Saturday, 26 May 2012

International Friendly, England vs Norway - LIVE Commentary:

Hello and welcome to my LIVE commentary of this International Friendly between England and Norway at The Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo.
England are prearing for the Euro 2012 Tournament which starts on the 7th of June and will be desperate for the squad to gel together for this warm-up match.

England's next 5 matches:


Belgium: 2nd of June
France: 11th of June
Sweden: 15th of June
Ukraine: 19th of June

Let's have a look at the line-ups for tonight's match:

Norway: Jarstein, Hogli, Demidov, Hangeland, Riise, Tettey, Elyounoussi, Henriksen, Pedersen, Braaten, Abdellaoui. 
Subs: Pettersen, Madsen, Ruud, Grindheim, Huseklepp, Jenssen, Berisha.

Decent Norway squad with Tariq Elyounoussi, Markus Herniksen, Brede Hangeland, John Arne Riise and Morten Gamst Pedersen the familiar faces. 
Huseklepp and Valon Berisha on the bench for the hosts.
4-3-2-1 formation for the hosts. 

FACT: This will be Riise's 102nd international cap.

England: Green, Jones, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Milner, Gerrard, Parker, Downing, Young, Carroll. 
Subs: Hart, Kelly, Henderson, Barry, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Defoe, A Johnson.

Almost a second team for The Three Lions. 
Robert Green, Andy Carroll, Phil Jagielka and James Milner all not regular starters.
Steven Gerrard and Scott Parker will play in the defensive hub of midfield, with Downing and Milner on the wings, Young in atacking midfield just sitting behind Carroll. 
4-2-3-1 formation. 

FACT: This is goalkeeper Robert Green's 12th start in an England shirt at international level.


Other International matches being played today include:

Spain vs Serbia
Holland vs Bulgaria
Switzerland vs Germany
Portugal vs Republic Of Macedonia


Brazil 3 Denmark 1

Porto forward Hulk scored a brace and an own goal helped Brazil to a comfortable 3-1 win. Out of favour Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner scored a consolation for Denmark in the 71st minute, but it was too late.

Republic Of Ireland 1 Bosnia 0

West Bromwich Albion's striker Shane Long scored the only goal of the match in the 78th minute.

19:40: National anthems playing now. 


19:45: Let's go, with Norway kicking off here.
England with their navy blue kit, while Norway are wearing bright red with a hint of dark blue. 

1: Early foul, with Stewart Downing falling onto Elyounoussi. Free-kick taken quickly.

2: Electric atmosphere by England fans here, you would not have thought that this is Norway's ground.

3: Good chance for England. Stewart Downing with a great cross into the box for striker Andy Carroll who dives to reach the ball with his head, but his header is just wide!

FACT: Midfielder James Milner has only played 1 minute of football for Manchester City in the last 7 weeks.

6: England looking for a gap in Norway's defence here, not afraid to pass the ball back in order to tire them out.

8: Norway trying to give England pressure, but Lescott clears the ball high away towards Ashley Young who skills three players up before shooting from 12 yards out into the bottom corner of the net. GOAL!

Perfect start: Ashley Young scores for England in the 8th minute to give them a 1-0 lead against Norway.
On-fire: Young has scored in all of his last 4 International matches for England.


FACT: Ashley Young is the first English player to score 4 matches in a row for England Internationals since Wayne Rooney in 2009.

11: Norway corner here. Pedersen whips the ball in to the box and it hits the post before being cleared away. Close.

15: Norway corner taken by Elyounoussi.
England clear.

21: England are under-pressure now. John Arne Riise beats defender Phil Jones on the wing to send in a dangerous cross but luckily Jagielka intercepts to clear the ball out.

24: To say that this has not been a very exciting match so far is an understatement.

26: Andy Carroll on the break for England, crosses the ball towards Young inside the 16-yard box but it was too powerful to control and the momentun is gone.

29: England corner whipped into the box by Steven Gerrard but Fulham defender Brede Hangeland clears the ball to safety. It looked dangerous and was a goal-scoring chance.

31: Nice passing by Norway, moving into England's half to give them problems.

33: England on the counter with James Milner sprinting down the wing after a great through ball by Ashley Young before shaping to shoot towards goal... COMFORTABLE SAVE! By the goalkeeper!
Nice idea by Milner and it was a good shot but was at the keeper's far side.

35: Norway corner, deep into the 6-yard box and striker Andy Carroll wacks the ball away. 
It was dangerous, as they was a player behind him and the ball was moving quickly.

36: Striker Mohammed Abdellaoue ends a good one-touch move on the edge of the box by shooting towards goal, but it is just wide of the England goal.

38: Steven Gerrard lunges in to a tackle with Tom Hogli, who goes flying and injures his foot.. Free-kick and Hogli will be substituted.

Norway SUB:
Tom Hogli OFF 
Espen Rudd ON

FACT: There are 6 substitutions allowed for both sides tonight.

42: Nice patient build-up play by Norway with quick passes to try and frustrate England.
They just need the end product and take some chances at goal.
Goalkeeper Robert Green could fall under the pressure if they target him, which they have not done very well so far.

43: Another Norway corner comes of nothing as England clear again.

45: The fourth official has signalled on the electronic board that there will be only 1 minute of stoppage time to be added on. 

45+1: The referee has blown the half-time whistle here in Oslo.
England lead thanks to a 9th minute goal by winger Ashley Young.

So far so good from the new England manager Roy Hodgson in his first competitive international match.

Positive start from both sides, but neither team has killed the game off yet.


England SUB:

Gareth Barry ON
Steven Gerrard OFF

He takes the captain's armband off Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard.

FACT: This is Gareth Barry's 8th manager whilst playing for England, and has now got 52 caps.
Ashley Young and Andy Carroll start the second half for England. 

46: Free-kick to England after Ashley Young is pushed down to the ground by a Norway defender.

47: Full-back Leighton Baines whips the free-kick low towards the corner of the goal... SAVED!! and held by the goalkeeper!
Close by Everton defender Baines who knows how to score a free-kick.

48: Defender Phil Jones runs 30 yards with a counter attacking break before launching a shot towards goal..... it takes a small deflection before HITTING THE BAR!!
Close to 2-0 to England. Jones saw a gap in the midfield and ran inside.

50: Nice passing play by Norway before Morten Gamst Pedersen takes a shot from 22 yards out, but the shot is wide of the goal and it is a goal kick.

51: Full-back John Arne Riise sees a gap between him and goal so takes a shot from 24 yards out, but it is too low and Robert Green catches the ball and holds it.

55: Norway giving England trouble since the start of the second half here and I just wish they started the match like this.

England SUB:

Theo Walcott ON
Scott Parker OFF

Walcott moves to the wing while Milner slips into defensive midfield, where Parker was.

58: Braaten unleashes a dangerous shot from outside the box, but the England defence block the ball away.

59: Cameras show that midfielder Scott Parker has a bandage around his ankle injury that he suffered last month. Hopefully it is not too bad.

61: Nice passing YET again by Norway, before a cross goes across the wing to Riise who weaves past Walcott before unleashing a stinging shot at the near post but goalkeeper Robert Green parries the ball out for a corner.

62: Norway corner comes of nothing. England goal-kick.

62: Norway SUB:

Christian Grindheim ON
Morten Gamst Pedersen OFF

Good match from Blackburn winger Pedersen. Provided danger throughout.

64: England keep losing the ball and are failing to string 5 passes together in 1 move. If this was Spain or France it would be 3 or 4-1 by now.
Edgy second half for The Three Lions.

68: Norway cross into the box for midfielder Grinhiem who skies the ball over the bar. 

70: Long throw-in by John Arne Riise into the box, cleared away by defender Lescott towards Rudd who shoots with the outside of his foot but a deflection gives Norway a corner.

71: Counter attack by England with Downing and Young gelling together to give Norway trouble inside the final third.
A corner is punched away by the goalkeeper.

England SUB:
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ON
Jordan Henderson ON
Ashley Young OFF
Gareth Barry OFF

Barry is coming off because of a groin injury, so Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson takes his place.

FACT: This is Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's senior debut in international football tonight.

Norway SUB:

Erik Huseklepp ON
Daniel Braaten OFF

80: England move into the Norway half, but Walcott is dispossesed and the ball is cleared away. 

Norway SUB:

Valon Berisha ON
Marcus Henriksen OFF

England SUB:

Stewart Downing OFF
Adam Johnson ON

Manchester City winger Adam Johnson comes on for Downing, so he will slip into the winger role.

87: Norway dangerously pressing with Riise and Berisha combining together to creat trouble for England.
A corner was punched away by goalkeeper Green as defender Brede Hangeland was behind him and he has been deadly this season with his headers. Still 1-0 to England.

England SUB:
Martin Kelly ON
Phil Jones OFF

Jones has had a decent match tonight, and has been controlling the defence and moved into midfield at times and was a threat to Norway's defence. 
He comes off for Liverpool full-back Martin Kelly who makes his senior debut with a few minutes to go.

Striker Abdellaoue takes a shot from 30 yards out, but it is wide of the goal frame and does not worry Robert Green.

There will be four minutes to play of stoppage time.

Norway SUB:

Jensen ON
Alexander Tettey OFF

That's it from Oslo! England prevail with a slender 1-0 win over Norway thanks to Manchester United winger Ashley Young's 9th minute strike.
The hosts pressed throughout the match, but failed to test goalkeeper Robert Green enough to break through and at least score a goal.
There were some notable players on show for Norway including Fulham duo Riise and Hangeland.
Even though England did not have their fully strenghtened side, they looked weak at times, and always kept giving the ball away. This could be a worry for the Euros when some of their players are fatigued or have minor injuries and have to be replaced.

My Man Of The Match:

Manchester United winger Ashley Young

Was electric and showed great skill to score the opener in the 9th minute. Was a threat throughout the match and could be a star for England in the upcoming Euros.

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I will speak to you all on Saturday, in another of my LIVE Commentaries when England face Belgium in their last International friendly before the Euro 2012 competiton starts on June the 8th.


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1 comment:

  1. Great coverage Mo! Don't worry I'll be back writing after my next exam(tomorrow) again thanks for the mention.

    I thought that although Phil Jones played admirably, I thought he looked like the weak link in the defence yesterday and nearly cost us with some poor defending.
    Also was quite amazed Downing played well but I'm sure we both agree he should be nowhere near the side.

    Thanks again for an entertaining read.