England started their final preparations for the 2012 European Championships with a friendly against Norway, and under a new manager, Roy Hodgson. The emphasis for this match was to ascertain how players performed, rather than on the result, despite the last England manager to lose his first game in charge being Sir Alf Ramsey in 1963. Perhaps then it's not a bad thing to lose your first game in charge as Sir Alf did win the World Cup. Following Chelsea's Champions League final win the previous weekend, John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill were all rested. Glen Johnson was also left out of the squad for the friendly, as he was recovering from a knock, and was replaced by Martin Kelly who was called up for the Norway match only. Danny Welbeck was missing too with an ankle injury.
In the early stages of the game, Carroll headed the ball wide of Norway's goal following a cross from Downing. Playing with a 4-4-2 formation, England scored the game's only goal in the 9th minute of play when Ashley Young made a glorious run through midfield to drive the ball home, beating Jarstein. Green was required to make stop a from Henriksen, the ball having taken a deflection from Leighton Baines, and later Pedersen hit the post. Prior to the first half of play wrapping up, Milner forced Jarstein to make a save.
As planned, Gerrard was substituted at half-time with Gareth Barry replacing him, and taking over the captain's armband (it was the first time Gerrard was named as outright captain - there has been 15 previous occasions when the player has skippered the team in the absence of the regular captain). In second half play Jarstein made a fine save from a Baines free-kick. There was little else of note with the exception of both Oxlade-Chamberlain and Martin Kelly both making their debuts towards the end of the match.
This was England's first win over Norway in 32 years, but it came at a price with Gareth Barry exiting the game in the second half with an injury which does put the player in doubt it would seem for the European Championships. Still, a win for Hodgson in his first game in charge and a chance fo the new manager to get a better look at his players.
Jarstein #1, Hogli #2 (Ruud 40 mins - #14), Hangeland #5, Riise #6, Demidov #4, Henriksen #7 (Berisha 84 mins - #22), Pedersen #11 (Grindheim 62 mins - #16), Tettey #15 (Yttergard Jenssen 90 mins - #19), Braaten #21 (Huseklepp 74 mins - #18), Abdellaoui #9, Elyounossi #10.
Subs Not Used: Pettersen #12, Madsen #3.
Green #1, Jones #2 (Kelly 88 mins - #12), Baines #3, Lescott #6, Gerrard #4 - Captain (Barry 46 mins - #15 - 2nd half captain (Henderson 73 mins - #14)), Jagielka #5, Milner #7, Parker #8 (Walcott 56 mins - #17), A Young #10 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 72 mins - #16), Downing #11 (A Johnson 85 mins - #19), Carroll #9.
Subs Not Used: Hart #13, Defoe #18. (Full Squad)
England Goal: A Young (9 mins)
Referee: Michael Weiner (Germany)