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CFCW Worldwide: Fran Kirby shines, Pernille Harder scores, Magda Eriksson gets Sweden back on track


England v Norway: Group A - UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Photo by Thor Wegner/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

We’re still in the thick of the group stages but the 2022 EUROS have already provided an unreal amount of entertainment. And from England stomping all over Norway to Sweden getting their first three points in group play and Canada topping their group in CONCACAF W Qualifiers, Chelsea women are putting on a show.

Super Fran Kirby

The ‘It’s Coming Home’ well and truly intensified as England thrashed Norway 8-0. No, that is not a typo, and yes, Norway is supposed to be kind of good. Unfortunately they’re asking Maren Mjelde to do a lot after only playing 56 minutes for Chelsea all season. However, she was the least of their problem. Former blue Maria Thorisdottir gave away a penalty and had a poor game overall, as did Manchester City player Julie Blakstad.

On a much brighter note, Fran Kirby started in the #10 spot and pulled strings for the hour she was on the pitch. With most of the scoring done in the first half (6 of the 8 goals) Kirby and England ran riot. Fran helped find the wingers in pockets of space all night and dropped a trademark assist for England’s sixth.

Millie Bright also played all 90 in a clean sheet performance against an attack that featured Ada Hegerberg, Caroline Graham-Hansen and fellow blue Guro Reiten. Sorry Guro.

Pernille Harder

Harder helped Denmark overcome a rather disjointed performance over Finland to claim a crucial three points in a difficult group. The Danes had a lot of control in the match but struggled with final third passing, and decision making overall. It was fitting then that it wasn’t a player that assisted Pernille Harder, it was the crossbar. A ball doinked off the underside of the bar, onto the grass and up to the forehead of Harder for the only goal of the match.

The three points were crucial and the celebration from her 72nd minute goal is a hint at just how frustrating the match had been to that point. It was a great moment that led to a great celebration and a great GIF.

Captain Magda

Sweden entered the tournament on just about everyone’s shortest of shortlists of favorites but ended up drawing their opening round match with Netherlands (former blue Jonna Andersson scored Sweden’s lone goal). Yesterday, Sweden bounced back with three points courtesy of a 2-1 win over Switzerland.

It wasn’t easy, three minutes after Fridolina Rolfö put Sweden ahead in the second half, former blue Ramona Bachmann found the back of the net for Switzerland. A 79th minute banger from Hanna Bennison secured the win for the Swedes.

For some reason, Magda Eriksson was tasked with playing left back most of the match but she did well enough to keep the oft dangerous Ana-Maria Crnogorčević at bay.

Jessie Fleming

Over in Mexico, Jessie Fleming helped Canada top their group with a 2-0 win over Costa Rica. Fleming was the final piece in a brilliant team move by Canada that started with their goalkeeper.

Watch in delight and enjoy. Then watch again.

New blue Kadeisha Buchanan anchored Canada’s defense yet again, making it three consecutive starts, every minute played and zero goals conceded. Buchanan and Canada will look to keep that streak alive Thursday as they face Drew Spence and Jamaica.

Upcoming Blues in Action

Canada vs. Jamaica, 10pm ET, CBS Sports Network & Paramount+
(Jessie Fleming, Kadeisha Buchanan)

France v. Belgium, 3pm, ESPN+
(Ève Périsset)

England v. Northern Ireland, 3pm, ESPN+
(Fran Kirby, Millie Bright, Jess Carter, Bethany England)

Austria v. Norway, 3pm, ESPN2
(Guro Reiten, Maren Mjelde)

Saturday, July 16
Denmark v. Spain, 3pm, ESPN+
(Pernille Harder)

Finland v. Germany, 3pm, ESPN2
(Ann-Katrin Berger)

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