Sweden continued their fine run of form at FIFA World Cup 2018 as they reached the quarter-finals by beating Switzerland 1-0 in their Round of 16 clash.
The first meeting between Switzerland and Sweden at a major tournament was a closely contested affair, with both sides defending resolutely for the most part. The first half of the match was characterised by poor finishing from both sides, with chances coming few and far between as well.
Sweden went on to grab the lead midway through the second half, although they needed a huge slice of luck to do so. Emil Forsberg, upon finding himself in some free space, unleashed a shot that was heading straight to Yann Sommer. But, the ball was deflected into the net by Manuel Akanji, who was attempting to block the shot.
Thereafter, Sweden looked quite comfortable, with Switzerland struggling to carve out any big chances. And, the blow of their defeat became even bigger as Michael Lang was sent off in the dying moments of the match as Sweden reached their first quarter-final since the 1994 edition. Forsberg unsurprisingly got a lot of adulation for scoring the winner, even if it was a deflected strike.
SWEDEN ARE IN THE QUARTER FINALS!!!! EMIL FORSBERG YOU ABSOLUTE HERO🇸🇪🇸🇪💛💙
— Maxi (@MaaxiAngelo) July 3, 2018
Emil Forsberg’s game by numbers vs. Switzerland:
15 passes in the final third
1 take-on completed
1 vital goal
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) July 3, 2018
Emil Forsberg was emotional after the game. He showed up and took us to the Quarter Finals. pic.twitter.com/xA7Ze1P2oK
— 🇸🇪 (@SwedeStats) July 3, 2018
Forsberg is the greatest sports name in Swedish history
— Satiar Shah (@SatiarShah) July 3, 2018
Forsberg goes having scored at one end and cleared off the line at the other… Will be a big contender for Man of the Match today. Good performance from him.
— Joe Crann (@YesWeCrann) July 3, 2018
But, the real heroes of the game were seen to be the Swedish defenders, with Victor Lindelof also getting a big mention from Manchester United fans.
A different way to look at the relationships between players & positions in Sweden’s 4-4-2. Strict positional defence meaning an individuals position is dictated primarily by the positions of your teammates, and secondly the opponents position. #SWEpic.twitter.com/bYOh9x65kc
— coachdogge (@coachdogge) July 2, 2018
The defensive block (often in 4-4-2) has dominated this #worldcup. Positional defence with disciplined & unison shifting… Sweden is a very good example; they are the team that has travelled the most distance at the lowest speed & sprinting the least #SWEpic.twitter.com/6oPHpyM6hp
— coachdogge (@coachdogge) July 1, 2018
Lindelof has had a fantastic tournament so far. He has been a rock in that Sweden defence. Hopefully he will be given more game time next season at United #mufc 🇸🇪
— True United (@united_true) July 3, 2018
Sweden’s defence is quality
— Will 👈 (@Frewsy94) July 3, 2018
Lindelof for Sweden looks like the player MUFC fans hoped they were signing rather than the one they saw in red. Deserves more opportunities as he’s clearly a class central defender. Only 23, too.
— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) July 3, 2018
Sweden defence is as safe as Volvo #SWESUI
— Rave Gill (@raveegill) July 3, 2018
Lindelof is a top centre back… Imagine my shock. It’s almost as if a lot of you had never watched him before and made a snap judgement based on a few performances.
— Scotty Tridge 🇩🇪 (@ScottTridge) July 3, 2018
Superb display by Sweden. One of the top sides of this tournament.
Solid in defence and create so much quality scoring chances despite their limited capacity in attack.
All they need is a bit of composure on the finish and they’ll be front contenders.
— C.C (@TheBarcaCrypts) July 3, 2018
Since he missed the first game with Sweden and came back for the second game he has been class. If Smalling and Jones are getting a chance, I would start Lindelof every week.
— Devils of United (@DevilsOfUnited) July 3, 2018
Meanwhile, a certain player who isn’t even at FIFA World Cup 2018 got some attention as well, as fans trolled Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic right now. pic.twitter.com/qXeDL4BZzx
— Shailesh (@ShaileSHinde) July 3, 2018
Sweden going to the quarter finals while Zlatan Ibrahimovic is sat at home watching TV thinking he’s a Lion.
— Danny WelBeast (@WelBeast) July 3, 2018
┻┳| •.•) What if #SWE are better without Zlatan?
— COPA90 US (@COPA90US) July 3, 2018