Beth Mead scored a hat-trick as England ran riot against Norway to win Group A with the biggest win ever recorded by a team at the finals
Article top media content
12' Stanway converts penalty
15' Hemp slots in
29' Cool finish from White
34' Mead heads fourth
38' No7 tucks in her second
41' White fires sixth
66' Russo nods beyond Pettersen
81' Hat-trick hero Mead taps in
Match in brief: England open the floodgates
England had scored once in six qualifying matches against Norway in UEFA Women's EURO history, and their meeting with the six-time finalists had been billed as a closely contested battle for supremacy in Group A.
After a cagey start, England made the breakthrough when Maria Thorisdottir was adjudged to have fouled Ellen White, allowing Georgia Stanway to confidently convert from the penalty spot.
White almost got in on the act four minutes later after Beth Mead had raced free inside the penalty area, only for Lauren Hemp to beat England's all-time record goalscorer to a low cross and make it two.
Worse followed for Thorisdottir. White dispossessed the defender, surged into the penalty area and slotted a finish under Guro Pettersen. In front of a faintly disbelieving home crowd, Mead then added two more within five minutes, heading Hemp's delivery in and rolling a shot past Pettersen. Not to be outdone, White added a sixth before the break.
Martin Sjögren encouraged his players to persevere as they left the field after a chastening first half, and they held on for almost half of the second period before substitute Alessia Russo calmly nodded in from Lucy Bronze's delivery to make it seven.
Substitute Alex Greenwood was only denied by the crossbar with a superb long-range strike in the 74th minute, and Mead tapped in for her hat-trick seven minutes later to cap an extraordinary night for English football.
UEFA Player of the Match: Beth Mead (England)
"She was fast, full of strong dribbling, determined, had a will to score and was courageous in one-on-ones, constantly troubling Norway's defence on the flanks."
UEFA Technical Observer panel
Lynsey Hooper, England reporter
England have made a huge statement in Brighton & Hove. They have won Group A at a canter after two matches and dispensed of Norway effortlessly. This was the match where everything came together. The wings were utilised and every player was on the top of their game. White and Mead will steal the headlines for their goals, but the work of Hemp, Kirby and Stanway in attack was also worthy of huge plaudits.
Philip O'Connor, Norway reporter
A night to forget for Norway as they failed to get to grips with the home side's blistering attacking play and clinical finishing. Some of the young players got a baptism of fire here tonight, but there's enough experience and desire in this team to put this behind them as they go into the final group game against Austria.
Sarina Wiegman, England coach: "We got momentum so we could create more chances and score more goals. They struggled to get pressure on the ball. You could tell the players really enjoyed it; I just hope the fans enjoyed it. That's what we hope to do to make the nation proud. If you win 1-0 or 8-0, it doesn't make any difference – you haven't won anything yet."
Beth Mead, England forward: "Hat-tricks are not something I've ever thought about really, but I'm really proud to be in those positions. I'm super proud and more proud to get the points than the goals for my team."
Jill Scott, England midfielder: "Before tonight, we thought this was going to be a really tough game. What happened was a combination of Norway having a tough game and us being so good. Any one of our players could have been Player of the Match. They were incredible."
Ellen White, England forward: "We need to rest and look forward to Northern Ireland, but we will definitely enjoy tonight because it was amazing. It was an incredible performance and to do it in front of this crowd in the European Championships was amazing."
Ada Hegerberg, Norway forward: "We started the game quite strong and then we conceded the first goal and there was just a clear way [to win] for England and goal after goal, which is unacceptable. It's a tough reality right now. We've got to get to the bottom of it, obviously, and keep reaching high."
Martin Sjögren, Norway coach: "The only comfort is that we still have everything in our own hands. If we beat Austria, we can go through to the next round. It's the responsibility of me, the coaching staff and the players to regroup and come together. We're a strong team with a great team spirit."
- England needed 45 minutes to equal the most goals ever scored by a team in a full game in the UEFA Women's EURO (Germany 6-2 England in 2009; England 6-0 Scotland in 2017).
- Beth Mead (26) is the only player to have been involved in more goals under Wiegman than Lauren Hemp, who has 19.
- The Lionesses broke the record for the largest lead at half-time in the history of the competition a day after France had set it (5-0 vs Italy).
- England have won their last five Women's EURO final tournament group stage matches. They had only won two out of 12 matches in the group stage at Women's EURO final tournaments prior to 2017.
- The crowd of 28,847 at the Brighton & Hove Community Stadium represented the fourth-highest attendance for a Women's EURO game.
- Norway failed to win for the first time in seven matches and saw their seven-game run of first-half goals end.
England: Earps; Bronze, Bright, Williamson, Daly (Greenwood 57); Stanway (Scott 80), Walsh; Kirby (Toone 57); Mead, White (Russo 57), Hemp (Kelly 70)
Norway: Pettersen; T. Hansen, Mjelde, Thorisdottir, Blakstad; Bøe Risa (Maanum 59), Syrstad Engen; Sævik (Bergsvand 46), Graham Hansen (Eikeland 75), Reiten (Terland 84); Hegerberg (Bizet Ildhusøy 75)
Already confirmed as Group A winners, England will look to enter the knockout phase with three wins from three when they tackle already-eliminated Northern Ireland in Southampton on Friday. As for Norway, they will finish runners-up if they beat Austria in Brighton & Hove that same evening.