UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 round-up: the best of this year’s competition

UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 round-up: the best of this year’s competition

The Women’s Euro 2022 Championship was an incredible contest, with high-quality football on show and stadiums packed to capacity with fans.

This year was an especially enjoyable competition if you’re an England fan, too. Beating Germany 2-1 in extra time, the Lionesses ended a 66-year English wait for silverware at senior international level.

Of course, it hasn’t just been England serving up moments to remember from this year’s Championship.

So, relive 10 of the best moments from this year’s contest below.

1. Alexandra Popp makes it to the Euros

Alexandra Popp was one of the standout performers at this year’s Championship. The German striker had missed out on the previous two Euro contests through injury – and in fact, had this competition been played in 2021 as planned, she’d have missed this one to injury, too.

Fortunately, Popp made it to England to compete this year, scoring six goals for the German team. This tally saw her level with Beth Mead, although the Englishwoman just pipped her to the golden boot by having provided more assists.

The German superstar was sadly injured for the final, preventing her from playing in the crunch match against England.

But even so, after the heartbreak of not playing in the two previous Championships, making it to the contest and scoring so many goals is no doubt a meaningful consolation.

2. Grace Geyore grabs a first-half hat-trick

Looking back on this match now, it seems unthinkable that France didn’t make it to the Euro 2022 final.

The French were riotous in the group stages, particularly evident from their 5-1 dismantling of Italy, with all five goals scored in the first 45 minutes.

PSG midfielder Grace Geyore was the biggest beneficiary of some lax Italian defending, grabbing a hat-trick as she put the fifth goal past Laura Giuliani:

3. England hit Norway for 8

Having ultimately won the tournament, the England team that lined up at Euro 2022 will certainly be remembered as one of the best ever.

Yet even if they had fallen at the final hurdle, this record-breaking performance against Norway would still have put them in the history books.

A Beth Mead hat-trick, Ellen White brace, and goals for Georgia Stanway, Lauren Hemp, and Alessia Russo saw the Lionesses hit their stride in their second match at the Championship, playing with freedom and confidence:

The result also ensured that England would at least make it out of the group stage.

4. Austria make it through the group stage

While they may have been knocked out in the quarter-finals against Germany, progressing through the group stage means that Euro 2022 was one to remember for Austria.

An underdog at the tournament, Austria had played well in their opening fixture, narrowly losing to England 1-0 at Old Trafford.

Beating Northern Ireland 2-0 in their next game, it meant that the Austrians’ fate would be decided in their third and final group match against Norway.

In the end, a 37th minute winner from striker Nicole Billa saw Austria through to the knockout stages.

You can see exactly what it means to those players at the final whistle as they celebrated their achievement against the odds:

5. Georgia Stanway puts England through to the semi-finals

Had it not been for Georgia Stanway, England might have been knocked out before even reaching the semi-finals of the contest.

England had struggled to gain a foothold in their quarter-final clash with Spain and looked to be crashing out to an Esther González goal, before Ella Toone snatched an equaliser with minutes to go in normal time.

This forced the game into extra time at 1-1 and, with momentum behind them, the Lionesses pushed on to win, courtesy of an absolute belter from Georgia Stanway:

The midfielder will no doubt remember that one forever.

6. Sweden leave it late to make it to the semis

There’s nothing quite like a late goal in football, and this one from Linda Sembrant is a fantastic example of why.

Sweden and Belgium had played out a tense game that looked destined for extra time at 0-0.

Then, in the 92nd minute, the Belgians failed to properly clear a corner, and Sembrant swept home from within the six-yard box to send Sweden through to a semi-final with England:

The entire Sweden squad jubilantly celebrated on the touchline, knowing that they had squeezed through with so little time left on the clock.

7. Alessia Russo’s goal of the tournament

With so many fantastic strikes and finishes across all the matches, you’d have thought that choosing a goal of the tournament was going to be a tricky endeavour.

Fortunately, Alessia Russo made the decision considerably easier. The Manchester United forward had seen an effort on goal thwarted by goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl as England faced Sweden in the semi-finals.

But Russo was not to be denied, shielding the ball from two Swedish defenders and producing a cheeky, backheel nutmeg that outfoxed everyone:

The finish is a great example of quick-thinking, innovation, and improvisation befitting a Euros winner.

8. Toone and Russo try to decode German tactics

In among the stunning goals, solid tackles, and inch-perfect passing, it’s always good fun to see a bit of gamesmanship.

That’s exactly what Alessia Russo and Ella Toone provided in the Euros final, peaking over their opponents’ shoulders to read the note that someone on the German bench had hastily written.

Unless Russo and Toone are fluent in German, the gesture was purely designed to get into their opponents’ heads.

9. Chloe Kelly becomes an icon

Of all the moments the competition served up, this is surely the one that will be remembered for years to come.

With the Championship final delicately poised at 1-1 in extra time, Manchester City forward Chloe Kelly pounced on a loose ball in the six-yard box to poke home past Merle Frohms in the German net and send Wembley into raptures.

After a brief pause to make sure the goal stood, Kelly took off her shirt and whipped it around in a homage to American soccer legend Brandi Chastain:

You’re likely going to see this one a fair few times over the years.

10. The Lionesses interrupt Sarina Wiegman’s press conference

Off-field antics can be just as great as what you see on the field, a fact no better proven than by the joyous Lionesses interrupting Sarina Wiegman’s press conference after the final.

The victorious side bundled into the pressroom singing Baddiel and Skinner’s ‘Three Lions’, with Mary Earps even climbing up and dancing on the table:

It’s a chaotic yet brilliantly fun moment that truly shows what this England team have been all about: unapologetically being themselves at every opportunity.