England 4-0 Sweden: Alessia Russo nets stunning backheel as sensational Lionesses cruise into Euro 2022 final

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·2-min read
England 4-0 Sweden: Alessia Russo nets stunning backheel as sensational Lionesses cruise into Euro 2022 final
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England are one win away from Euro 2022 glory on home soil after a stunning 4-0 semi-final victory against Sweden.

Beth Mead continued her march to the Golden Boot with a sixth goal of the tournament to get the Lionesses up and running, before Sarina Wiegman’s side ran riot after the break.

Lucy Bronze doubled the advantage, super-sub Alessia Russo backheeled a sensational third goal and Fran Kirby then capped a perfect night at Bramall Lane, against the second-best team in the world if rankings are to be believed.

Attention now turns to Wembley, where France or Germany will be the opponents. It will be England’s third appearance in the final of a European Championships - they have never before gone all the way.

In Pictures | Women’s Euro 2022 (Semi-Final): England vs Sweden - Lionesses celebrate victory

England’s Ellen White, Hannah Hampton celebrate and teammates celebrate (REUTERS)
England’s Ellen White, Hannah Hampton celebrate and teammates celebrate (REUTERS)
Ella Toone and Rachel Daly of England celebrate (The FA via Getty Images)
Ella Toone and Rachel Daly of England celebrate (The FA via Getty Images)
England’s Beth Mead, left, celebrates after scoring her side’s first goal (AP)
England’s Beth Mead, left, celebrates after scoring her side’s first goal (AP)
England’s midfielder Fran Kirby celebrates after scoring her team fourth goal (AFP via Getty Images)
England’s midfielder Fran Kirby celebrates after scoring her team fourth goal (AFP via Getty Images)
Lucy Bronze of England celebrates scoring their side’s second goal (Getty Images)
Lucy Bronze of England celebrates scoring their side’s second goal (Getty Images)
Alessia Russo of England scores  a sublime back heel third goal whilst under pressure from Caroline Seger and Jonna Andersson of Sweden (Getty Images)
Alessia Russo of England scores a sublime back heel third goal whilst under pressure from Caroline Seger and Jonna Andersson of Sweden (Getty Images)
Alessia Russo of England celebrates scoring their side’s third goal (Getty Images)
Alessia Russo of England celebrates scoring their side’s third goal (Getty Images)
England’s coach Sarina Wiegman celebrates with England’s midfielder Jill Scott (AFP via Getty Images)
England’s coach Sarina Wiegman celebrates with England’s midfielder Jill Scott (AFP via Getty Images)
The England team form a huddle following victory (The FA via Getty Images)
The England team form a huddle following victory (The FA via Getty Images)
England players celebrate in the dressing room after their sides victory (The FA via Getty Images)
England players celebrate in the dressing room after their sides victory (The FA via Getty Images)
England’s Leah Williamson, left, and Ellen White celebrate (AP)
England’s Leah Williamson, left, and Ellen White celebrate (AP)

For the fifth match of the tournament England were unchanged, Wiegman once again keeping the faith in the starting lineup that she has trusted all summer.

Sweden started incredibly well though and should have been in front inside 20 seconds, as Sofia Jakobsson was played through on goal and Mary Earps made a great save with her feet. Stina Blackstenius then hit the bar with a header from a corner while Jakobsson continued to have huge success on the left wing in the space that Bronze left behind her.

There were chances too for England, with Bronze and Mead both heading wide while Georgia Stanway looked to recreate her heroics against Spain on a number of occasions with shots from distance.

With just over ten minutes of the half remaining, the Lionesses took the lead through a familiar source. Bronze fired a low cross into ball, Mead killed it with her first touch and then drilled an effort into the far corner with her second.

England needed just over two minutes of the second-half to double their lead and take a big step to Wembley. Mead returned the favour by setting up Bronze, swinging in a deep corner and the right-back’s headed found its way into the bottom corner. A brief VAR check for offside did Sweden no favours.

England's Beth Mead (PA)
England's Beth Mead (PA)

There was something of a response from Sweden, winning a succession of corners and Earps had to make a superb save to tip Blackstenius’ improvised effort over the bar and keep the Lionesses two-goals ahead.

That lead was extended to a three-goal margin in the most outrageous fashion. Russo was denied after a lovely England move but the ball came back to her and, facing away from goal, she sent a backheel through the legs of goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl and into the back of the net.

It got even better for the Lionesses as Kirby added a fourth, Lindahl unable to keep out her lobbed effort, as England marched into the final with the most imperious of showings.

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