Eight thrill! Give England the credit they deserve without caveats that show up prejudice against women’s football
We should be revelling in the statement Euros drubbing of two-time champions Norway because the Lionesses didn’t come to play — they’re here to win, writes Laura Lawrence.Embed from Getty Images
Eight-nil. Let that sink in. 8-0.
Drown out the white whining noise; the articles about the professionalism of Norway’s defence, the rantings of anti-woke warriors and pre-historic entrepreneurs.
As Robyn Cowen might add, good evening, Lord Sugar.
England were exemplary. Let’s give them the credit they deserve without the caveats that reveal prejudice against women’s football.
Norway have won the Euros twice. This isn’t an emerging team of part-timers who lack investment in women’s football. Their number nine is Ada fricking Hegerberg, first recipient of the women’s Ballon d’Or. They’re ranked 11th in the world and came into this tournament as a bookies’ favourite.
England beat them 8-0. I’m going to keep saying it because it is an incredible achievement. A record-breaking achievement. No team has scored more than six goals in a European Championship game. England had hit this by the 41st minute.
Every player played their part in the victory. Watching England demolish Norway down the right with deft little one-twos, slicing the defence apart like a hot knife through butter, was not only brilliant but devastatingly repetitive. Manchester United’s Maria Thorisdottir and Manchester City’s Julie Blakstad struggled to cope with Lucy Bronze, Georgia Stanway and the sublime Beth Mead down the right. Norway brought on defensive reinforcements at half-time but the damage had already been done.Embed from Getty Images
While Mead deserved the match ball for her glorious hat-trick, it could have been Lauren Hemp or Ellen White picking the ball out of the net multiple times. Twenty-five shots in total and 15 on target, this was a relentless and ruthless performance by this England team.
Keira Walsh also needs a mention for helping to keep Hegerberg as quiet as a church mouse. Solid and authoritative. No fuss, no muss. She’s going to be key to England’s progression in this tournament.
Sarina Wiegman has made some tough decisions in the run up to the Euros. Dropping Steph Houghton and choosing White to start over Alessia Russo have certainly brought criticism to her door but she didn’t come here to just play, she came here to win.
Wiegman now has a lovely choice of attacking options; a potential golden boot winner in Mead or White striving to break Wayne Rooney’s all-time scoring record for the national team. With Hemp and Russo, England have goals to spare in the team. This feels like a turning point. It was a statement of intent.
Enjoy it. Revel in it. Spread the word. It might be coming home.
Follow Laura on Twitter @YICETOR and learn more about the 12th Woman campaign here
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