Nicklas Bendtner struck twice to end a six-game barren run as Denmark beat Norway 2-0 in Group H, and told UEFA.com: "I was very happy to score the two goals, it's been a long time."
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Nicklas Bendtner was the hero of the hour, striking twice as Denmark beat Norway 2-0 in Group H, and was relieved to end a six-game barren spell with the national team, telling UEFA.com: "I was very happy to score the two goals. It's been a long time."
The 23-year-old struck in the 24th and 44th minutes to leave Denmark needing a win against Cyprus on 7 October to be sure of a top-two finish in Group H. "I was also happy with the way we played the ball forward and got it into feet, with give-and-gos and one-twos," the Sunderland AFC forward added. "As soon as we got it through the middle, they went compact, and then we went out wide, and that's what created the chances."
Bendtner credited goalkeeper Thomas Sørensen for a crucial early save, and said: "As soon as we scored, we took over. In the end, we knew that they were going to play long balls, and the defenders coped really well with that. I think throughout the game we were in control." He added: "I don't know if Norway played badly, but we made it very difficult for them to play well, because we had great spirit and all gave 100%."
"We played fast and quick, and we knew where to run," added attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen, noting of Bendtner – who left Arsenal FC on loan this summer: "He played very well; you can see he's really happy. He feels good again after recent weeks, when there was a lot of crazy things happening around his club and where he would play. I think he's really happy now, and you can see he's enjoying it from his two goals."
Norway's defeat complicates their situation considerably, and they now need Denmark or Portugal to slip up in their next games if they are to have anything to play for against Cyprus on 11 October, when the top two in the group also meet. "Of course, we need to win our last game, and then we will have to see the other results," said crestfallen defender Brede Hangeland. "Maybe someone can help us a little bit."
The Fulham FC defender, 30, could only conclude that Egil Olsen's side suffered a calamitous off-night in Copenhagen. "We didn't play anywhere near as well as we wanted to play, and that is a big disappointment, but there is not much we can do about that now," he said. "That's probably the worst we've played in a few years. Why this happened I don't know."