Bronze hails clinical England after World Cup win over Norway

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The Lionesses maintained their perfect record in the tournament by outclassing the Scandinavians, with the right-back playing a pivotal role

Lucy Bronze has hailed England for their sound defence and clinical attack in Thursday’s 3-0 win over Norway to book a World Cup semi-final spot.

The right-back was the star of the show as she had a hand in all of her side’s goals as they progressed to set up a tie with either France or USA.

She set up Jill Scott and Nikita Parris before the full-back scored one of her own by firing home from outside the box.

A two-time Champions League winner with Lyon, Bronze is regarded as one of the finest players in the women’s game and England boss Phil Neville sang her praises after the win.

The ex-Manchester United star hailed Bronze as the best player in the world and backed the 27-year-old to win the Ballon d’Or this year.

However, she was eager to heap praise on the team after such a convincing victory.

"It was a comfortable game, even out of possession, we were comfortable," she told BBC Sport. "They had good chances but defensively we were so solid. We were clinical and found the gaps in their defence while our defence stayed strong.

"It always seems to be against Norway. I've been dreaming of getting to the semi-final in Lyon. All the passion came out in that strike.

"I was practicing that one this morning. I did a few shots like that. Practice makes perfect."

Meanwhile, England centre-back Steph Houghton was elated to book a spot in the final four of the competition and believes they will be even better in the next round.

"We know we are one game away from a final. We've been ticking games off in our head," she said.

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"The performances are getting better. You know a semi-final will be tough no matter who we play.

"We look forward to watching them [France and USA]. We'll be going to the training pitch and getting even better."

 

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