Arsenal quartet Leah Williamson, Beth Mead, Nikita Parris and Lotte Wubben-Moy are celebrating victory in the European Championships after England beat Germany 2-1 in the final at Wembley.
Roared on by a crowd of 87,192, the Lionesses secured the win thanks to Chloe Kelly’s close-range strike in the second period of extra time.
Sarina Wiegman’s side had taken the lead just past the hour mark thanks to substitute Ella Toone’s perfect lob but they were pegged back with 11 minutes remaining of normal time when Lina Magull found the roof of the net from a tight angle.
The final was billed as a showdown between the tournament’s two best-performing sides but it was far from a free-flowing encounter. Large swathes of the match were scrappy and the entire 120 minutes was riddled with niggly fouls.
Amidst the tension, captain Williamson remained a composed figure, marshalling those in front of her and mopping up the danger, including, at one point, from on her own goal line.
Mead, who ended the tournament as top scorer and was named the player of the tournament award, mostly fed off scraps as Germany strangled England’s playmakers. She did create a decent chance for Ellen White in the first half but was substituted after England’s opener not long after taking a knock. It certainly didn’t take the shine off her efforts in the last month.
Nikita Parris’ late introduction helped waste vital seconds before the referee signalled the end of England’s long wait for a major international honour.
Williamson was in floods of tears at the full time whistle but she soon found her voice.
Reflecting on the victory she told the BBC: “We talk and we talk and we talk and we’ve finally done it. The kids are alright. It’s the proudest moment of my life until the day I have kids so I’m going to lap it up.
“I was told to make every second count because I’ll be living it over and over, and I did that today. The legacy of this tournament is the change in society. We’ve brought people together and got them to games. This is the start of the journey.
“Sorry I’m screaming but I love every one of you. I’m so proud to be English and I’m trying so hard not to swear.”
Congratulations girls, the Arsenal family is very proud.
It would be remiss not to point out that teammate Rafaelle Souza has also tasted success on the international stage. She featured for Brazil as they beat Colombia 1-0.
Not a bad day for the @Stillberto clan!
Let’s keep supporting.
Let’s keep attending.
Let’s keep showing love to these INCREDIBLE athletes.
Buy your NLD tickets today ❤️ https://t.co/utH4Jo5GJ6
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) July 31, 2022