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Moral victory not enough for Sweden

Sebastian Larsson and Zlatan Ibrahimović presented a united front after Sweden's 3-2 loss to England, with the latter saying: "I think we were the better team today, I really do."

Zlatan Ibrahimović was left crestfallen by Sweden's defeat in Kyiv
Zlatan Ibrahimović was left crestfallen by Sweden's defeat in Kyiv ©AFP/Getty Images

A second defeat and an early exit from UEFA EURO 2012 are a bitter pill to swallow for Sweden, particularly so when they considered they were the better side in their 3-2 Group D defeat against England in Kyiv.

Sebastian Larsson, Sweden midfielder
We did not play a good first match even if we should have taken points. Today it feels like we were the best team, but it isn't always the best team that wins. It is about taking points, and we didn't do that.

It doesn't really matter now we are out of the tournament, but it is clear that we played much better today. We were definitely better than England, but they are leaving with the points, so what can you say?

Their equaliser [to make it 2-2] happens once in a thousand. It was a [poor] shot that he took, that I should have covered, and it hit me and deflected past the goalkeeper. The last goal, it's one against four, like with Ukraine, so it is things like that that decide the outcome. We have not done well enough.

Zlatan Ibrahimović, Sweden forward
I think we were the better team today, I really do. We had to come from behind, but scored and made it 2-1, and then they scored two more, and that was such bad luck for us. We played better, we were better. In both the games we have played, we were in the lead, but after 60 minutes, we lost it all. Today, we should be proud of ourselves because we played a good game. We played the opposite way to the first one – we showed more courage and were much better in dead-ball situations. We played just the way we wanted to play, but they scored three goals and we only scored two.

Why did we lose both games? I don't know. That is something we need to analyse and see what we need to do better, or in a different way.