Russo scores first Euros goal in England rout
Manchester United Women’s striker Alessia Russo came off the bench to score her first European Championship goal in England’s record-breaking 8-0 win over Norway in Brighton on Monday night.
The Group A rivals went into the clash having both won their opening games of the tournament last week, and entertained a sell-out 28,847 crowd at the home of Brighton and Hove Albion.
Five United Women’s players featured in the clash, with Mary Earps starting in goal for the Lionesses, while Norwegian duo Maria Thorisdottir and Vilde Boe Risa were also selected from the off. Club team-mates Russo and Ella Toone were among the England substitutes.
Despite this fixture being billed as a tight affair, it was anything but.
THANK YOU.— Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 11, 2022
You have made tonight very special, Brighton. 🤝 pic.twitter.com/Jf9vbgEQtL
The Lionesses struck within 12 minutes, with Georgia Stanway converting a penalty following a foul on Ellen White by Thorisdottir.
Lauren Hemp doubled the lead after 15 minutes, before White scored two goals either side of a Beth Mead brace to give Sarina Wiegman’s side an incredible 6-0 lead going into the break.
Following the break, the Lionesses didn’t ease off their pressure, and sought to further extend their lead.
But it wasn’t until after the introduction of United duo Russo and Toone on 58 minutes that the next goal would come. The pair replaced White and Fran Kirby for the closing stages of the fixture, and made an almost-instant impact.
Just eight minutes after her introduction, Russo rose high above club team-mate Thorisdottir to get on the end of Lucy Bronze’s cross and power her header beyond Guro Petterson; her first-ever Euros goal.
Moments later, Toone had an excellent opportunity to make it eight, latching on to Russo’s cross in the middle of the box, but she turned her effort over the crossbar.
But it wasn’t long before England did have an eighth, with Mead prodding home to seal her hat-trick and a historic win, as the Lionesses set a new record for the highest margin of victory at the women’s European Championship finals.
The victory also means that Wiegman’s side have already qualified for the Euro 2022 quarter-finals, with one group match still to play.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY AT THE EUROS?
This evening, United Women’s defender Ona Batlle is back in action for Spain, as they face Germany in Group B.
Both sides enter the fixture on the back of wins in their opening fixtures, and the clash at the Brentford Community Stadium begins at 20:00 BST.