The Three Lions Edge Out Norway
Roy Hodgson´s England team laboured to a narrow 1–0 success against Norway at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo on Saturday. The Three Lions should have taken the lead in the fifth minute of the game when bandy legged winger Stewart Downing crossed for fellow Liverpool player Andy Carroll but the frontman could only head wide.
There was not much to remember from this match, if looked from a Norwegian point of view. In the ninth minute of the international friendly encounter, Manchester United winger Ashley Young put the visiting side into an early lead after an absolutely stunning individual performance. That proved to be enough to overcome a Norwegian team that had not lost an international game at their Ullevaal Stadium since June 2010. The long ball merchants of Norway almost got an equaliser shortly after, though, when Blackburn Rovers favourite Morten Gamst Pedersen hit the woodwork for the hosts directly from a flag kick. England dominated the first period and Manchester City midfielder James Milner put the Norwegian net custodian to the test with a brilliant effort in the 34th minute. Only eight minutes before the sound of the half time signal, however, Steven Gerrard was booked for a mindless and unnecessary challenge on Norway defender Tom Hogli that brought jeers and boos from the home crowd. Egil Olsen´s plucky players pressed hard for a levelling goal during the second period but they could not find the back of net. And although the Norway supporters felt that The Three Lions had used excessively physical tactics to win the game, it was a decent start for newly appointed manager Roy Hodgson. England: Robert Green, Joleon Lescott, Leighton Baines, Phil Jones, Phil Jagielka, Ashley Young, James Milner, Stewart Downing, Steven Gerrard, Scott Parker, Andy Carroll. Substitutes: Gareth Barry, Theo Walcott, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Johnson.