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Season review: Sweden

Published: Tuesday 16 November 2010, 20.14CET
Malmö FF secured the title on the last day of the season and Helsingborgs IF won the cup to conclude a year to remember for Alexander Gerndt, Ivo Pekalski and unfancied Örebro SK.
by Sujay Dutt
from Stockholm
Season review: Sweden
Malmö's home stadium witnessed its 16th title celebration ©UEFA.com
Published: Tuesday 16 November 2010, 20.14CET

Season review: Sweden

Malmö FF secured the title on the last day of the season and Helsingborgs IF won the cup to conclude a year to remember for Alexander Gerndt, Ivo Pekalski and unfancied Örebro SK.

Malmö FF won their 16th Allsvenskan title on the last day of the season after being pushed to the wire by near neighbours Helsingborgs IF, though Swedish Cup success represented some consolation for the runners-up.

Champions: Malmö FF
Roland Nilsson's men had faded after a good start in 2009, finishing seventh, and may have feared another slump after losing 2-1 at Helsingborg in the seventh round of the 2010 campaign. That result made Helsingborg the pacesetters, but the momentum had swung back towards Malmö by the time they won the return southern derby 2-0 in September. Things remained tight until Jiloan Hamad and Agon Mehmeti scored in a 2-0 final-day victory over Mjällby AIF as Malmö held on to top spot.

Cup final: Helsingborgs IF 1-0 Hammarby IF
A week after missing out on the championship, Helsingborg got their consolation after Rasmus Jönsson struck the only goal at Hammarby's home ground in Stockholm. "It feels damned good to win," said Jönsson. "It doesn't make up for everything that happened last weekend, but it feels good."

European places*
Malmö FF – UEFA Champions League qualifying
Helsingborgs IF – UEFA Europa League qualifying
Örebro SK – UEFA Europa League qualifying
IF Elfsborg – UEFA Europa League qualifying
*Exact rounds and entry subject to final confirmation from UEFA

Surprise package: Örebro SK
Örebro have steadily improved since Sixten Boström took over as coach in 2008, with this year's third-place finish the club's best showing in 16 years. A return to European football is reward for an attractive, positive style of play which was as impressive as their results.

Player of the year: Alexander Gerndt (Gefle IF/Helsingborgs IF)
The Allsvenskan's official player of the year as well as its top scorer, Gerndt tasted vindication in 2010. Brought to AIK Solna in 2007, he failed to score in his first season, dropping down a level to Sirius IK before breaking his top-flight duck with three goals in 26 games for Gefle in 2009. He kicked off 2010 with eight more for the club, then hit another 12 after a move to Helsingborg. Those exploits earned the 24-year-old a Sweden call-up from coach Erik Hamrén who said: "He has speed and knows how to time his runs. He's also a good finisher with his feet and head."

One to watch: Ivo Pekalski (Malmö FF)
The Swedish league's best newcomer, the 20-year-old anchored the triumphant Malmö midfield along with Brazilian Wilton Figueiredo, and made his Under-21 debut for Sweden. At 15, he was invited to train with Arsenal FC, Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC, with the Anfield side offering him a youth contract which Pekalski declined.

Leading scorer: Alexander Gerndt (Gefle IF/Helsingborgs IF) 20

Relegated: Åtvidabergs FF and IF Brommapojkarna

Promoted: Syrianska FC and IFK Norrköping

Number: 7
The number of games it took AIK to record their first win of the season – the worst start by a defending Swedish champion since the first Allsvenskan in 1924.

Quote: "It has been a long and fantastic journey."
Syrianska coach Özcan Melkemichel after steering his team to the Allsvenskan for the first time in their history. As a player, Melkemichel featured in Syrianska's rise from division seven to division two.

Last updated: 28/01/12 5.05CET

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http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/association=swe/news/newsid=1564712.html#season+review+sweden

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