Leah Williamson insists that England fear no one at Euro 2022 after the Lionesses surged into the quarter-finals as Group A winners with a record breaking 8-0 victory over Norway on Monday night.
Beth Mead hit a hat-trick, Ellen White netted a brace and Georgia Stanway, Lauren Hemp and Alessia Russo were also on the score sheet as England recorded the biggest ever win in European Championship history – male or female.
Although the result means the Lionesses have already guaranteed top spot in the group even if they lose to Northern Ireland on Friday, this does not necessarily guarantee them a smoother path to the Wembley final at the end of the month.
The runner up from Group B – heralded as the group of death – will await in the quarter-finals, likely either eight-time European champions Germany or highly fancied Spain. However, Williamson insisted England will relish the challenge of any side put in front of them.
“I don’t think we’ve feared anyone from the beginning,” the England captain said. “That’s not the attitude that we have. The stakes get higher and higher and we wanted to get through the group. Whatever team we come up against we’ll know our strengths. I’m very excited for any test.”
England blew away Norway – a side ranked just three places below them in the Fifa world rankings – with an electric first half performance, netting an extraordinary six goals in the first 41 minutes.
For all the Norwegian backline did not help themselves at times, England also scored goals of real quality. Mead and Hemp wreaked havoc down either flank, Keira Walsh’s distribution was inch perfect all evening and Stanway, Fran Kirby and Lucy Bronze overwhelmed Norway in midfield with their energy and running.
Despite the extraordinary victory, Williamson was keen to state that England’s feet remain firmly planted on the ground.
“Every game of football you go out to win and you want to play the best you can. Everything we touched in the first half was gold,” she added. “We’ll have days like, we’ll have some days that aren’t like that, so we won’t get carried away with it.
“But I think for us in terms of confidence and what the girls will get out of today, especially the girls that scored or assisted… some of our play, some of the goals were unbelievable. I was stood watching at the back and it was lovely for me.”