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Erling Haaland heroics help rampant Norway to five-goal victory over Northern Ireland and spoil Steven Davis' record-equalling night

Northern Ireland 1-5 Norway

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Norway's Erling Braut Haaland delivered a master class at Windsor Park.

Norway's Erling Braut Haaland delivered a master class at Windsor Park.

AP

Norway's Mohamed Elyounoussi (fourth right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal on Steven Davis' record-equalling night.

Norway's Mohamed Elyounoussi (fourth right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal on Steven Davis' record-equalling night.

PA

Pacemaker Press 07-09-2020: 
UEFA Nations League 2021 Northern Ireland V Norway.
UEFA Nations League match Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair pictured after scoring his teams 1st goal during tonights game at Windsor Park in Belfast Northern Ireland.
Picture By: Arthur Allison/ Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Press 07-09-2020: UEFA Nations League 2021 Northern Ireland V Norway. UEFA Nations League match Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair pictured after scoring his teams 1st goal during tonights game at Windsor Park in Belfast Northern Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison/ Pacemaker Press

Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press I

Pacemaker Press 07-09-2020: 
UEFA Nations League 2021 Northern Ireland V Norway.
UEFA Nations League match Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair pictured after scoring his teams 1st goal during tonights game at Windsor Park in Belfast Northern Ireland.
Picture By: Arthur Allison/ Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Press 07-09-2020: UEFA Nations League 2021 Northern Ireland V Norway. UEFA Nations League match Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair pictured after scoring his teams 1st goal during tonights game at Windsor Park in Belfast Northern Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison/ Pacemaker Press

Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press I

Paddy McNair celebrates his fourth senior international goal.

Paddy McNair celebrates his fourth senior international goal.

Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press I

Pacemaker Press 07-09-2020: 
UEFA Nations League 2021 Northern Ireland V Norway.
UEFA Nations League match Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair pictured after scoring his teams 1st goal during tonights game at Windsor Park in Belfast Northern Ireland.
Picture By: Arthur Allison/ Pacemaker Press

Pacemaker Press 07-09-2020: UEFA Nations League 2021 Northern Ireland V Norway. UEFA Nations League match Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair pictured after scoring his teams 1st goal during tonights game at Windsor Park in Belfast Northern Ireland. Picture By: Arthur Allison/ Pacemaker Press

Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press I

Paddy McNair's joy over his leveller proved to be shortlived.

Paddy McNair's joy over his leveller proved to be shortlived.

PA

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis is in for an historic evening.

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis is in for an historic evening.

Press Eye - Belfast, Northern Ireland - 07th September 2020 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough during Monday nights Nations League game against Norway at the National Stadium at Windsor Park, Belfast.      Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Press Eye - Belfast, Northern Ireland - 07th September 2020 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough during Monday nights Nations League game against Norway at the National Stadium at Windsor Park, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

William Cherry/Presseye

Northern Ireland and Norway players line up to sing their national anthems prior to the beginning of the UEFA Nations League Group 1, League B match at Windsor Park, Belfast. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday September 7, 2020. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission. during the UEFA Nations League Group 1, League B match at Windsor Park, Belfast. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday September 7, 2020. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

Northern Ireland and Norway players line up to sing their national anthems prior to the beginning of the UEFA Nations League Group 1, League B match at Windsor Park, Belfast. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday September 7, 2020. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission. during the UEFA Nations League Group 1, League B match at Windsor Park, Belfast. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday September 7, 2020. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission.

PA

Norway's Erling Braut Haaland, right, with his teammates, celebrates his goal against Northern Ireland during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Northern Ireland and Norway at Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Monday Sept. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Norway's Erling Braut Haaland, right, with his teammates, celebrates his goal against Northern Ireland during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Northern Ireland and Norway at Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Monday Sept. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

AP

PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 07/09/20  
Northern Ireland v  Norway UEFA Nations League.
Empty stands  for  this evening's game  at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast .
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 07/09/20 Northern Ireland v Norway UEFA Nations League. Empty stands for this evening's game at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast . Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Colm Lenghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 07/09/20  
Northern Ireland v  Norway UEFA Nations League.
Empty stands apart from one inflatable for  this evening's game  at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast .
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 07/09/20 Northern Ireland v Norway UEFA Nations League. Empty stands apart from one inflatable for this evening's game at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast . Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Colm Lenghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 07/09/20  
Northern Ireland v  Norway UEFA Nations League.
Empty stands apart from one inflatable for  this evening's game  at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast .
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 07/09/20 Northern Ireland v Norway UEFA Nations League. Empty stands apart from one inflatable for this evening's game at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast . Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Colm Lenghan/Pacemaker Press

PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 07/09/20  
Northern Ireland v  Norway UEFA Nations League.
Empty stands apart from one inflatable for  this evening's game  at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast .
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

PACEMAKER PRESS BELFAST 07/09/20 Northern Ireland v Norway UEFA Nations League. Empty stands apart from one inflatable for this evening's game at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast . Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Colm Lenghan/Pacemaker Press

Norway's Erling Braut Haaland delivered a master class at Windsor Park.

A big night for Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough and captain Steven Davis was ruined by a rampant Norway at Windsor Park.

Inspired by Borussia Dortmund’s sparkling centre-forward Erling Haaland, the visitors left with a deserved 5-1 victory – inflicting their hosts’ heaviest home defeat since a 5-0 loss to Spain way back in 2002.

It was as bad as possible a way for Baraclough to mark his first home game in charge or for Davis to note a record-equalling night as he tied Pat Jennings’ 119 caps for Northern Ireland.

The manager had left both Jamal Lewis and Jonny Evans out, taking no chances with niggling injuries but in truth, the defence badly missed two of its Premier League components.

Coupled with the absence of the always vociferous Green and White Army, it made for a difficult night for stand-ins Daniel Ballard and Shane Ferguson, as well as right-back Michael Smith.

Haaland and his equally physically imposing strike partner Alexander Sorloth ran riot and fully deserved their two goals apiece, which added to a second minute opener from Celtic winger Mohamed Elyounoussi.

He caught Smith out of position to get on the end of Stefan Johansen's cross, which he took down with a deft touch a finished past an exposed Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

The hosts did make up for that lapse just a few minutes later when Paddy McNair tapped home his fourth international goal to level. Arsenal defender Ballard's long ball allowed Conor Washington to hook a snapshot that could only be parried, allowing McNair a simple finish.

However, a matter of seconds later, Haaland was given the chance he needed. When RB Leipzig target Alexander Sorloth beat Smith to a header on the edge of the box, the ball fell to his striker partner who smashed an unstoppable effort into the top corner.

There was nothing Northern Ireland stopper Peacock-Farrell could do about that or the third, which arrived on 19 minutes. This time it was a curling cross from left-back Haitam Aleesami that exposed an out-of-sorts defence, allowing Sorloth to tap home unopposed at the back post.

Norway successfully killed any threat of a Northern Ireland comeback from then on, the hosts unable to offer any threat barring a couple of Davis efforts over the bar and a Stuart Dallas shot that did little to trouble the keeper.

Baraclough did try to change things at half-time by bringing striker Liam Boyce on for centre-half Ballard but within two minutes of the restart, all hope was lost.

Again it was Haaland who did the damage, played through on goal only to tee up Sorloth for his second of the night – an easy conversion into an empty net.

In truth, it appeared only a matter of time that more would follow and Haaland got his own deserved brace before the hour-mark, this time fed through by Elabdellaoui and again making no mistake with a ruthless finish.

It wasn’t the way Baraclough will have wanted to mark his first home game in charge, but once the likes of Evans and Lewis return, he will be hoping, and praying, his side are much better next time out in the Euro 2020 play-off against Bosnia & Herzegovina on October 8.

Here's the game as it happened:

 

Belfast Telegraph