In Focus: Five key talking points from England 4-0 Sweden

Sean Wilson
LiveScore
Beth Mead scored the opener in England's 4-0 win over Sweden
Beth Mead scored the opener in England's 4-0 win over Sweden

England are within 90 minutes of their first major title after securing their place in the Women's Euro 2022 final with a resounding 4-0 victory over Sweden at Bramall Lane. 

It was the Lionesses' largest-ever margin of victory at this stage of the competition — and Sweden's heaviest defeat. 

Beth Mead netted a first-half opener to break the goalscoring record at a single tournament and England grew in stature from there. 

Lucy Bronze headed in the second before substitute Alessia Russo nutmegged goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl with a no-look backheel for the third. 

Lindahl's night went from bad to worse when she was chipped by Fran Kirby to extend England's record winning run to 11 games and secure the Lionesses' place in the final.

Marvellous Mead

If Mead felt any pressure as she faced the prospect of breaking a goalscoring record at the European Championships, she hid it well. 

The tournament's top scorer netted England's opener in the first half with a lovely swivel and strike inside the box to set the Lionesses on their way to a famous victory. 

With a final still to come, Mead could well add to her six strikes and extend the record.

Beth Mead scored and provided two assists in England's 4-0 win over Sweden
Beth Mead scored and provided two assists in England's 4-0 win over Sweden

Bronze bites back

Bronze has faced some criticism despite England's excellent run in the tournament so far. 

The experienced full-back has not quite matched the levels she reached in 2019 — when former England boss Phil Neville labelled her the world's best — but she hit back at her critics with a fine attacking display against Sweden. 

After setting Mead up for the opener with a fine first-time cross, Bronze headed in the crucial second goal, nodding into the far corner from Mead's set-piece delivery. 

The 30-year-old's bombing runs down the right were a crucial facet of England's attacking play in a swashbuckling performance.

Lucy Bronze both scored and assisted in England's semi-final win over Sweden
Lucy Bronze both scored and assisted in England's semi-final win over Sweden

Wiegman keeps winning

If anyone knows how to win the Euros, it is Wiegman. 

Her record at the tournament is impeccable — she has never been beaten in the competition. 

Wiegman led the Netherlands to victory in 2017 and has reached a second successive final — the first manager to do so with two different nations. 

She continued her trend of preferring to stick with a settled starting line-up, naming the exact same team in each of the Lionesses' five games so far. No side has done the same in the competition since 1997. 

It is clearly a tactic that has borne fruit given England's success and Wiegman revealed her pride in her players.

She said: "The second half we did really well. I thought in the first half we struggled a little bit. The second half we had total control of the game and got some more space.

"We'll celebrate now a little bit. But as I said before the tournament, we have a dream. We've come very far, but now we want to take it away.

"In the second half we played so much better. I think it was such a good performance that everyone will talk about it.

"I think we have shown a couple of times that we're very resilient. I thought we didn't start well so we had a hard time. 

"But the players found a way in the game to get out of their pressure, and I'm so, so incredibly proud of them."

England beat their bogey team

Despite their impressive run to the semi-finals, England could have been forgiven for feeling some trepidation at facing Sweden in the last four. 

Remarkably, the Lionesses had only beaten their Scandinavian opponents three times in their previous 26 meetings. 

However, they did not let history affect them and put those bad memories to bed in style to reach the final.

Super sub Russo

Only three players have contributed directly to at least five goals in this year's tournament. 

They are: Mead (six goals, five assists), Kirby (two goals, three assists) and Russo, with four goals and an assist. 

The forward is the joint-second highest goalscorer in the competition and remarkably, all four of her strikes have come off the bench. 

Having such a potent weapon to bring on in the latter stages of games makes England a truly dangerous proposition in the final.

The Lionesses will now face the winner of Germany's clash with France in Wednesday's semi-final.

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Women’s Euro 2022EnglandSweden W
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