Pearce's side see off Norway but sterner challenges lie ahead

England Under-21 2 Norway Under-21 0

Stuart Pearce enjoyed a considerably more comfortable afternoon than the previous one at Wembley as his England Under-21 side won their final friendly in Southampton before departing for Denmark and the European Championship finals, in which their opening game is against Spain on Sunday.

Making five changes at half-time, when already leading 2-0, discouraged any complacency and the team did not look significantly weaker, suggesting that even without Jack Wilshere, Andy Carroll and Micah Richards there is depth in a squad with a core of Premier League players as well as half a dozen who have been on loan at Championship clubs. "I don't think we played as well as we can, but the last game before a tournament is always on players' minds," Pearce said. "We're better when the chips are down, and we've got to hit the ground running next week."

Norway, who have not qualified, proved usefully pliable opposition. Their captain, Celtic's centre-half Thomas Rogne, found Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge a handful, and in midfield Manchester City's Abdisalam Ibrahim made no impression against Jack Rodwell. The Scandinavians threatened only twice and were denied by Frankie Fielding, whose first-half save from Mads Stokkelien was exceptional.

After nine minutes, Sunderland's Jordan Henderson played a diagonal pass to Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand, who timed his run perfectly to meet it and cross, giving Sturridge a tap-in. The second goal was not dissimilar, with Chris Smalling hitting the pass to Danny Rose, who cut inside two defenders before striking a right-footed shot into the top corner.

The crowd of almost 18,000 then waved them on their way to Denmark, where they will find Spain, Ukraine and the Czech Republic more demanding opposition than yesterday's.

England (4-3-3): Fielding (Derby); Mancienne (Hamburg), Smalling (Manchester United), Jones (Blackburn), Bertrand (Chelsea); Henderson (Sunderland), Muamba (Bolton), Rodwell (Everton); Sturridge (Chelsea), Welbeck (Manchester United), Rose (Tottenham). Substitutes: Cleverley (Manchester United) for Welbeck, 46; Gibbs (Arsenal) for Bertrand, 46; Cork (Chelsea) for Muamba, 46; Albrighton (Aston Villa) for Rose, 46; Lansbury (Arsenal) for Henderson, 46; Delfounesco (Aston Villa) for Sturridge, 65; Tomkins (West Ham) for Jones, 83.

Norway (4-5-1): Ostbro; Hedenstad, Rogne, Strandberg, Wangberg; Johansen (Ringstad, 70), Berisha ( Tveter, 72), Singh, Ibrahim, Kastrati (Bakenga, 86); Stokkelien.

Referee C Turpin (France).

England in Denmark:

Who they play:

Sunday 12 June England v Spain in Herning

Wednesday 15 June England v Ukraine in Herning

Sunday 19 June England v Czech Republic in Viborg

(all kick off at 7.45pm)

Four to watch

Chris Smalling (Manchester United) Highly regarded by Sir Alex Ferguson, he will be a key man in the centre of defence, where he turned in some increasingly assured performances for United this season.



Phil Jones (Blackburn) Likely to be Smalling's partner, the more physical of the two, though he likes to bring the ball out of defence. Useful at set pieces and can also play in midfield.



Jack Rodwell (Everton) Impressive as one of the younger players at the finals two years ago, he should be fresher than most after missing three months of the season before returning.



Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea) Began to justify confidence in his own ability with a series of fine performances and eight goals on loan to Bolton in the second half of the season.

Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments