The Lionesses who can’t be tamed: How England reached Euro 2022 final

England beat Sweden in the semi-finals to reach Sunday’s showpiece at Wembley

Pa Sport Staff
Tuesday 26 July 2022 22:20 BST
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England through to Euro 2022 final after Lionesses crush Sweden 4-0

England have reached the Euro 2022 final after beating Sweden 4-0 at Bramall Lane in the last four.

Following a shaky start for the Lionesses in which Sweden’s Stina Blackstenius hit the bar, Beth Mead, already leading the race for the Golden Boot, put Sarina Wiegman’s side ahead with a 34th-minute strike that took her to six goals for the tournament.

Mead then turned provider early in the opening moments of the second half, delivering a corner that was headed in by Lucy Bronze, before substitute Alessia Russo notched her fourth goal of these finals with a delightful back-heeled effort in the 68th minute.

Fran Kirby added the fourth with a chip eight minutes later and it could have been even better more for England, with Lauren Hemp having rattled the woodwork at 2-0, as they comprehensively avoided more semi-final disappointment after exiting at this stage at their last three major tournaments.

Here we look back at England’s run to the final.

England 1-0 Austria – Group stage

Beth Mead struck England’s winner against Austria (Martin Rickett/PA)
Beth Mead struck England’s winner against Austria (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)

England made a winning start to their campaign as Beth Mead’s early goal secured victory over Austria in the tournament curtain-raiser at Old Trafford.

In front of a competition-record crowd of 68,871, Mead continued her fine goalscoring form by putting the Lionesses in front in the 16th minute.

Lauren Hemp was denied by a fine Manuela Zinsberger save in first-half stoppage time, while England and Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps did well to push away a Barbara Dunst effort after the break.

England 8-0 Norway – Group stage

Ellen White scored two in the rout of Norway (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Ellen White scored two in the rout of Norway (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

England secured their place in the quarter-finals in stunning fashion as they hammered Norway in Brighton to record the biggest win in the competition’s history.

The tournament hosts scored six times in a rampant first-half display, with Georgia Stanway’s 12th-minute penalty and a finish from Hemp three minutes later being followed by a brace apiece from Ellen White and Mead.

That equalled the most amount of goals scored by one team in a Euros match, and England went on to set a new record for the most emphatic victory at a finals, surpassing their 6-0 win over Scotland in 2017, following an effort from substitute Alessia Russo and Mead completing her hat-trick.

England 5-0 Northern Ireland – Group stage

England put five past Northern Ireland (Andrew Matthews/PA)
England put five past Northern Ireland (Andrew Matthews/PA) (PA Wire)

Russo struck twice as England maintained their flawless start with a commanding 5-0 win over Northern Ireland in Southampton.

Northern Ireland managed to keep them at bay until the 40th minute when Fran Kirby’s lofted curled strike broke the deadlock.

Mead quickly doubled the advantage with her fourth goal of the tournament just before half-time and Russo, having replaced White at the interval epitomised the impact substitute role by finding the net twice.

England’s fifth came when Kelsie Burrows sliced the ball over goalkeeper Jacqueline Burns and into her own net.

England 2-1 Spain (AET) – Quarter-finals

Georgia Stanway hit a memorable winner against Spain (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Georgia Stanway hit a memorable winner against Spain (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

England battled back from a goal down to claim a place in the semi-finals as Stanway’s superb extra-time strike sealed a 2-1 victory over Spain at the Amex Stadium.

The tournament hosts looked in trouble trailing to Esther Gonzalez’s 54th-minute goal before Ella Toone drew things level with a smart finish with six minutes of normal time remaining, teed up by fellow substitute Russo.

Stanway then sparked delirium among the 28,994 crowd in attendance by firing a stunner past Sandra Panos six minutes into extra-time as England secured a place in a fourth successive major tournament semi-final.

England 4-0 Sweden – semi-finals

(The FA via Getty Images)

Mead’s sixth goal of the tournament set England on their way to Sunday’s final as they went on to run riot in Sheffield.

The Arsenal player had her back to goal in the 34th minute but turned and fired past goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl to give England the lead. The Lionesses quickly doubled their advantage after the break when Lucy Bronze headed home from a corner.

England rubber-stamped their place at Wembley with a innovative Russo backheel through Lindahl’s legs in the 68th minute and Kirby added gloss to the scoreline with a chipped goal in front of a buoyant crowd of 28,624 at Bramall Lane.

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