England vs. Sweden: Score, Analysis and Grades

Richard LangfordCorrespondent INovember 14, 2012

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - NOVEMBER 14: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden celebrates scoring his third goal during the international friendly match between Sweden and England at the Friends Arena on November 14, 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was a one-man wrecking crew as Sweden took down England 4-2 in an International friendly on Wednesday at Friends Arena in Solna. 

The 31-year-old turned in a performance for the ages on this day. He opened and closed the scoring on his way to a four-goal performance, and those goals only got more spectacular as the match wore on.

He netted a goal in the 20th minute, another in the 78th and the go-ahead in the 84th minute on a free kick from 30 yards out.

That came off a splendid low ball that slid just past goalie Joe Hart's outstretched hand and inside the far post. 

He saved the best for last, though.

Hart came up the pitch to clear a ball, but he kind of lofted it and Ibrahimovic positioned himself under it, about 40 yards from the goal. He then took to the air and launched a bicycle kick that sailed safely into the net. 

Ibrahimovic's goal-scoring burst at the end turned what looked like a certain defeat into a victory. 

England dominated this match as the first half came to a close. They began to control possession and got some solid looks out of it. Danny Welbeck converted one of those in the 35th and Steven Caulker in the 38th.

However, Sweden's defense tightened up, which allowed this one to turn into the Zlatan Ibrahimovic show.



Zlatan Ibrahimovic: A+

As you've probable gleaned by now, Ibrahimovic was amazing. It was just one of those days where everything that touched his foot did exactly what he wanted it to, and he kept getting chances. It was a phenomenal display. 


Andreas Isaksson: B

It was a nice day for Sweden's keeper, as he helped shut the door in the second half. He did allow the two goals late in the first, but that can't be put entirely on him and he ended the day with four saves. 


Joe Hart:

Hart appears to be a victim of destiny on this day. There was just nothing that was going to stop Ibrahimovic.

That said, Hart had a shot to stop Sweden's second goal. He was certainly close enough to the ball to at least deflect it, but that ball got on him quickly. Also he should have done everything possible to keep the ball away from Ibrahimovic before clearing the ball, which turned into the spectacular bicycle kick. 


Danny Welbeck: A

Welbeck tried his best to push England to a win. He was extremely active in this one. He had the goal in the 35th and was forcing the action all game. 

His aggressive play drew three fouls.