fans] enjoyed it. We want to make the nation proud. We tried to play our best game and today we did. We didn’t win anything yet. We have to stay grounded. I think I can be very satisfied tonight."

England have now qualified top of the group so can rest up while they take on an already eliminated Northern Ireland on Friday night while Norway must beat Austria in Brighton to secure their place in the knockout stages.

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