I’ve been reading quite a bit since last night, from both Swedes and Englishmen, about who deserved to win last night, whether the score was fair, with a few grudges starting to spill out.
I’m not sure I understand this one so much, as if we were to take the Czech Repulic vs Greece game, in which the Czechs won 2-1, then you can really start a debate off, seeing as the Czechs believe they should have had a penalty and Greece had a legitimate goal ruled offside. Both game changers.
Here’s how I see England vs Sweden: two teams played for a win, a win which both needed, England to aim for the top of the group and Sweden to physically have a chance of going further.
Both sides were very dangerous going forward, as proved by five goals being scored and Joe Hart and Andreas Isaksson having to pull off some cracking saves during the course of the match. The pick of the bunch being Isaksson’s against Gerrard in the dying minutes and Joe Hart’s punch from Ibrahimovic’s stinger.
However, both sides were extremely shaky at the back, again highlighted by the score and how exposed the keepers were at times and this could have gone either way.
One team took three of their chances and one team took two. There were no contentious decisions, no penalty shouts, no missed handballs, etc., etc. The game was played at a good pace, entertaining to watch (for the neutral – I was biting my nails throughout) and nothing, nothing in the match shows that either team can feel that the elements, the fates or, more importantly, the referee, were against them.
England scored three and Sweden scored two. A fair game and a fair result I feel. If Sweden had won with the 2-1 scoreline they held, I would have said the same thing (albeit in a grumpier tone).
The harsh reality for Sweden is that they played two, lost two, and it is incredibly difficult to proceed with that start. If they had played against Ukraine they way they played against us, I think they would have beaten the Ukraines. And then everything would be different.
But it isn’t.
We are not through yet, for if we slip up against Ukraine and France win, then we are also out. It is in our hands to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Commiserations go to Sweden and good luck to England on Tuesday.
We’ll need it.