Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford scored a hat-trick on his England U21 debut, as the Young Lions took a 6-1 win over Norway on Tuesday in the U21 European Championship qualifiers.
Rashford, 18, kept his hot streak going as he netted three times in the game against Norway. He has now scored on his Europa League debut, Premier League debut, England debut, and now his England U21 debut. He’s also given England senior manager Sam Allardyce, who was in attendance, a lot to think about ahead of England’s next World Cup qualifiers in October.
“It means a lot [that Allardyce was here],” Rashford told BT Sport. “It’s the England seniors, there is a new manager and they are doing well. Everyone is working hard to get into that side, so it was important that he was here to see our development.
“It was a good debut to have. It was a strong performance from the boys. Norway played well, despite the scoreline. We worked hard for the whole 90 minutes and I think in the end we deserved the result.
“I’d say the penalty was my favourite, to be honest. It was the first penalty I have scored since I have been a professional.”
England U21 manager Gareth Southgate was full of praise for the United youngster after the game.
“I’ll speak to Sam in the next couple of days, I’m sure, but I’m sure it’s given him food for thought. But he’ll be pleased with some of the performances of his players on Sunday,” Southgate said. “What we saw all week [from Rashford] we saw tonight, so I wasn’t surprised in any way. I don’t think anyone can rubbish the experience. The key is, if they come down, they get to play and put on a show like that.
“The Under-21 group is tight-knit and they are welcoming to newcomers, but they have high expectations for them to work the way we work. If they don’t match that the group will sort them out quickly.
“You could see he was very comfortable in the environment and that is credit to everyone involved.”