x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Norway 0 England 1 - First win for Hodgson as Barry suffers injury blow

Groin injury could rule Gareth Barry out of Euro 2012 as new England boss claims his first victory.

Ashley Young celebrates his goal against norway with Steven Gerrard
Ashley Young celebrates his goal against norway with Steven Gerrard

OSLO// Debutant England coach Roy Hodgson began his warm-up for this summer's European Championships with a victory over Norway - but was hit with an injury scare to Gareth Barry.

The Manchester City midfielder was a second-half substitute, but lasted just 26 minutes of the game before being forced off with a groin injury.

He faces a scan later today, with just three days remaining before Hodgson must submit his squad list to Uefa.

Ashley Young earned England their first win over the Norwegians since 1980 with a clinical finish after only nine minutes.

Andy Carroll played the ball through to the Manchester United winger, who turned past Norway skipper Brede Hangeland before drilling 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 yesterday. 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.

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 Carroll, Young, Scott Parker and skipper Steven Gerrard are near certainties to play in Donetsk and the entire back five will probably change.

The new manager also 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.

And the result will have given encouragement to Hodgson, who maintained England's record of no manager having lost their opening game since Alf Ramsey in 1963.

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