Marcus Rashford scored a hat-trick on his England Under-21 debut as they thrashed Norway in a European Under-21 Championship qualifier.
The Manchester United man has scored on his debuts in the Premier League and Europa League, as well as for England’s senior side and now the U21s.
The 18-year-old struck from 18 yards before adding a deflected second and scoring a penalty for his third.
Nathaniel Chalobah, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Lewis Baker also scored.
The comfortable win means Gareth Southgate’s men are now two points clear of Switzerland at the top of their group, with two games left to play and a game in hand on their nearest opponents.
Norway, who made it 4-1 through a Ghayas Zahid header, remain third.
The top team in each group is assured of reaching next year’s tournament in Poland, with the team finishing second going into a play-off.
|Rashford’s remarkable 2016|
|25 Feb||Scores twice on United debut against Midtjylland in the Europa League|
|28 Feb||Scores another double on his Premier League bow in a 3-2 win over Arsenal|
|21 May||Starts for United as they beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in the FA Cup final|
|27 May||Scores three minutes into his England debut in a friendly against Australia|
|6 Sep||Scores a hat-trick on his Under-21 debut in a 6-1 win over Norway|
Rashford makes his case to start
After omitting him from his first senior squad before the recent World Cup qualifiers, England boss Sam Allardyce said Rashford’s inclusion in England’s Under-21s “will be invaluable for us later down the line”.
The former Sunderland and Bolton boss also suggested that he would not pick players who were not playing regularly for their club sides.
“In the past, it’s been a case of some of the players joining up who haven’t played that much for their teams,” said Allardyce. “That’s a bit of a concern.”
Rashford has played just 19 minutes in the Premier League this season, coming off the bench to score a late winner against Hull City.
Jose Mourinho’s United have won all three of their league games this season and play Manchester City at Old Trafford on Saturday.
A performance to savour
With Allardyce watching, Rashford made a perfect start to his Under-21 career with a powerful run and finish for his first goal on 29 minutes.
He added his second with a deflected shot to put his side 4-0 up and then made it five from the penalty spot after his cross into the box was handled by a Norwegian defender.
Next year, Rashford would be eligible to play at both the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea, where England have already booked their place among the 24 competing nations, and the European Under-21 Championships in Poland.
The teenager told BT Sport: “It was a good debut to have and I thought Norway did well despite the scoreline. It was the first penalty I’ve scored since I turned professional, so that was my favourite goal.”
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