In Focus: Five key talking points from Northern Ireland 0-5 England
England top Group A at the European Championships with a 100% record after beating Northern Ireland 5-0 — all without coach Sarina Wiegman who tested positive for coronavirus.
Fran Kirby finally broke the Northern Irish resistance in the 41st minute, curling beyond goalkeeper Jackie Burns.
Beth Mead doubled England's lead just before half-time with her fifth goal of the tournament.
Just 132 seconds after the restart, substitute Alessia Russo got in on the act with a towering header before adding another soon after.
The unfortunate Kelsie Burrows handed England a fifth late on, lobbing Burns with an own goal.
The runner-up from Group B awaits England in the quarter-finals — most likely to be Spain or Denmark.
LiveScore picks out five key talking points from St Mary's.
Winning formula remains
With top spot secured, England boss Wiegman — watching from her hotel room — might have been tempted to rotate her side for this dead rubber. But she resisted any urge.
The Lionesses were unchanged at St Mary's with the message clear — continue to build momentum and lay down a marker.
But England struggled to reach the same intensity levels as against Norway and Austria.
Leading 2-0 at the break, assistant coach Arjan Veurink rung the changes, introducing Russo, Ella Toone and Alex Greenwood.
Manchester United duo Russo and Toone combined well to ensure the hosts made the most of their superiority.
For the first time at these Championships, England did not have it all their own way — at least for the first 40 minutes.
Northern Ireland, sitting deep and narrow, refused to let the host nation get in behind.
Keeper Burns was impressive for the Green and White Army as England racked up 11 shots in the first 20 minutes.
But once Kirby made the breakthrough with a sumptuous finish from the edge of the box, Kenny Shiels' side had no answer and the floodgates opened.
With Russo's header early in the second half, England claimed a slice of history.
It was the Lionesses' 12th goal of a prolific group stage — more than anyone else in European Championship history.
The previous record holders were Germany, who scored 11 in 2001.
Victory also means England have bagged an incredible 98 goals in just 17 games under Wiegman, who remains unbeaten as coach.
On the evidence of their group-stage performance, they are the team to beat at this tournament.
Three goals in as many games at these European Championships mean — inevitably — there will be calls for Russo to start up front.
But Ellen White — who was given a break at half-time — will get the nod in the quarter-finals and rightly so.
With 52 goals, White is England's all-time leading scorer and her place in the side is safe.
But that is no slight on Russo who has proven a dangerous, game-changing option from the bench.
The touch, spin and finish for her second goal, collecting fellow sub Toone's fizzed pass, were exquisite.
Her performance will have given Wiegman the cliched good headache to have and points to a bright future up front when White, 33, calls time on an illustrious international career.
Lionesses right at home
Northern Ireland simply could not live with England's threat down the right-hand side.
Full-back Lucy Bronze spent most of the game occupying the kind of areas a winger would normally be found.
England's threat was varied with Mead and Lauren Hemp regularly switching flanks.
With left-footer Hemp cutting inside, Bronze was afforded more room to overlap. And when Mead went down the line, Bronze drove into the box with effect.
Whoever England face in the next round will have to find a way to nullify this threat.
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