The Queen led the plaudits as England beat Germany 2-1 after extra-time to win the 2022 Uefa Women’s European Championship – the Lionesses’ first major international trophy.
At a packed Wembley Stadium, the host nation battled hard against a talented German team and took the lead after 62 minutes when substitute Ella Toone scored a stunning chip. But the eight-time European champions set up a tense finish with Lina Magull slotting home the equaliser with just 11 minutes remaining.
In extra-time it was another sub who became England’s hero. Chloe Kelly’s 110th-minute winner sent a “raucous” crowd of 87,192 “into a frenzy”, said Emma Sanders on the BBC. Celebrating by taking her shirt off and waving it around her head, Kelly was lifted by her teammates in “a moment of pure elation”. The iconic celebration summed up what will go down as “a monumental day” in English football history.
With the two best teams in the tournament, and a fixture “steeped in history”, this was the final that Euro 2022 deserved, said Suzanne Wrack in The Guardian. England pushed to “put on a show and seal the deal”. It was “gutsy, exhausting and exhilarating”, tears flowed and England brought it home.
Dreams come true
Kelly, whose goal was her first ever at international level, could not contain her excitement in the post-match interview. The Manchester City forward took her Euro 2022 celebrations to “hilarious levels after stealing a reporter’s microphone”, said Daniel Orme in The Mirror. During an interview with the BBC, “she ran away to join the rest of her Lionesses teammates in singing a rendition of Sweet Caroline”.
Upon her return to the interview, she said the “amazing” result was “what dreams are made of”. She added: “Thank you to everyone that came out to support us. I started as a young girl watching women’s football and now this. It’s unbelievable.”
‘An inspiration for girls and women’
In a tweet, The Queen hailed the Lionesses as “an inspiration” and congratulated the players and coaching team. “It is a significant achievement for the entire team, including your support staff,” she said. “The Championships and your performance in them have rightly won praise. However, your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned. You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations. It is my hope that you will be as proud of the impact you have had on your sport as you are of the result today.”
Prince William was at Wembley to present the trophy to England captain Leah Williamson. The president of the Football Association called the Lionesses’ victory “sensational”. It was an “incredible win”, he tweeted, and it was “wonderful to see history in the making” at Wembley.
It’s coming home: best social media reactions
It was not just the crowd at Wembley who celebrated the Lionesses’ Euro triumph. Around the country fans gathered to watch the final, plus a few celebs paid tribute. Here we pick out some of the best celebrations and social media reactions.