Ellen White of England celebrates with team mates. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
England’s women put in a unrelentingly dominant display as they thrashed Latvia 20-0 in Doncaster on Tuesday evening.
The Lionesses made it six wins from six and 53 goals without reply in Group D as they recorded their biggest ever win to leave their visitors - and the footballing world - reeling.
On an evening that will live long in the memory, 10 England players got themselves on the scoresheet and six registered assists. Manchester City’s Lauren Hemp struck four - her first goals in an England shirt - while Arsenal’s Beth Mead and Manchester United’s Alessia Russo also bagged hat-tricks.
Jess Carter registered her first international strike too, with Ella Toone, Georgia Stanway, Bethany England, Jill Scott and Jordan Nobbs all chipping in as well. Stanway also wracked up six assists.
Arguably the night belonged to Ellen White, however. The 32-year-old scored three of her own to become England’s all-time record goalscorer with 48 goals in 101 caps, surpassing Kelly Smith’s previous total of 46 international efforts.
The Lionesses now sit top of Group D, six points clear of second-placed Austria, who they beat 1-0 on Saturday.
We’ve gathered up some of the best reactions to England’s historic win from across the footballing world...
Sports broadcaster Carrie Brown was one of the first to congratulate the Lionesses on their victory, posting a photo of her television to Twitter alongside the caption: “Only right to switch over for 20-0 record-breakers. 10 different goalscorers in one match. Bonkers.”
Fellow broadcaster and commentator Jacqui Oatley also praised England’s ruthlessness, but acknowledged the gulf in class between the two sides as well.
She tweeted: “England’s opposition level is not their problem and they deserve huge credit for their professionalism.
“They were sharp and determined to be as clinical as they could be. Could easily have been sloppy and complacent but they weren’t. Bodes well for the new regime.”
The gulf in class was really emphasised by stats foragers OptaJoe, who tweeted at full-time: “20-0 - England’s women’s team have beaten Latvia 20-0, recording their biggest ever victory in an official match (previously 13-0 vs Hungary in 2005).
“Over their two group matches against Latvia during qualification they have attempted 121 shots and faced none. Commanding.”
And while many were delighted with England’s win, there were some who questioned how much value such one-sided results add to the international game.
Renowned presenter Gabby Logan tweeted: “Don’t like thrashings in international sport. Never feels right.
“Not England’s fault and well done to them.”
Similarly, former England international Lianne Sanderson suggested that massive scorelines may do more harm than good for the women’s game in particular.
The Sky Sports pundit tweeted: “I don’t know what the answers are because you can only play and beat what’s in front of you. So well done England, but 20-0 isn’t good for the women’s game at all.
“Unfortunately it’s going to take a while to shake stereotypes because whenever their is a high scoring women’s game, people react differently to if it’s a men’s game. Or if a GK makes a mistake people again react differently. That’s just the reality unfortunately.”
Ultimately, however, there were still plenty of positives to bask in in the aftermath of England’s rout - not least White’s immense achievement.
The Guardian sportswriter Barney Ronay summed things up quite succinctly when he tweeted: “Nuts game, but Ellen White’s record is real”.
And perhaps it’s best to leave the final word to the lady herself.
Speaking after the game, England’s all-time record goalscorer said: “It was very emotional on the pitch.
“I feel very proud to represent my country. We have some incredibly talented players coming through so I feel very lucky to be surrounded by them. I am very proud.
“[My team-mates] know how much it means to me, they know how much I love playing for England.”