England women set Euro record in eight-goal rout of Norway
News Desk || shiningbd
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.
"It was a very special night. We didn't expect to make such a big win but we played really well. We really exploited their weaknesses and we're really happy, but at the same time it's just one game," Wiegman said.
"What's going on here? That was going through my mind. Norway didn't have the answers. We created chances, scored goals and it was very enjoyable to watch.
"We showed how good we are. When we go through we'll get tested at a higher level. We need to do better every game."
Mead added: "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.
"The girls need to enjoy this one. These are the moments we need to enjoy."
- Lethal Mead -
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.
England had opened their campaign with last week's 1-0 win over Austria at Old Trafford.
But that tense tie was a far cry from the barrage of goals that rained down on Norway.
Stanway fired her spot-kick past Guro Pettersen after White was fouled by Maria Thorisdottir.
Three minutes later, England scored again when Mead's cross was flicked hom by Hemp, with the goal given via a VAR check after the flag had initially gone up for offside.
White took advantage of sloppy play by Thorisdottir in the 29th minute, seizing possession, advancing into the box and slotting home.
Mead was next to get in on the act with a quickfire double, heading in from Hemp's cross in the 34th minute, then shooting beyond Pettersen in the 38th.
Three minutes after that, White took her record haul of goals for the Lionesses to 52, converting at the far post as she met Fran Kirby's delivery.
Russo made it seven in the 66th minute, heading in Lucy Bronze's cross, before the lethal Mead produced a simple finish to claim her fourth goal of the tournament and cap a remarkable evening.