It might just be the case that Phil Neville is actually way smarter than he looks. It was hard not to ask questions of England in every position after scraping through their first game against Scotland. Every performance since has been an almighty upgrade and their latest 3-0 Scandi whitewash was the most resounding yet.
It was a victory that had a regal air about it. Jill Scott’s 2nd minute opener was the fastest in the tournament’s history. This was England’s second 3-0 win on the bounce and they now haven’t conceded a goal in over six hours. No wonder Neville, despite sporting a dismal new haircut, wore his schoolboy grin like a badge of honour after the final whistle.
Karen Bardsley – Took a very iffy touch in the first half which heaped unnecessary pressure on her defenders. Redeemed herself after the break pouncing low to parry a shot away from danger and maintaining the clean sheet – England’s fourth in consecutive games. 6/10
Lucy Bronze – The fuel to England’s fire. Her jaw-dropping solo strike was simply magnifique but her link-up play was from another planet. Bagged not only an assist – getting to the by-line and pulling back to Scott for the all-important opener - but also assisted an assist – fed Parris who played in White for the second. The complete performance and the best display a Lioness has put on in France so far. 10/10
The Lyon star notched a similar screamer against the Scandi's the last time they met in 2015.
Steph Houghton – Thrived with the ball at feet, skating forward when the Lionesses were on the prowl early on. Cut through the Norway midfield like a hot knife through butter, taking three players out of the game with one pass. After the restart, she was switched on and snuffed out the danger. Made more than one last ditch tackle and somehow still found time to win a penalty at the other end. 8/10
Millie Bright – Had a five-minutes from hell midway through the second period. Put her team in a right pickle when she showed less awareness than a dead sloth. France or USA would punish these mistakes. 4/10
Demi Stokes – Made a superb intervention to come across and block a first half Norwegian effort. The threat she offered going forward down the left flank meant Norway could never commit to mounting attacks of their own. 7/10
Keira Walsh – Played with wisdom well beyond her 22 years. A sense of calm among an, at times, frazzled England back line. 7/10
Jill Scott – Her tireless dynamism paid dividends when she waltzed into a scoring position and tucked away the opener. The midfield maestro showed up here, there and just about everywhere. Became just the second Lionesses star to score in three separate World Cup’s. 9/10
Scotty has 19 World Cup appearances making her England's most capped player at the tournament.
Nikita Parris – Okay, so she fluffed yet another penalty but, with the score 3-0, it was a minor footnote in the overall script. Put in an absolute shift almost right until the death when she was given a well-earned breather. Her pass into White for the second looked simple but was timed and weighted to a T. 7/10
Fran Kirby – Showed a physical side to her game when England needed to protect their narrow lead in the first half. Selfless and savvy to spot Parris at the back post and then had the quality to pick her out. 7/10
Toni Duggan – After an improved performance last time out, personified a damp squib. Did little if anything to impact the game. It would be frankly baffling if she kept her place over Mead for the semis. 5/10
Ellen White – Absolutely tenacious throughout. Was only a matter of time before she got her goal after hitting the upright early on. Has a knack of finding the most dangerous poachers positions and then swiftly exploits them. Has a Kryptonite-like effect on every opposition she faces. 8/10
Beth Mead – First contribution was to pick out Bronze from a free-kick who was able to thump it home. 8/10
Georgia Stanway – Got stuck right in the moment she took to the field and made herself busier than Boris Johnson’s neighbours. Did waste a good shooting opportunity late on though. 7/10
Rachel Daly – No chance was she coming on just to see the game out. Continued helping her side pile on the pressure. 7/10