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Rehhagel laments lack of urgency

Published: Wednesday 11 June 2008, 0.53CET
Otto Rehhagel said his Greece team were second best to a quicker Sweden side whose coach Lars Lagerbäck lauded Zlatan Ibrahimović's "world-class" goal.
by Andrew Haslam
from Stadion Salzburg Wals-Siezenheim
Rehhagel laments lack of urgency
Otto Rehhagel was disappointed after his first game at UEFA EURO 2008™ ©Getty Images

Match statistics


Goals scored0
Attempts on target5
Attempts off target2
Fouls committed12
Yellow cards3
Red cards0


Last updated: 27/06/2012 11:56 CET


P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Published: Wednesday 11 June 2008, 0.53CET

Rehhagel laments lack of urgency

Otto Rehhagel said his Greece team were second best to a quicker Sweden side whose coach Lars Lagerbäck lauded Zlatan Ibrahimović's "world-class" goal.

Greece coach Otto Rehhagel was left bemoaning a lack of urgency and creativity in his side after second-half strikes from Zlatan Ibrahimović and Petter Hansson ensured the holders made a losing start to their title defence against Sweden in Salzburg. His Sweden counterpart Lars Lagerbäck, meanwhile, was full of admiration for a near-perfect defensive performance and the "world-class" goal from Carlsberg Man of the Match Ibrahimović that helped propel his team to victory.

Otto Rehhagel, Greece coach
Unfortunately, some players did not play at the level I would have expected to them to. They tried hard but sadly it wasn't enough against this very compact Swedish team. I didn't like my players in the back four playing so many passes to each other – you can play one pass or two, but you can't keep that going for an extended period and I wanted them to go forward, which they failed to do. We have to admit that our opponents won the tackles and had the upper hand in the one-on-ones. They simply played more quickly and our midfield passes took much too long. If we'd applied different tactics then we would have conceded five by half-time. With the sweeper we played, it was 0-0 and we still had an opportunity. Of course we want to score goals as well but I think statistics have shown that we do not usually get a lot of them. We have to defend tightly to get our chance to score. Unfortunately we do not have as much attacking potential as teams like Germany.

Lars Lagerbäck, Sweden coach
The players did an excellent job. Greece are a very tough team to play against and we had worked hard beforehand on closing them down. We knew it was very important to win the opening match and we've done that. We also knew the possibility existed that Greece would have five defenders – we thought Zlatan and Henrik [Larsson] would generate a certain amount of respect in the team and we had prepared the players for that. Greece are physically and technically very good and it was a very tough match. Zlatan's goal was a beautiful one and it was also a very good move – but the finish was world-class. It was wonderful to see. Winning is better than drawing or losing, but nothing is settled. We really need four points, although the odds are slightly better than they were before the match. Defensively the whole team played well – Greece are very dangerous, especially from set-pieces, but all the defenders did very well. The whole team played very well – it's not perfect but it's very close to it.

Last updated: 11/06/08 1.10CET