Brighton: England recorded the biggest win in European Championship history as Beth Mead’s hat-trick inspired an 8-0 demolition of Norway that booked the hosts’ quarter-final place on Monday.
Sarina Wiegman’s side scored six in the first half on route to smashing their own women’s Euro record margin of victory set when they beat Scotland 6-0 in 2017.
No team, either male or female, had ever scored eight at a European Championship until England’s incredible goal-spree against the overwhelmed Norwegians in Brighton.
Georgia Stanway’s 12th-minute penalty opened the floodgates and Lauren Hemp struck three minutes later.
Ellen White and Mead both netted twice in the first half to leave Norway reeling.
Underling their status as leading contenders to win the tournament on home soil, England showed no mercy after the interval.
Alessia Russo bagged the record-breaking seventh goal and Mead completed her hat-trick to cap an astonishing performance from the Lionesses.
England’s win guaranteed they will finish top of Group A with one match still to play.
They face Northern Ireland in Southampton on Friday in a dead rubber before returning to Brighton a week on Wednesday to play the runners-up in Group B, which features Germany and Spain, in the quarter-finals.
A crowd of 28,847 lapped up the blistering display, chanting “football’s coming home” as England’s unbeaten run under Wiegman extended to a 16th match including 14 victories.
I’m really enjoying my football, I love being part of this team. Honestly, it’s an incredible feeling to feel how I do right now,” Mead said.
“I keep saying it, but I can’t put it into words, honestly. I’m just loving being here, loving being part of this team and enjoying every minute.
“The girls need to enjoy this one. These are the moments we need to enjoy.”
Northern Ireland, who lost 2-0 against Austria earlier on Monday, have now been eliminated.
Third placed Norway, expected to be among the title contenders, and second placed Austria both have three points after two games.
They will meet on Friday in a shoot-out to decide the other quarter-final qualifier from the group.