Lucy Bronze says England have put themselves in the ‘best position’ to complete the job they set out to do at Euro 2022, after booking their place in the final with a thumping 4-0 win over Sweden.
Goals from Bronze, Beth Mead, Alessia Russo and Fran Kirby saw the Lionesses to an ultimately comfortable victory at Bramall Lane on Tuesday evening over the highest ranked team at the tournament.
The result meant it was fourth time lucky in the final four in a major tournament for Bronze and co. following three successive semi final defeats against Japan, the Netherlands and the USA. Having won every trophy going at club level, silverware on the international stage is all that is missing from Bronze’s illustrious career.
“It’s certainly not [job] done yet,” the right back said. “For players like myself and Ellen (White) and Fran (Kirby) who’ve experienced a lot of semi-final defeats, it’s nice get over those defeats and get over the line and finally get ourselves in the final.
“But it’s certainly not job done though. I think anyone I’ve spoken to before the tournament knows I was always focussed on wanting to win the final. Now we’ve every chance of doing that. That was a job we came here to do and now we’ve got ourselves in the best position to do that.”
Bronze played a pivotal role on Tuesday evening, teeing up Mead for England’s crucial opener, before getting on the scoresheet with a header from a corner shortly after half time.
Having hit iconic strikes in the knockout stages of both the 2015 and 2019 World Cup, her header against Sweden represented a maiden European Championship goal for Bronze – less than 12 months after undergoing surgery on her right knee.
“It’s been difficult to come back from a knee injury which has lingered for a very long time and still is now,” Bronze reflected.
“The goals and assists are not something I consider a major part of my game. I’d much rather the likes of Beth and Ellen and Hempo get on the scoresheet. I enjoyed it though.
“The goal came at a really important time straight after half-time, which kind of killed any chance that they had and meant the game was a bit stretched. I don’t think 4-0 really reflected the game because they were wide open. I think for Fran’s goal especially it opened up because they were chasing the game.
“So yes that goal was important at that particular time. I think we were so ecstatic that we finally scored from a corner! We haven’t scored from a set piece or corner and everyone talks about how important they are. Nice to tick that box off as well, because we’ve ticked off every other box there seems to be!”