Anders Svensson has not had the best of seasons following his breakthrough at international level during last summer's FIFA World Cup - but turned on the magic in Stockholm as Sweden defeated Poland 3-0.
Sweden, knowing they would go top of UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying Group 4 with a win as previous group leaders Latvia were not playing, started the brighter and immediately pegged the visitors back. Svensson, restored to the starting line-up after being dropped for Saturday's 6-0 win against San Marino, pulled the strings in midfield and was behind most of his side's good work.
The Southampton FC midfield player was rewarded for his efforts in the 15th minute when he gave Sweden the lead. Fredrik Ljungberg galloped clear on the right and found the on-rushing Svensson, who beat Jerzy Dudek with a low, hard shot.
Allbäck on target
Poland coach Pawel Janas must have hoped that the goal would spark his side into life, but instead the visitors struggled to threaten. Sweden were left to run the game at their will and went further ahead just before half-time. Svensson again was behind the goal as he picked up a Ljungberg pass inside the centre-circle and found Marcus Allbäck, who raced clear and coolly slotted past Dudek.
Sweden in charge
Janas, meanwhile, tried to change things around at half-time and replaced Marcin Baszczynski with Tomasz Klos and the away side upped the pressure in the opening exchanges of the second half.
The home side's defence was rarely threatened as Artur Wichniarek, who was playing as a lone striker with Tomasz Dawidowski in support, failed to challenge Olof Mellberg and Andreas Jakobsson in central defence.
Sweden emphasised their dominance with a third goal to effectively end the game as a contest. Svensson scored his second when he curled in a free-kick from the edge of the penalty area that somehow evaded Liverpool FC's Dudek and crossed the line to make the score 3-0.
The win saw Sweden move top of Group 4 with eleven points, level with Hungary but with a game in hand. Tommy Söderberg and Lars Lagerbäck's side edged a point ahead of Latvia and established a four-point advantage over Poland, who next travel to Lativa on 6 September, while Sweden are at home to San Marino the same night.