Sweden turned on the style to earn a convincing 4-0 win over England at the Ernst-Abbe-Stadion in Jena.
Sweden turned on the style to earn a convincing 4-0 win over England at the Ernst-Abbe-Stadion in Jena. Two first-half goals put Sweden well in control, and despite some dogged England defending the Scandinavian side cruised to victory in this UEFA European Women's Championship Group A clash.
England's Samantha Britton in action against Sweden (©EPA)
Looking to bounce back
England made just one change from the side that drew 1-1 with Russia. Midfielder Samantha Britton came into the side in place of striker Marieanne Spacey as head coach Hope Powell opted to play five across midfield, leaving only Angela banks in attack. Swedish head coach Marika Domanski Lyfors brought in Kristen Bengtsson for Sara Larsson, while Sofia Eriksson replaced Linda Fagerström as they looked to bounce back from their 3-1 defeat at the hands of Germany.
Sweden take the lead
Sweden attacked straight from the kick-off and forced England to retreat to the edge of their own area. The second corner of the game, in only the third minute, produced a simple goal for Jane Törnqvist and Sweden took the lead. Malin Andersson drilled in her corner from the left and Törnqvist rose unmarked to head home from three metres.
The Scandinavians maintained their early pressure and almost doubled their advantage just five minutes later. The lively Tina Nordlund broke down the right, cut into the area and was unlucky to see her powerful shot diverted over her own crossbar by Maureen Marley. More Swedish pressure followed and they made it 2-0 midway through the half. Nordlund beat Rachel Unitt on the right and Bengtsson controlled her deep cross immaculately before sending a curling shot into the far corner.
Promising build-up play
Despite some promising build-up play, England looked toothless in attack and rarely troubled Caroline Jönnson in the Swedish goal. Banks appeared isolated in the final third and Sweden's central defensive pairing of Törnqvist and Karolina Westberg snuffed out much of England's striking threat.
The second half followed much the same pattern as the first, with Sweden creating most of the chances. Malin Moström and Hanna Ljungberg combined to release Elin Flyborg but her shot was hit straight at England keeper Pauline Cope, before substitute Victoria Svensson blasted over from 10 metres.
Ljungberg was then on hand to grab a third for Sweden, running on to to Svensson's delicate throughball before slipping her shot past Cope. It was Ljungberg's 15th goal in 11 internationals and served to emphasise Sweden's dominance against an England side lacking in ideas.
Well earned victory
Eriksson made it 4-0 direct from a corner in the closing stages to seal a well earned victory. England muct now hope they can beat holders Germany on Saturday and pray that Russia can upset Sweden in their final group match.
Player of the match: Hanna Ljungberg (Sweden)