At last, England beat Sweden for the first time in a competitive match. But, only just. Typically, England made us suffer, having to come from behind to eventually win 3-2. Having gone in at half-time with a 1-0 lead, things seemed to be broadly going to Roy Hodgson’s plan. Andy Carroll’s recall to the team had borne fruit with a superb headed goal from an equally superb Steven Gerrard cross. Although England weren’t setting the world on fire, Sweden didn’t pose much of a threat.
Within four minutes of the re-start it all started to go wrong when Sweden grabbed a scrappy equaliser thanks to some sloppy defending by England. Ten minutes later Sweden took the lead when Mellberg headed his second, completely unmarked in England’s box. So much for England’s supposedly dependable defence. The game was turned on it’s head.
To Roy Hodgson’s credit, he changed things around and introduced Theo Walcott in place of James Milner. Walcott’s swerving shot from the edge of the area brought England level before he made a darting run into the area and his cross enabled Danny Welbeck to score with an instinctive back flick.
It was thrilling stuff and England held out for a 3-2 victory. However, this was not a convincing performance. Roy Hodgson still has a lot of work to do. England just can’t seem to keep the ball. Their passing was woeful at times. If we’re going to really make an impression at this tournament we really need to improve on our first two performances. Still, on the positive side, Wayne Rooney is available for the final group match against Ukraine, when we only need a draw to secure a place in the next round. I’ll settle for that. Then you just never know what could happen.