Your browser (Internet Explorer 6) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.
X

Posts tagged ‘sweden’

Images

FT France 0 – 2 Sweden

FT France 0 – 2 Sweden

Sweden have nothing to play for but mischief. France, meanwhile, are set fair. They have not lost for 22 matches and only a defeat by Sweden as heavy as Tomas Brolin could prevent them from making the quarter-finals but Laurent Blanc does not merely want to get there, he also wants to avoid having to come up with a solution to the riddle of how to beat Spain there. So he wants France to top Group D and turning the Swedes to pulp is their best way of doing that (although if England beat Ukraine by more than France beat Sweden, then Spain it is for Les Bleus.

Blanc might have been tempted to deploy Olivier Giroud to exploit Sweden’s well-known aerial shortcomings but he has decided to stick with the tried-and-trusted ploy of one-twoing their way through defences. Hatem Ben Arfa comes in for Jérémy Menez to add extra
ingenuity, while the only other change from the previous game sees the first appearance in the tournament of Yann M’vila, who will start
instead of Yohan Cabaye alongside Alou Diarra in a sturdy central midfield.

At 54′, Wilhelmsson initiated it with some diligent work on the left before Larsson clipped a cross in an Ibrahimovich met it with a magnificent volley from the edge of the area. Lloris didn’t even get a finger to it. 1-0 for Sweden.

At 90′, awful defending allowed Sweden to overrun Les Bleus and when a Wilhelsson shot came back off the bar Larsson thundered it into the roff of the net from eight yards! 2-0 for Sweden.

A fine performance by Sweden crowned with two excellent goals. France, meanwhile, produced a display as lethargic and incoherent as any during their 2010 World Cup misadventure. Play like that against Spain and they will be tonked worse than Ireland were.

Images

FT England 3 – 2 Sweden

FT England 3 – 2 Sweden

On the right flank at 23′, Steven Gerrard bends a sumptuous ball into the area that was just begging to be headed in. With Sweden’s central defenders all over the place, Carroll gets in between them and bullets a towering header into the bottom-left corner from 12 yards out, Isaksson given no chance. What a header! What a managerial masterstroke! 1-0 fro England.

At 49′, Carroll brings the Swedish midfielder down as he lined up a shot 25 yards out, giving away a free-kick. Ibrahimovic smacked his first effort into the wall, but it came back to him, so he tried an optimistic scissor-kick back into the area. It was going well wide, but it squirmed through to Mellberg, who was played onside by Glen Johnson, having a wee snooze around three yards behind the rest of the England defence. On the right side of the area, Mellberg scuffed a finish that spooned up off Hart and then clanged off Johnson’s chest, the ball eventually spinning over the line despite his best efforts. What a slapstick farce that was. 1-1.

From the resulting free-kick at 59′,  Larsson hangs a high, deep free-kick to the far post where Mellberg, totally unmarked six yards from goal, barely has to jump to nod past Hart and into the left corner. Where on earth was the marking? No one was near Mellberg, apart from more Sweden players. England have completely collapsed. 2-1 for Sweden!

At 64′, Theo Walcott equalises with his first touch! What a substitution from Roy Hodgson! It all came from an England corner, won when John Terry’s close-range header from Johnson’s cross was somehow turned over the bar by Isaksson, who may not have known too much about it. From the resulting corner, a clearance falls to Walcott 25 yards out. He takes a touch and rams a shot goalwards. It takes a tiny but decisive touch off Larsson and flies past the wrong-footed Isaksson into the middle of the goal. A fine response from England after a disastrous opening to the second half. 2-2.

At 78′, Theo Walcott, who has made a real difference since coming on, drove into the area on the right. It looked like he was going nowhere, but he managed to clip a cross into the six-yard box, where Welbeck was lurking. Even then, there appeared to be little danger for Sweden, because Welbeck had a defender up his back, was facing away from goal and was on the verge of losing his balance. But somehow he contorted his body into an absurd position, letting the ball run across his body before sticking out his right leg and deftly flicking it beyond Isaksson and into the bottom-left corner with his right heel! A moment of pure genius from Welbeck, rather reminiscent of Ibrahimovic’s ridiculous backflick against Italy in 2004. 3-2 for England.

England have beaten Sweden in a competitive game of football. No, really. Who said Roy Hodgson’s England don’t do excitement? That was one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament so far, full of moments of genius and ineptitude in equal measure. It looked like England had blown it when they found themselves 2-1 behind in the second half, but an inspired comeback, led by Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck, means they are second in the group, behind France only on goal difference.

Images

FT Ukraine 2 – 1 Sweden

FT Ukraine 2 – 1 Sweden

Shevchenko is a legend. He scored twice to make Ukraine had 3 points. Huge points for Ukraine.