England end world cup qualification

At a near sold out Bet 365 stadium England celebrated their homecoming as European champions in style with a ruthless victory over Luxembourg to end World Cup qualification with a perfect record.

With a place at next year’s World Cup already in the bag, England were just looking to entertain against a side ranked 117th in the world.

Eight players got on the scoresheet as the Lionesses dominated their final qualifier in Stoke and fans welcomed home this summer’s heroes.

Euro 2022 Golden Boot winner Beth Mead scored one and assisted two, with Manchester United’s Ella Toone doing the same.

Georgia Stanway and Bethany England each grabbed a double and Rachel Daly, Lauren Hemp, Alessia Russo and Nikita Parris completed the scoring.

It was a carnival occasion as supporters paraded new merchandise with the words “European champions” on, while recently-retired midfielder Jill Scott showed off the Euro trophy before kick-off.

But boss Sarina Wiegman, who was presented with her Uefa Coach of the Year award on the night, still expected a professional performance and named a strong side.

England were creative and purposeful, despite not quite hitting top gear, and they grew into the game as Wiegman made changes.

This was never expected to be a test for England but their winning momentum continued and they are still yet to lose a match under the Dutchwoman, while scoring 78 goals and conceding none in World Cup qualifying.

Their next contest will be one of their biggest yet, as they face world champions the United States at Wembley on 7 October, just nine months away from the World Cup.

Article provided by BBC Sport