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England through to Euro 2022 final after Lionesses crush Sweden 4-0

England produced an electrifying performance to see off Sweden and seal a place in the Euro 2022 final.

The Lionesses weathered an early first-half storm at Bramall Lane in Sheffield before exploding into life after the break to book a first major tournament final place since 2009.

Goals from Beth MeadLucy BronzeAlessia Russo and Fran Kirby sent the capacity crowd into raptures and secured their spot at Wembley at the expense of the shellshocked Swedes.

It ends a longer-than-decade run of defeats in the final four of major tournaments including the 2013 Euros and both the 2015 and 2019 World Cups.

Sarina Wiegman’s side, who have now won all five of their matches at the tournament conceding just a single goal in the process and scoring 20, will now play either France or Germany in Sunday’s showpiece.

Follow all of the reaction from a magical night at Bramall Lane:

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England surge into Euro 2022 final with thrashing of Sweden

Wherever you looked, history was against England. Take your pick: their record of only winning a handful of their many previous meetings with Sweden; the fact that their semi-final opponents were the highest-ranked team at this Women’s European Championship and unbeaten in 90 minutes since 2019; or, perhaps most pertinently of all, the Lionesses’ three consecutive semi-final defeats at their last three major international tournaments. The record books provided little comfort.

Yet as Sarina Wiegman has insisted throughout this tournament, history counts for nothing. The Lionesses are one game away from winning their first major tournament, having booked their place in Sunday’s Wembley final in emphatic style. Four unanswered goals – the third being a truly sensational backheel by Alessia Russo – put world class opposition to the sword at Bramall Lane and ensured that the Lionesses progress to their biggest game in some 13 years with all the momentum they need.

Read Mark Critchley’s report of a magical night in Sheffield:

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Wiegman delighted England ‘found a way’

It wasn’t the fast start that England wanted but they certainly showed resilience before bursting into life later in the game.

“The first half we struggled but the second half we played so much better,” Wiegman said afterwards.

“This result will go all over Europe and the world. It was such a performance that tomorrow everyone will talk about us.

“I think we have shown that we are very resilient. I don’t think we started the game well but still we found a way.”

“We will celebrate now a little bit but as I’ve said before we have come very far now and we don’t want to take it away.

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Mead ‘happy to help the team again’

Beth Mead made it six goals from five games so far at Euro 2022 with the opener tonight.

“I think at the full-time whistle we didn’t really know what to do. It was an incredible atmosphere and we’re just delighted to be in the final.”

On the importance of scoring the first goal she added: “I enjoyed it. I think it came at a good time as there was a lot of pressure on us as they had created a lot of chances and I’m just happy to help the team again.”

(PA Wire)

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‘Is this real?’ Pundits’ delighted reactions to England reaching Euro 2022 final

Former England international Alex Scott was full of praise for the women’s national team as they beat Sweden 4-0 at Bramall Lane on Tuesday night to seal a place in the Euro 2022 final.

The Lionesses emerged from a back-and-forth first half to totally dominate after the interval and cruise through their semi-final showdown, with the scenes at the end of the match seeing fans and players alike celebrating with songs and the latter dancing on the pitch.

Speaking to BBC Sport after the final whistle, Scott also spoke of the enormity of the moment in reaching the biggest stage, while Ian Wright called for momentum to be kept to ensure the team’s successes so far could create a lasting “legacy”.

But in the present moment, it was the resilience and versatility of Sarina Wiegman’s side which should be hailed, Scott said, after they produced a very different type of performance to that needed to see off Spain in the last round.

“Is this real? What England have shown throughout this tournament, which is absolutely a credit to them, is all sides [of the game],” she said.

“You’ve seen them frustrated in their opening game, you’ve seen them blow away Norway, you’ve seen them on the ropes against Spain and today a pure and intelligent England finding a way back into the game and brushing away Sweden.

“Every single game England have had different players step up.”

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‘Football’s coming home’ rings out amid emotional scenes after England win

England’s 4-0 drubbing of Sweden at Bramall Lane was greeted with tears, cheers and choruses of “football’s coming home” in Sheffield city centre.

Up to 2,000 fans gathered on the city’s Devonshire Green to watch the goal count mount on a giant screen.

Jamie Ferreday, 27, from Chesterfield, said: “I think it’s the best England win in a century to be honest.

“I think it’s genuinely coming home. We beat Sweden – the best team in the tournament. Who have we got to fear now?

“I didn’t think it would be this good. England normally make us sweat.”

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

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.

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Ian Wright wants to see a lasting legacy from England’s run to Euro 2022 final

English football has been urged to ensure the host nation’s run to the Euro 2022 final leads to a lasting legacy.

Sarina Wiegman’s side thrashed Sweden 4-0 in the first semi-final at Bramall Lane to book their place in Sunday’s showpiece at Wembley against France or Germany.

Beth Mead, Lucy Bronze, Alessia Russo and Fran Kirby all found the net to leave Ian Wright feeling “as proud as I’ve ever felt of any England side”.

But he had a warning for those who run the game, saying on the BBC: “Whatever happens in the final now, if girls are not allowed to play football in their PE, just like the boys can, what are we doing?

“We have got to make sure they are able to play and get the opportunity to do so.

“If there’s no legacy to this – like with the Olympics – then what are we doing as this is as proud as I’ve ever felt of any England side.”

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England surge into Euro 2022 final with thrashing of Sweden

Wherever you looked, history was against England.

Take your pick: their record of only winning a handful of their many previous meetings with Sweden; the fact that their semi-final opponents were the highest-ranked team at this Women’s European Championship and unbeaten in 90 minutes since 2019; or, perhaps most pertinently of all, the Lionesses’ three consecutive semi-final defeats at their last three major international tournaments.

The record books provided little comfort.

Yet as Sarina Wiegman has insisted throughout this tournament, history counts for nothing. The Lionesses are one game away from winning their first major tournament, having booked their place in Sunday’s Wembley final in emphatic style.

Four unanswered goals – the third being a truly sensational backheel by Alessia Russo – put world class opposition to the sword at Bramall Lane and ensured that the Lionesses progress to their biggest game in some 13 years with all the momentum they need.

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Sarina Wiegman rewarded for trust and team consistency as England seal Euro 2022 final place

After one of the most difficult nights in Sarina Wiegman’s tenure so far, came perhaps the most complete.

Only a single round earlier, England almost faced an early exit after having to come from behind against Spain, eventually winning after extra time and only after having to really change their approach to combat a side who had prevented the Lionesses from playing their own preferred gameplan.

But here, after an end-to-end and hold-your-breath first quarter of an hour or so, England managed to first control, then excel, then be utterly ruthless against one of the world’s best sides.

A 4-0 scoreline against Sweden to reach the final of Euro 2022 is more impressive by a huge stretch than putting 20 past Latvia in a qualifier, or even than beating the holders – and Wiegman’s former side – Netherlands 5-1 in a warmup match. This was a game which mattered, with everything riding on it, and England did a lot more than just win: they reminded themselves how good they can be, and reminded the watching world what happens when their best players are allowed to impose themselves.

And for that, perhaps Wiegman deserves an extra mention, an extra nod of approval.

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

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: