Friday, 16 November 2012

Magic Ibrahimovic sinks England:

International Friendly: Sweden host England at their new stadium the 'Friends Arena'

Hello and welcome to my latest blog post, where England travelled to the 'Friends Arena' to play against Sweden on Wednesday night in an International Friendly.

This is probably one of the best international friendlies I have ever watched including England. 

Sweden 4 England 2

The major news for England was that they were going to start an inexperienced side with Tottenham Hotspur defender Steven Caulker, Chelsea defender Gary Cahill, Everton midfielder Leon Osman and Liverpool's 17-year-old winger Raheem Sterling all starting.

FACT: Osman and Caulker have both NEVER played for the England senior side. 

Sweden started the match against a weakened and inexperienced England side off well, with PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic breaking the deadlock after only 20 minutes with a high tap-in past Manchester City goalkeper Joe Hart into the top corner of the net from 12 yards out.

England equalised 15 minutes later thanks to striker Danny Welbeck's nice finish from 6 yards out after a nice cross into the box by Manchester United winger Ashley Young.

Much needed equaliser: Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck scores for England to make it 1-1.
It's you again! Striker Welbeck celebrates his equaliser against Sweden which is his 4th goal for England.

An England free-kick was taken by Liverpool midfielder and captain Steven Gerrard on his 100th cap for his country, and the ball was whipped deep into the box for an England player to put his head onto.

The ball flew past all of the Sweden defenders in the box, before the ball fell to a diving Caulker who kneed the ball at the far post into the net to give The Three Lions a 2-1 lead, 5 minutes after trailing by 1 goal to nil.

Debut goal for England: Tottenham defender Steven Caulker scores on his debut against Sweden to make it 2-1.
Mobbed: Steven Caulker celebrates his debut goal with his team-mates to put England ahead.
At half-time, England were leading by 2 goals to 1, and feeling confident about their chances of beating Sweden.

Oh, they were wrong.....

In the second half, Sweden had a different tactic. Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

In the 77th minute, after a great ball over the top of the defence by Anders Svensson found Ibrahimovic who shrugged off a tackle by Cahill before blasting the ball with a powerful volley past Joe Hart to make it 2-2.

In the 80th minute, after some great play by England, Everton midfielder Leon Osman almost gave England the lead again with a well-struck shot towards goal which was saved well however by Andreas Isaksson.

In the 83rd minute, Sweden were awarded a free-kick from 30 yards out. Zlatan was eager to take it, and ran up before unleashing a low, hard, powerfull drive towards goal.

The strike was fast and Joe Hart saw it late, and his dive was too late to stop the Swede from scoring his hat-trick. Sweden had stolen the lead, and Ibrahimovic had scored 3 in a great performance for him.

Powerful, low drive: Ibrahimovic scores from 30 yards out to give Sweden the lead again in the 83rd minute.

But that was not it.... 

In the 90+1st minute, a clearance from a Swedish defender fell near the 18-yard box. Joe Hart came out to clear the ball, and because he was outside the box, headered the ball away with Ibrahimovic in hot pursuit for the ball. 

Ibrahimovic instantly turned around to chase the ball before connecting nicely with the ball towards goal with a clean strike.  

The ball floated over Joe Hart's head, and even though Ryan Shawcross tried to clear the ball off the line, it was too late for him to deny Ibrah his fourth of the game.

Acrobatic: Ibrahimovic scores an overhead bicycle kick to against England to score one of the best goals this century.
Great goal: Ibrahimovic celebrates his amazing effort past Joe Hart to sink England with the Swedish fans.

The final whistle blew a couple of minutes afterwards, with all the fans in the stadium still in shock after that lovely, wonder goal by their star man Ibrahimovic  

Thank you for readig my blog, and I will speak to you all tomorrow where I will have coverage of the day's 8 EPL matches including;

Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur: LIVE at 12:45pm

Battle of North London. 8th vs 7th. Pride at stake.  

Neither team has been on top form over the last few weeks, and it can all change with a convincing win over their fiercest rivals tomorrow.

One's to watch:

Jermain Defoe, Jan Vertonghen, Gareth Bale, Kyle Walker, Sandro. 

Thomas Vermaelen, Jack Wilshere, Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla, Theo Waclott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.  

Expect lots of goals, drama, controversy and cards.

FACT: Tottenham have only won twice away against Arsenal in the EPL. Once in 1993 and another in 2010. 

FACT: Arsenal have only won 2 out of their last 8 EPL matches. 

168 matches played: 
Arsenal's wins: 70
Draws: 45
Tottenham's wins: 53