- 26 May 2012, 6:45pm
- Ullevaal Stadion
FULL TIME: A win's a win I suppose. A wonderful early goal by Ashley Young gets Roy Hodgson off to a victorious start but after a promising first half, it disintegrated badly after the break. England barely got out of their own half, let alone create a chance. It was grim. The best one can say is that at least it hasn't unhealthily raised expectations ahead of the Euros. I bet we're all looking forward to the Belgium game next Saturday though eh? Oh.
90 mins: Ruben Jenssen is on for Tette. I bet you're fascinated to hear of this.
89 mins: A nice threaded ball by Henderson sets up an England attack. It's spread right to Oxlade-Chamberlain but his delivery is straight into the gloves of Jartsein. Ugh.
87 mins: Martin Kelly is given an England debut as he comes on for Jones.
86 mins: England set up camp 20 yards from Green's goal and Norway can find no way through. Elyounoussi's low drive isn't particularly fierce but forces Lescott into an off-balance block to concedes a corner. Green punches it away. *Stifles yawn*
83 mins: Egil Olsen makes another sub with Henriksen replaced by Valon Berisha. For England, Downing comes off for standby-list man Adam Johnson.
79 mins: Sorry to bvang on about this, but England have thoroughly reverted to type in the second half. They can't keep the ball, there's no composure or enough players with the ability to slow the game down and string a move together.
77 mins: Milner blocks a cross to concede a corner. It's a deep one that comes all the way to Henriksen beyond the far post. He tries what I think is a shot but slices it all the way back from whence it came. In it comes again, it's half cleared to Ruud but his drive is weak and handled with ease by Green.
74 mins: Oxlade-Chamberlain's first touch is an exquisite cushioned pass into Walcott's path. He should surely shoot, but tries to lay it back to his Arsenal companiion. He's not expecting it and is closed down before he can get a shot away. Shoot, Theo!
72 mins: Here comes the Ox! Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jordan Henderson replaces the goalscorer Young and Barry, who only lasted 28 minutes and apparently has a groin strain. Lescott becomes England's third captain of the game. For Norway, Braaten is replaced by Portsmouth's Erik Huseklepp.
70 mins: Downing has switched wings for the second half. I only know this because Clive Tyldesley just mentioned it. I don't think he's touched the ball since the break. This is bilge.
68 mins: Grindheim lashes a left-footed howitzer miles over the bar as Norway continue to press. More words on the Parker debate and the beer from Nich at the Ullevaal Stadium: "Beer can top £10 here but it can be £5 if you look hard enough. Also Parker should be one of the first names on any England manager's teamsheet," he says.
66 mins: This is really pretty rubbish now from England. Barry gifts the ball to Elyounoussi in midfield with a horrendous pass. It leads to Abdellaoue sneaking into the box and Baines almost gives away a penalty with a sneaky grab of his leg as he's about to shoot. The ref either misses it or ignores it.
63 mins: Christian Grindheim replaces Pedersen for the hosts, who are still dominating this second half. England have lost their zip.
62 mins: Chance for Norway! Riise takes down a long ball rather beautifully on the left wing and nutmegs Walcott to advance into the box. With options in the middle he rather selfishly tries to blasts it past Green at his near post, but the West Ham keeper shows strong hands to divert it round the post.
60 mins: Unexpectedly marvellous first touch by Carroll to bring down a high ball then release Walcott, but the Arsenal winger is forced wide and the sting is taken out of England's counter-attack.
58 mins: England have lost their mojo since half time. Braaten cuts inside from the right but blasts a low piledriver against Lescott's legs.
55 mins: Another England sub - Theo Walcott replaces Parker, presumably to rest the latter's Achilles problem.
53 mins: Another snapshot from outside the box, this time from Henriksen, but it's straight at Green. Little bit of pressure on England here, but it's hardly the Alamo.
51 mins: Pedersen has a crack from 25 yards but it whistles five yards wide.
49 mins: Space opens up in front of Jones and he seems reluctant to attack it. Eventually he tip-toes forward, tries to dink in a cross, it hits Hangeland in the face and deflects against the outside of the post!
47 mins: Demidov gives Young a shove as the winger attacks the area. As we know, he needs no invitation to hit the deck and down he goes. It's a very promising free kick, just left of centre and only a yard outside the box. Baines takes it, through the wall, and elicits a athletic low stop by his post from Jartsein.
46 mins: Hodgson has made a change at the break. Gareth Barry comes on for his 53rd cap, replacing Gerrard and taking the armband to boot.
HALF TIME: Well that's not a bad start. Young's classy goal after nine minutes has given Roy Hodgson a decent start to his tenure. England's style was encouraging and well-intentioned and they limited Norway to one fairly freak chance when a corner hit the near post. Stay tuned for the second half.
45 mins: Riise delivers a long diagonal into the mixer but Green rises above a clutch of bodies to claim it. Just one minute of added time to come.
42 mins: Typical Parker, scurrying around and closing down the men in possession (in this case Elyounoussi), forcing a mistake. It's these little moments that go unnoticed and lead to this sort of nonsense from Ken in Knot End: " I cant understand why anyone would play the most uncreative midfielder i have ever seen in an england shirt ever,he cant change direction without first skiping up and down and thats when hes fit,never ever will we against any good team with parker on the pit."
39 mins: Hogli can't carry on after that Gerrard tackle, despite lengthy treatment. Espen Ruud comes on in his stead. The Norwegian fans are booing ever Gerrard touch now.
37 mins: Now then. Gerrard flies fiercely into a lunging tackle with Hogli. He takes the ball pretty cleanly, but follows through into the full-back's ankles. Gerrard protests his innocence as the referee comes over for a word. In the 'good old days' it would have raised barely a word, but in these nampy pamby times, it's the sort of challenge people get huffy about.
35 mins: Pinball passing on thed edge of the England box by Norway, before Abdellaoue turns sharply, but doesn't get hold of his snapshot which dribbles wide.
34 mins: Another well created England chance. Milner breaks from deep and his run is picked out by Young. He gallops into the area, dinks it round the desperate lunge of Demidov, but his left-footed shot is from an angle that is unlikely to beat Jartsein. Indeed, he makes a pretty comfortable low save.
31 mins: Once again, nice neat movement from England. They're not hitting it long, despite the temptation of Carroll up front. A multi-pass move sees the ball worked to Milner but his cross is claimed by the keeper.
28 mins: A real chance opens up for England as Young is given oceans of room in the centre. Trouble is, it's Carroll on the ball, and his centre - that should've set Young up for a tap-in - is far too far in front of him, and the chance is gone.
26 mins: Downing outfoxes Hogli (who hasn't yet realised that he will always, *always* want it on his left foot) and his curling cross sees Jartsein flap at it unconvincingly. He gets away with it.
24 mins: Demidov brings the ball forward and slips to Henriksen, whose rinky dinky backheel almost puts Elyounoussi through on goal, but it's slightly too far ahead of him.
21 mins: Dangerous moment for England as Riise skips down the left and delivers low into the box. Elyounoussi stretches across Jagielka but doesn't make contact inside the six yard box.
18 mins: There are little signs of some fluency and decent link-up play from England, although the pace of the game has 'friendly' written all over it.
15 mins: Another chance for Young, although it's a difficult one. Gerrard lobs a straight pass over the Norwegian back line, Young is being closed down so has to take it over his shoulder on the volley. He can't control it and it floats over the bar.
13 mins: Against the post! Green is almost caught out here. As the flag kick is whipped in from the right, Green is off his line preparing to make a catch. He notices the ball is swinging towards the net too late, and is relieved to see it strike the post and rebound to safety as he scrambles back towards his line.
12 mins: Henriksen has a hit from a tight angle on the edge of the box. Iy may just be creeping inside the near post, but Green claws it out for a corner just to be sure.
9 mins: SUPERB GOAL BY YOUNG! The Manchester United winger picks the ball up just over halfway and has space to attack the last defender Hangeland. He's held up slightly and Norway's defenders recover position, but Young feints to shoot, turns inside Hangeland and steal into the area, before knocking the ball across Jartsein and into the far corner. Classy.
4 mins: Glorious chance for Carroll! How he could have done with getting that on target, but he's bulleted it wide. Space opens up in front of Downing down the left, he scuttles into it then dinks in an inviting cross for the lanky Geordie. He throws himself across his marker and meets it firmly with his bonce, but it whistles wide of the near post. Probably should've done better.
2 mins: A spell of head tennis and a rather crude foul by Downing has been the dish served up for us in the opening two minutes. The atmosphere is boisterous for a friendly, with plenty of England fans in the stadium.
0 mins: We're under way at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo. England players handed a flower each to their opponents before kick off in sympathy for the recent murders of 69 people by Anders Breivik. So, Roy Hodgson takes charge of his first match as his country's boss, back in Scandinavia where his managerial career began. Euro 2012 is two weeks away and many of these players have places to play for. Let's have a gander at how they get on, shall we? Send your comments in by using the boxes on the right.
"Let's just hope for better than our last tournament away warm-up against Japan in Graz," says Nich at the Ullevaal Stadium. Enjoy your night Nich. How expensive is the ale out there? £8 a pint, I've heard!
Team news: As we already knew, Rob Green gets his first England start since that blunder against USA. Andy Carroll plays up front on his own, supported by Ashley Young, James Milner and Stewart Downing. Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker will sit deeper. Chelsea's Champions League winners are yet to join the squad and Wayne Rooney - suspended for the first two Euro 2012 games - is not involved.
Carroll will be hoping to convince Hodgson that he can replace Rooney for the matches against France and Sweden. Gerrard skippers the side and starts alongside Parker, who has been struggling with an Achilles injury. But Glen Johnson (toe) and Danny Welbeck (ankle) are not available.
Norway finished third in a tough Euro qualifying group which also included Denmark and Portugal, with Egil Olsen's side finishing three points adrift of their Scandinavian neighbours and level with the Portuguese, missing out on the play-offs only on goal difference.
A number of English-based players feature tonight. Fulham duo Brede Hangeland and John Arne Riise start, as does Blackburn's Morten Gamst Pedersen. Erik Huseklepp, who turned out for both Portsmouth and Birmingham this season, is on the bench. Hannover striker Moa Abdellaoue leads the line for the hosts having attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs lately.
- 26 May 2012, 6:45pm
- Ullevaal Stadion
Ashley Young scored an early goal as England beat Norway 1-0 in Roy Hodgson's first game in charge of the national side in Oslo.
Young earned England their first win over the Norwegians since 1980 with a clinical finish after only nine minutes.
But it was worrying to see half-time substitute Gareth Barry last only 26 minutes before making way for stand-by player Jordan Henderson.
Barry had been part of the 2010 World Cup squad when not fully fit and failed to show his best form.
The line-up selected by Hodgson is likely to bear little resemblance to the side which will face France in the Euro 2012 opener in 17 days time.
Only Andy Carroll, skipper Steven Gerrard, Scott Parker and Ashley Young are near certainties to play in Donetsk, and the entire back five will probably change.
But there were still encouraging signs for Hodgson, who maintained the record of no England manager having been beaten in their opening game since Alf Ramsey in 1963.
Young looked sharp and confident in the second striker role and showed encouraging signs in tandem with Carroll.
Parker looked to be suffering no ill-effects from his Achilles problem and dictated and bossed the midfield in his 55 minutes of action.
Centre-back Joleon Lescott also staked his claim to have a major role in Hodgson's plans in Poland and Ukraine with a commanding performance.
Carroll made his first England start for 14 months in a line-up which showed seven changes from the side which started against Holland at Wembley in February.
Gerrard skippered the side for the 16th time - but the first as official England captain.
Carroll threatened the first moment of danger when he got on the end of a left-wing cross from Stewart Downing but headed wide under pressure from Brede Hangeland.
After nine minutes the sharp-looking Young broke the deadlock. Carroll played the ball to the Manchester United winger, who turned past Hangeland before firing a low shot past Rune Almenning Jarstein into the far corner of the net.
Norway retaliated and Robert Green reacted well to parry aside a rising shot from Markus Henriksen which deflected off Leighton Baines.
But the West Ham keeper was relieved when the resulting inswinging corner from Blackburn midfielder Morten Gamst Pedersen struck the near post.
England looked the more dangerous and Norway were again stretched when James Milner broke down the right and, after cutting inside, he forced Jarstein to save at his near post.
Gerrard was spoken to by German referee Michael Weiner shortly before half-time after showing his studs in a challenge on Tom Hogli, who tried to resume after treatment but was substituted and replaced by Espen Ruud.
The Liverpool player was booed by Norway fans for the remainder of the half and did not start the second half - as indicated by Hodgson on Friday. Barry came on and took over the armband - until his early exit.
Young was quickly back into his stride after the break and earned a free-kick on the edge of the box after being fouled by Vadim Demidov.
Baines' free-kick flew right through the defensive wall and forced a fine low save by Jarstein away to his left.
Riise continued to look Norway's most dangerous player and he skipped past substitute Theo Walcott before forcing Green to parry out a near post drive.
Ruud made good contact on a 20-yard volley but it flew straight at Green.
Hodgson gave debuts to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Martin Kelly in the closing stages - as replacements for Young and Phil Jones respectively - as England held on with relative ease for the victory in warm conditions.