Game in a sentence
A back and forth affair in Kiev sees England give up a lead, go behind and then score two to comeback and win the game 3-2.
- For pure drama you could make a case this was the game of the tournament so far. For pure quality it was not even close. Once again for the neutrals, though, familiar foes England and Sweden served up a wonderfully entertaining game with mistakes aplenty.
- The first half will be remembered for its only goal, coming on 23 minutes, and was one England coach Roy Hodgson would have drawn up this week in training. James Milner pressed Martin Olsson deep into the corner that forced a lazy clearance to Steven Gerrard who was in an acre of space. The captain then took a couple of touches and delivered the best cross of the game by some distance, putting in a fantastic ball that came in early with real pace and was met by an equally brilliant header by Andy Carroll.
- It was a wonderful moment for Carroll who got inside Andreas Granqvist, found great height and fired a bullet of a header past Andreas Isaksson who didn’t dive to his right until the ball was past him and into the net.
- Sweden would have been disappointed to concede such a goal, particularly as it was the sixth headed goal in their last four games that they’ve allowed.
- The game exploded into life in the second half when a more eager Sweden team took it to England and started to exploit the space centrally between their banks of four with Zlatan Ibrahimovic pulling the strings.
- Carroll, back to help his midfield in that zone, conceded a needless foul on Kim Kallstrom and it proved to be costly. Ibrahimovic fired a free kick at the wall and as England’s back line retreated, Glen Johnson stayed, playing Sweden onside before bundling Olof Mellberg’s effort into his own goal.
- Johnson’s nightmare continued ten minutes later when Sebastian Larsson’s brilliant free kick was met by a bullet of a header from Mellberg, marked by Johnson, that beat Joe Hart in the England goal. 2-1.
- It was a strange scoreline as England, despite their defensive lapses, had been the best of two average sides and still were very much in the game. On came Theo Walcott and it proved to be another inspired decision by Hodgson.
- The Arsenal man had only been on the field for five minutes when he fired home a long distance shot that Isaksson completely lost. 2-2. It was a howler for the goalkeeper, who minutes before had made an outstanding stop to deny John Terry, and with 25 minutes remaining the game was there to be won by either side.
- It would prove to be England when Walcott down the right brushed past Larsson, found Danny Welbeck and the Manchester United man calmly backheeled the ball into the net. 3-2.
- It was indeed a thrilling game of football and Hodgson will deserve all the plaudits he will receive from the English press. Carroll from the start and Walcott at the right time were inspiring choices that mean his side only need a draw now against Ukraine to reach the last eight.
- However, it is clear this England team are all heart and very little talent. They conceded two appalling goals, were disjointed in attack and never really showed composure with the ball. However, they did come back to win the game and showed tremendous heart and belief for the last 30 minutes.
- Sweden are eliminated from Euro 2012 and deserve to be, conceding leads in both their games and losing them both.
- Steven Gerrard
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic
- Theo Walcott
Six Super Stats
- It was the second time at the European Championship that England won a match after they had been a goal down. The first time was against Croatia (4-2) in 2004.
- Before Euro 2012, Sweden had never lost a ECh match in which they took the lead. Now they already have lost twice after taking the lead against Ukraine and England.
- It is the second time that Sweden could not win 4 consecutive matches at the ECh, after losing three matches and drawing once between 1992 and 2000.
- Theo Walcott became England’s first substitute to score in a ECh match.
- Theo Walcott was the ninth substitute to score and give an assist in a ECh match, the last was Roman Pavlyuchenko against the Czech Republic on the opening day. Veselý (Czechoslovakia), Govedarica (Yugoslavia), Trezeguet (France), Hélder Postiga (Portugal, also vs England – Euro 2004), Fábregas (Spain), Robben (Netherlands) and Van Persie (Netherlands) were the others.
- Theo Walcott’s goal was England’s first at a major tournament (WC/ECh) from outside the box since David Beckham netted a free kick against Ecuador at WC 2006.
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