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Beth Mead admits England ‘never dreamt’ of making Euros history against Norway
Beth scored a hat-trick as England claimed a record-breaking 8-0 win.
Hat-trick hero Beth Mead admitted she and her England team-mates could not quite believe what was happening in the record-breaking 8-0 thrashing of Norway.
The tournament hosts recorded the biggest win in Euros history, surpassing their own 6-0 victory over Scotland in 2017, with a stunning display at the Amex Stadium in which they scored six times in the first half.
Following Georgia Stanway’s 12th-minute penalty and a Lauren Hemp finish three minutes later, the Lionesses then added four goals in just over 10 minutes, with their record scorer Ellen White – now just one away from matching the men’s team’s highest scorer Wayne Rooney on 53 – and Mead each netting twice.
Substitute Alessia Russo subsequently made it a magnificent, unprecedented seven in the 66th minute before Mead completed her treble with nine minutes of normal time remaining as Sarina Wiegman’s side secured a place in the quarter-finals in remarkable fashion.
Reflecting on the dismantling of a Norway outfit ranked three places below them at 11th in the world, winger Mead said: “I think if you’d have told us that (the day before), we’d have probably all laughed at you.
“We couldn’t believe it on the pitch, as you could probably see by our faces, but I thought on the pitch every player was phenomenal. Honestly, we would never have dreamt of that.”
Having also scored the winner last Wednesday when England opened their campaign by beating Austria 1-0 at Old Trafford, Mead is currently on four goals for the tournament.
The 27-year-old – who has registered 18 England goals since missing out on Great Britain’s squad for the Tokyo Olympics last summer – said when asked about the possibility of finishing the Euros with the Golden Boot: “I’d love to, but I’m just happy again to get on the scoresheet, and get the points for the team right now.
We couldn't believe it on the pitch, as you could probably see by our faces.
- Beth Mead
“I’m part of a team game, and I love playing for this team, so if I can help in any way, I’m more than happy. (But) it would be a big bonus, yeah!”
With Monday’s remarkable win seeing them seal top spot in Group A, England will be returning to Brighton a week on Wednesday to play a quarter-final against the runners-up in Group B, which features Germany and Spain.
England’s group fixtures conclude with Friday’s meeting at St Mary’s against now-eliminated Northern Ireland, who had lost 2-0 to Austria earlier on Monday.
Mead’s Arsenal team-mate and England skipper Leah Williamson has no doubt the result against Norway, which was also a bigger win than any from the men’s Euros, was a statement but has also stressed “we won’t get carried away with it”.
Williamson said: “Of course, it is (a statement). Every game in football you go out to win and you want to play as best as you can, and (on Monday) everything we touched in the first half was golden.
“You have days like that, you also have days that aren’t like that. So we won’t get carried away with it.
“I think for us in terms of confidence and what the girls all get out of it – especially the girls that are assisting and scoring, some of the goals were unbelievable, I was stood watching at the back and it was lovely for me – I think that is really important for the girls.
“But definitely nothing to get carried away with. We came to win a game of football and we’ve done that, and we’ve done it in style.”
Williamson added with regard to the knockout rounds: “I don’t think we feared anyone coming in. There’s a lovely quote that I like and it’s: ‘Nobody wins afraid of losing’. We go into every game to win it.
“I’m very excited for any test, but of course a win like (Monday’s) doesn’t do any harm to the confidence.”
Williamson also spoke of the importance of “putting on a show” like England did in front of what was a crowd of 28,847 in Brighton, and said: “Sarina really wants us to engage with the fans, but also the people at home watching on television. That’s the type of football, if I turned on my television, that I’d want to watch.”