Football Features

“England are playing like The Matrix” – Player ratings as the Lionesses maul Norway 8-0 at Euro 2022

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 22:18, 11 July 2022 | Updated: 22:55, 12 July 2022

History was made as England devastated Norway 8-0 at Euro 2022 to qualify for the quarter-final.

For the first time in Women’s European Championship history, a team has scored six goals in the first-half. And for the first time men’s and women’s European Championship history, a team has scored seven (and eight) goals in a single game.

Here’s how the players rated at the AMEX Stadium:


Mary Earps – 7 – Had nothing to do.

Lucy Bronze – 8 – Drove the ball forward intelligently all game long and comfortably handled Guro Reiten. Pinged a gorgeous cross in to set-up Russo for England’s seventh.

Millie Bright – 7 – Picked up where she left off against Austria and shut down the Norwegian attack. Now, there wasn’t all that much to shut down as it turns out, but she did what she had to do.

Leah Williamson – 7 – Strode about the pitch like a colossus.

Rachel Daly – 7 – Got her foot trapped underneath her in the first-half, which was the most danger she was in all night.

Keira Walsh – 8 – Put the clamps on the Norwegian midfield. Her strike set-up the eigth goal.

Georgia Stanway – 8 – Blasted her penalty into the back of the net. Beautiful play to put it on a plate from Hemp later on and a tasty reverse pass to set Kirby away before England’s sixth.

Beth Mead – 9 – Beautiful play in the right half-space, destroying Norway with her movement and intelligence. Stellar play to set-up England’s second goal and put the ball on a plate for White to almost score a third. Scored England’s fourth with a lovely header and bagged the fifth with an absolutely superhuman bit of skill, darting and dancing between the Norwegian side, leaving Blakstad, Engen and Thorisdottir gasping for her in her wake as he slotted home. Finally sealed her hat-trick with England’s eighth goal, a simple tap-in of all things.

When asked about her chances for individual accolades, Mead stuck to the team line that should fill England fans with hope and happiness. “I haven’t even thought about [winning the golden boot], I just wanna get goals for my team and help them win.”

The Lionesses have a truly monstrous mentality and Mead is proof of that. To make matters worse for their opponents; they play beautiful football, “England are playing like The Matrix,” said the commentary team, and they were right. This was science-fiction at the AMEX.

Fran Kirby – 7 – Finally got in on the act late in the first-half, crossing for White to score the sixth. Otherwise she was quality, but outshone by her simply sensational team-mates.

Lauren Hemp – 9 – Somehow missed a sitter to make it 2-0 at the back-post but didn’t have to wait too long, bagging a back-post tap-in minutes later. Some great runs. Came over to the right and beamed a cross onto the head of Beth Mead for the fourth. A menace all night long with her movement.

Ellen White – 9 – Canny bit of play to win the penalty. Robbed the ball off Thorisdottir and drove forward to score England’s third in a devastating example of her power. Won the ball back in the build-up to England’s fourth and scored the sixth with a nice run and finish. Utterly tormented the Norwegian defence for the 57 minutes she was on the field.

England Substitutes:

Alessia Russo (for ? 64′) – 7 – Great header to bag England’s seveth strike.

Alex Greenwood (for Daly 57′) – 7 – A tenacious and lively display as she gave England some impetus.

Ella Toone (for Kirby 58′) – 7 – Bright.

Chloe Kelly (for Hemp 70′) – 7 – Hit the bar.

Jill Scott (for Stanway 80′) – 7 – Came on to a lovely standing ovation.


Guro Pettersen – 2 – Utterly helpless in the face of England’s attack.

Tuva Hansen – 3 – Overwhelmed.

Maren Mjelde – 2 – Hammered from pillar to post all game long. At no point did she have anything going for her.

Maria Thorisdottir – 1 – Literally one of the worst displays in major tournament history where she did literally nothing right. So many England goals were directly her fault as they exposed her poor shape and lack of mental rigour (White brutalising her twice for a penalty and England’s third goal were probably the worst examples. England treated her with the same brutal disregard that Thanos treated her father at the start of Infinity War.

Julie Blakstad – 2 – Beth Mead and Lucy Bronze cut through her like a hot knife through butter time and time again.

Vilde Boe Risa – 3 – Came in for this game but couldn’t stop or even slow the English tide from washing over Norway.

Ingrid Engen – 3 – Overrun.

Karina Savik – 3 – Completely anonymous as a force on both ends. Subbed off at half-time.

Caroline Graham Hansen – 4 – Completely isolated by her team’s lack of possession.

Guro Reiten – 3 – Failed to track back and help defend her flank against the English annihilation.

Ada Hegerberg – 4 – Starved of the ball.

Norway Substitutes:

Guro Bergsvand (for Savik 46′) – 5 – Helped to quieten the English attack through sheer numbers.

Frida Maanum (for Boe Risa 59′) – 4 – Came on and England found their second-half goals.

Celin Bizet (for Hegerberg 75′) – 5 – Got stuck in more than any of her team-mates.

Amalie Eikeland (for Hansen 76′) – 4 – Didn’t do much.

Elisabeth Terland (for Reiten 84′) – 4 – Came on late.