England manager Sarina Wiegman has urged the world to sit up and take notice of the Lionesses after they roared into the Euro 2022 final with a 4-0 thumping of Sweden.
After a rough start, England took control of the clash with a first-half strike from Beth Mead, and the goals started flowing after the break as Lucy Bronze, Fran Kirby and a sensational back-heel from Alessia Russo fired Wiegman’s side into Sunday’s final at Wembley.
“This result will go all over Europe and the world,” Wiegman said after the game. “It was such a performance that tomorrow everyone will talk about us. I think we have shown that we are very resilient.”
She added: “We said before the tournament and throughout that we want to inspire the nation, I think that’s what we’re doing and making a difference. The whole country is proud of us and even more girls and boys will want to play football.
“We have confidence in this team, our players stay calm and stick with the plan. We spoke about scenarios and sometimes things go well and sometimes things don’t. We can count on each other and our task and then come back into the team.”
Praise for England also came from Sweden boss Peter Gerhardsson, who acknowledged that the Lionesses were too strong for his side.
“We had the more dangerous chances to score first,” he said. “It would have given the game a different outlook. Going 2-0 down from a set-piece early in the second half against a difficult opponent like England is going to be tough. Then going to 3-0 and 4-0 doesn’t make it any easier.
“We were playing a really talented team and when you face that sort of opponent you need to take your chances. We matched them physically but there are various reasons why it went the way it did in the second half.”