England boss Roy Hodgson called all the right shots against Sweden on Friday as England came from 2-1 down to beat Sweden 3-2 in a thrilling match. England control their own destiny now in tournament. A win or a draw and England will advance to the knockout stages of the Euros next week.
Some thoughts on the game:
In changing his side from the team that drew 1-1 with France, Hodgson brought in Andy Carroll due to the fact that Sweden has conceded a lot of goals from headers. And the move paid off when Carroll got on the end of a terrific cross from Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard to head from 12 yards out. A terrific header from the big man, who I thought played really well. He had a lot of energy and he did a really good job holding up the ball and bringing the other England players into the attack.
With England down 2-1 Hodgson took off a very poor Milner and brought on Theo Walcott. All Walcott did was score England’s second goal and lay on the third for Welbeck. This was Walcott at his electrifying best and was easily his best performance in an England shirt since that game against Croatia a couple of season ago.
Steven Gerrard was brilliant against Sweden. Worked his socks off defensively, assisted on Carroll’s goal and almost scored England’s fourth late on, only to be denied by a terrific save by Isaksson in the Swedish goal.
After showing very little attacking impetus in Hodgson’s previous three games in charge, England showed a side to their game that we had not seen before, with pace and quality finishing.
On the negative side, England were shockingly bad defensively, especially in the first 15 minutes of the second half. Sweden’s first goal came from a silly free-kick that Carroll conceded when he chopped down Kim Kallstrom on the edge of the box.Ibrahimovic’s first shot was blocked but then he sent in a hopeful half-volley, Mellberg had all the time in the world to score, with no England defender near him. The second goal was even worse as Mellberg scored from a free-header. Simply horrible marking.
England now play host nation Ukraine knowing that a win will probably give them second place in the group and a potential match against World and European Champions Spain, who are expected to win Group C.