England 4-0 Northern Ireland: Sarina Wiegman praises ‘team accomplishment’ after Beth Mead hat-trick

Making their return to Wembley for the first time in two years, the Lionesses ran out 4-0 winners despite a difficult first-half, in no small part down to the Arsenal forward’s magic.

The visitors had defended resolutely at Wembley and put their bodies on the line until Mead’s introduction but she scored with her first touch just moments after coming onto the field, a brilliant finish on the turn past goalkeeper Jacqueline Burns.

Another substitute, Bethany England, scored the Lionesses’ second with the final touch on Lauren Hemp’s goalbound cross-shot.

Mead then volleyed home Hemp’s cross at the back post before tapping into an empty net in the 78th minute to bring up her hat-trick.

“Of course she feels good, that we can see and she did well, of course I’m really happy for the team that she scored three goals and for her especially,” Wiegman said.

“But I think the team does really well too and when the players feel comfortable and we feel like we’re collaborating together then players can shine too.

“She started shining when she came on so she did a really good job but overall I think this team shows – we don’t have the hardest opponents at the moment but today was a pretty hard game, but we’re working together and we’re feeling good and we just want to go forward and forward.”

The result ensures England remain top of the group, with this their lowest number of goals in the campaign so far after thrashing North Macedonia 8-0 and knocking 10 past Luxembourg.

“Of course I’m very happy with this win, in the beginning I thought it was a very hard game because they dropped deep very far – we knew that of course and we created a lot of chances, we just had to keep patient to create even more chances and score the goal,” Wiegman said.

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