Euro 2022: Peak television audience of 9.3 million watched England beat Sweden in semi-final

England thrashed Sweden 4-0 to secure their place in the women's Euro 2022 final at Wembley. Credit: PA

England's emphatic Euro 2022 semi-final victory over Sweden attracted a peak television audience of 9.3 million on Tuesday evening, the biggest of the tournament so far.

There were also two million streams across the BBC iPlayer, the BBC sport website and the app, according to figures released by the corporation.

These official figures do not include how many fans were watching in pubs or fanzones.

By comparison, the figures for the quarter-final match against Spain attracted a peak TV audience of 7.6 million, with an additional 1.5 million streams.

The record British television audience for a woman’s football match was set during the 2019 World Cup, when a peak audience of 11.7 million tuned in to watch England’s 2-1 defeat to the USA.

While Tuesday's clash against Sweden was not as highly viewed as this, it was still reported to be among the most-watched television broadcasts of the year.

Goals from Beth Mead, Lucy Bronze, Alessia Russo and Fran Kirby secured a victory over Sweden, Europe's highest ranked team, at Bramall Lane in Sheffield.

The Lionesses, who extended their unbeaten run to 19 games under manager Sarina Wiegman, will now face either Germany or France for the top prize at Wembley on July 31.

David Beckham was among those to praise England's performance, thanking them for “inspiring” his daughter Harper in what he described as an "uplifting" display of skill.

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright also had kind words for the Lionesses, saying nothing will stop women’s football thriving in England as he told of feeling “as proud as I’ve felt of any England side”.

“The women’s game is here and it is here to stay. What we are seeing with these ladies, and the way they are inspiring everybody, is nothing is going to stop it,” Wright told BBC Breakfast. “I love it, I hope they can finish it off simply because they deserve to.

"And again all those heroes, the mums, the dads, the brothers, the uncles, all those people that had to take those girls all over the country just to play football, they must be sitting there so proud at the moment."

Ian Wright says nothing will stop women's football thriving in England. Credit: PA

England’s victory also earned praise from members of the men’s national team, who reached their European Championship final last summer, but lost to Italy in a penalty shoot out. Men’s captain Harry Kane wrote on Twitter: “Yesss @Lionesses! Bring on the final”, while Raheem Sterling highlighted the Mead and Bronze connection that led to the first two goals.

Prince William, who is the president of the Football Association, also congratulated the squad, tweeting "the entire country is so proud of everything you’re achieving. We believe in you and will be with you all the way!".

The 4-0 result is notable feat for England, given Sweden are ranked 2nd in the world and England are placed at number eight. It will be England's third appearance in the competition’s final after the runners-up finishes of 13 years ago – when they suffered a 6-2 loss to Germany – and at the inaugural Euros in 1984, which saw them beaten on penalties by Sweden.

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