England’s Lionesses are celebrating after they thrashed Sweden 4-0 to book their place in the women’s Euro 2022 final at Wembley.
Sarina Wiegman’s side won their semi-final in impressive style and will now face either Germany or France who play on Wednesday in Milton Keynes.
There was elation in London’s Trafalgar Square where big screens had been put up, as fans chanted “football’s coming home”.
It is the first time since 2009 that England Women are through to a major final but they have never won a World Cup or Euros trophy in their history.
Beth Mead broke the deadlock at Sheffield United’s ground Bramall Lane in the 34th minute against the highest-ranked team in the competition.
Lucy Bronze passed to the Arsenal player who had her back to goal but turned and fired past goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl to give the Lionesses the lead.
They doubled their advantage soon after half-time when Bronze headed home from a Mead corner in the 48th minute.
There was a VAR check for offside, but replays showed Lauren Hemp was onside as the ball passed her on its way into the net.
Then a moment of audacious brilliance from Alessia Russo after 68 minutes.
With her back to goal, she produced an incredible backheel which nutmegged Lindahl and handed England their third.
Fran Kirby was next to get in on the act.
Mead threaded the ball through to Kirby who managed to produce a lobbed finish, with Lindahl unable to prevent the ball finding the net despite getting her hands to the strike.
The final will take place at a sold-out Wembley Stadium on Sunday at 5pm.
England head coach Wiegman told the BBC: “We will celebrate now a little bit but as I’ve said before we have come very far now and we don’t want to take it away.
“The first half we struggled but the second half we played so much better. This result will go all over Europe and the world. It was such a performance that tomorrow everyone will talk about us.
“I think we have shown that we are very resilience. I don’t think we started the game well but still we found a way.”
In Trafalgar Square, student Zuha Animashaun, 19, who lives in London, said: “It’s coming home. The atmosphere has been absolutely electric.
“Scoring four goals is a bonus to that and it’s been really good fun.”
Another student, Freddie Lagesse, 18, who lives in Chiswick, said he “felt proud”.
“It’s been really good fun. Everyone’s been great and I’m so happy to see England represented.”
It is the third time that the Lionesses have reached the final of a women’s European Championship.
They will hope to go one better this time around after losing against Sweden in the first competition in 1984 and being defeated by Germany in 2009.
Reacting to tonight’s victory, England men’s captain Harry Kane tweeted: “Yesss @Lionesses! Bring on the final.”
England’s leading goalscorer of all time, Wayne Rooney, wrote: “What a performance by @Lionesses tonight. A well deserved #WEURO2022 final coming up. Congratulations to all the players and staff.”
Prince William, president of the Football Association (FA), tweeted: “Congratulations @Lionesses on making it to the #WEURO2022 final on Sunday. The entire country is so proud of everything you’re achieving. We believe in you and will be with you all the way! W.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also congratulated the team, tweeting a Union flag emoji and adding: “On to Wembley!
“A fantastic result for captain @leahcwilliamson and the @Lionesses tonight against Sweden. Come on England, bring it home.”
And the Lionesses’ own Twitter account posted: “SEE YOU AT WEMBLEY.”
England Women had lost in the semi-finals at each of their last three major football tournaments – Euro 2017, where they were beaten by hosts and eventual winners the Netherlands, and the World Cups of 2019 and 2015.
The Lionesses last week defeated Spain in a thrilling last-eight contest at Brighton’s Amex Stadium. They won the match 2-1 following an emphatic comeback.
Source : Sky.com