Nathaniel Chalobah started for England Under-21s as they crashed out of the European Championships courtesy of a 3-1 defeat against a far superior Norway side in Israel.
The Chelsea midfielder, who came on in the second half of Wednesday’s opening 1-0 defeat to Italy, was one of five changes made to the starting line-up by manager Stuart Pearce, with the likes of Tom Ince and Wilfried Zaha also starting.
Norway took the lead in the 15th minute with their first attack of any note, Fredrik Semb Berge firing home from inside the box as England failed to clear a corner.
Twenty minutes later it was 2-0 as Havard Nielson was afforded far too much time and space, before lifting the ball into the path of Jo Inge Berget who made no mistake, crashing a powerful strike past Jack Butland.
Chalobah was deployed as one of the two deep-lying midfielders alongside Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson, but there was little he could do to prevent a confident Norway side from causing problems every time they pushed forward.
England’s fate was all but sealed six minutes after the break when Magnus Eikrem raced on to a Marcus Pederson cross and gave Butland no chance with a stunning strike which flew into the back of the net via the underside of the bar.
Pearce’s side were given a glimmer of hope just before the hour mark when Craig Dawson converted from the penalty spot following a handball in the Norwegian ranks, but the expected attacking avalanche never materialised after the goal and Norway were able to see the game out comfortably.
Chalobah’s Blues’ team-mate Josh McEachran was an unused substitute.
Italy and Israel, the group’s other teams, face each other later this evening, with the final round of Group A fixtures taking place on Tuesday.
Chelsea’s Patrick van Aanholt will hope to be involved tomorrow when his Netherlands side take on Russia in Jerusalem.