Goals from Fran Kirby and Beth Mead in the final five minutes of the first half broke the visitors’ subborn reistance, and half-time substitute Alessia Russo scored twice within eight minute of the restart.
An unfortunate own goal by sub Kelsie Burrows wrapped up another big win, ensuring England go into Wednesday’s quarter-final having scored 14 goals and conceded none in three matches.
Dan Kilpatrick was at St. Mary’s to rate the England players…
Mary Earps 6
Had to make a smart early save to deny Lauren Wade but otherwise largely untroubled.
Lucy Bronze 8
Spent far more time in the opposition’s half than her own and created a host of chances. Might have scored with a first-half header.
Millie Bright 6
A solid last line of defence for England, and twice went close to scoring before being hooked at half-time to save her legs.
Leah Williamson 8
Stepped out of defence well, often playing as an auxiliary midfielder and switching the play positively.
Rachel Daly 7
Wade escaped behind her for an early chance, well saved by Earps. Provided thrurst down the left flank.
Keira Walsh 8
Busy in the heart of midfield, helping England to maintain the tempo even when the game was won.
Georgia Stanway 7
Saw a fine chance to score well blocked from close range. Saw plenty of the ball but not at the brilliant best.
Beth Mead 9
Another standout display, including her fifth goal of the tournament and two assists. Should have had another but Russo missed a sitter. Playing with so much confidence.
Fran Kirby 8
Made the breakthrough with a lovely, first-time finish to set England on their way to victory and completed 90 minutes. Might have scored earlier but unselfishly squared to Stanway.
Lauren Hemp 7
Stretched Northern Ireland down the flanks and involved in build-up to Mead’s goal.
Ellen White 4
Uncharacteristic miss when through on goal capped a frustrating 45 minutes for White, who squandered the chance to move level with Wayne Rooney as England’s record goal-scorer.
Ella Toone (Stanway 45’) 7
Set up Russo’s second and peppered the Northern Ireland goal in search of one of her own.
Alessia Russo (White 45’) 8
Scored a neat header with her first touch and added a second with a brilliant turn and finish. Surely in the conversation to start the quarter-final but missed late sitter when it was easier to score.
Alex Greenwood (Bright 45’) 7
Untroubled defensive and drove forward well.
Chloe Kelly (Hempo 60’) 7
Lively cameo in the front three but couldn’t find a finish.
Jessica Carter (Bronze 73’) 6
Spared Bronze’s legs for the final 25 minutes.
Not used: Hampton, Roebuck,, Scott, Parris, England, Wubben-Moy.