Five talking points as England hit Scotland for six
England romped to a 6-0 victory over Scotland at Hampden Park — but it was not enough to finish top of their Nations League group.
Alex Greenwood's accurate header gave the visitors an early lead, before a Lauren James double put them in control.
With the Netherlands winning against Belgium, England needed more goals — and they got them from Beth Mead, Fran Kirby and Lucy Bronze.
Mary Earps, after her error against the Netherlands, made a huge save in the dying moments which looked to have secured top spot.
But the Netherlands scored twice in stoppage time to make 4-0 to stun the European champions and progress on goal difference.
There was plenty of fighting talk from Scotland prior to the game.
But they were well beaten by an experienced and ruthless England side in Glasgow.
The game never looked in doubt for the Lionesses, despite some missed chances in the first half.
Scotland had moments of their own in the final third but this was a reminder of the difference in levels between the two teams.
Never say die
England's task looked an extremely difficult one at the start of the evening.
The Netherlands were in pole position to qualify for the semi-finals, with a superior goal difference and a home game against Belgium.
But Sarina Wiegman's team had different ideas.
The Lionesses played with real intent and drive throughout, particularly after their flurry of goals late in the first half.
That determination to pull off the necessary result whatever the circumstances certainly bodes well for future tournaments, even if they were unlucky on this occasion.
The big news before kick-off was that Mead would make her first England start since her anterior cruciate ligament injury over a year ago.
With more minutes under her belt, Mead will expect to get back to her very best in the coming weeks and months.
Having scored a brace against West Ham last time out for Arsenal, it appears the confidence is flowing again for the 28-year-old.
Like Mead, Kirby only recently returned from a long injury lay-off.
She missed the World Cup with a knee problem and has had to fight to regain her place in England's starting XI.
But she was heavily involved at Hampden Park, netting with a classy finish to make it 5-0 early in the second half.
After a strong spell of form for Chelsea, things are looking good for the 30-year-old.
She did not last the full 90 minutes — but with fitness and sharpness returning, Kirby will be a key player for the Lionesses again.
As was the case against the Netherlands, James proved to be the spark England needed in attack.
With the score at 1-0, her quickfire brace was the catalyst for an acceleration as the Lionesses netted three times towards the end of the first-half.
Her second goal was a stunning strike into the top corner, giving Scotland goalkeeper Lee Gibson no chance.
That star quality was the difference again and James continues to be a difference-maker for England.