Sweden were right on their marker to dump Poland out of UEFA Euro 2020 in a thrilling win, with Emil Forsberg starring with a brace.
Sweden and Poland entered this clash knowing it was a must-win match. The game lived up to its hype, producing a thriller, one of the best of this tournament so far. It took a second half injury-time winner from Viktor Claesson to ensure Sweden finished above Spain in the standings, despite La Roja’s emphatic win over Slovakia.
As things stood before that thrilling winner, Spain were heading into the Last 16 as group winners, but Claesson’s winner changed it all. As a result, Sweden now enter the next round as group winners and will face Ukraine there, thus giving themselves a real chance to secure a quarter-final berth.
Poland began the Euros in an underwhelming fashion, although they have looked far better in the last two games. After drawing with Spain, they gave themselves a slight chance to qualify further, but they needed to win against Sweden. However, Poland did fight hard, with Lewandowski scoring twice, only to lose the game and get dumped out of the competition. Here are the player ratings from the game.
Robin Olsen: 6/10
Olsen made a few good saves in the game, especially some long-range strikes from Zielinski. He did take a nasty knock during the melee of Lewandowski’s missed chances but somehow got lucky those did not go through. He carried on for the rest of the game, but was unable to force out either of Lewandowski’s goals.
Mikael Lustig: 5.5/10
His defensive side of the game was good enough to stub out any danger that came near him, but his passing was worse than anticipated for a defender. Only 33% of his passes were completed, and it raises serious doubts over his ability to carry the ball out from the back for the next game.
Victor Lindelof: 6/10
Lustig can thank Lindelof, for the defender held his passing range properly and was solid at the back. In the air, Lindelof was winning everything that came his way. Should look forward to the next game.
Marcus Danielson: 5/10
Danielson carried much of the blame for Lewandowski’s second goal, where he could have dealt with the subsequent cross more effectively. Got booked early in the game, which made him approach the rest of the game somewhat cautiously.
Ludwig Augustinsson: 5.5/10
A steady performance from Augustinsson, but he did not have much to show for in attack or even in defence. Made amends by not getting beaten too often.
Sebastian Larsson: 4.5/10
Larsson has made a career in being a set-piece expert and a crosser but disappointed in both aspects of this game. He did, however, made amends with his defensive output, which was better.
Kristoffer Olsson: 5.5/10
At the receiving end of many fouls during the game as Olsson put in a battling midfield performance. He was also somewhat a recovery agent, getting the ball back at least three times during the game.
Albin Ekdal: 6/10
Quite a combative display from Ekdal, making some crunching tackles and always looking to break up play whenever Poland tried to build something from midfield.
Emil Forsberg: 8/10
Emil Forsberg has scored the second fastest goal in European Championship history.
It took him just 81 seconds to open the scoring. pic.twitter.com/tRUbZOCygg
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 23, 2021
The early goal was the catalyst to how Sweden played because it put the entire pressure on Poland, and the Swedish were more focused on defending. However, when the pressure was back on Sweden, Forsberg responded by slotting a second past Poland to make matters worse.
Robin Quaison: 5/10
Replacing Marcus Berg is never easy in this Sweden side. However, Quaison started his game well, testing Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Did not see a lot of the ball, but he was somewhat effective upfront. Unfortunately, he was subbed off around the hour mark.
Alexander Isak: 7/10
It was not his best of games, and possibly his worst performance in this tournament so far. Still, no goal to show for all his hard work at the tournament; Isak did get provide the assist for the first goal.
Dejan Kulusevski: 7.5/10
Having fallen victim to a positive coronavirus test, the Juventus forward was given his chance off the bench and instantly energised the frontline. Kulusevski set up both the Sweden goals in the second period and probably should get the man of the match award.
Emil Krafth: 5/10
Sent on to shore up the field and protect the point they were earning then.
Marcus Berg: 5/10
Did fine in his usual forward position.
Viktor Claesson: 7/10
The higher rating is or the telling goal from Claesson, the match-winner, and ensured that Sweden finished as group winners.
Wojciech Szczesny: 4/10
Any experienced player of his calibre should have better performance in a game of this magnitude. He made only one save in the entire game, conceding three.
Bartosz Bereszynski: 5/10
The awareness, energy and commitment from the last game were not matched in this one. However, he did make one solid block, preventing a possible goal.
Kamil Glik: 6/10
Glik’s performance matched that against Spain, with the defender showing his superiority in the air throughout the match, winning 10 aerial duels. He did prevent something when tackling Isak, but the ball rolled to Forsberg to score the opening goal.
Jan Bednraek: 5.5/10
A solid presence at the back, not just in this game but throughout the tournament for Poland. He made the most number of tackles in this game.
Kamil Jozwiak: 4/10
When he was subbed off after the goal, it all seemed inevitable. Barely noticeable in an attacking sense, while being rounded off quite easily by Forsberg for the second goal.
Grzegorz Krychowiak: 5/10
After his suspension, he returned to resume his role in the side, but his lack of pace and awareness became apparent when the game stretched. Not the performance expected from an experienced professional like him in such a pressure bound game.
Mateusz Klich: 4/10
Losing the ball many times always brings the confidence of a midfielder down. Not in his usual self of dictating play, but rather outplayed today.
Tymoteusz Puchacz: 5/10
Puchacz seemed like the odd man out in this Poland side after having an irrelevant first half. Subbed off in the second period as Poland chased the game, and his contributions were notably diminished in the attack.
Piotr Zielinski: 6/10
One of the better performers in this Poland side. Showed his influential side in periods when Poland took control of the game. Finished the night with one assist for Lewandowski’s goal.
Karol Swiderski: 6/10
Not a productive night for Swiderski as his shots never saw the target. So much was expected of him during the tournament in the absence of some notable forwards, but disappointing in all games.
Robert Lewandowski: 8/10
🇵🇱 Robert Lewandowski for Poland:
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) June 23, 2021
It is hard to imagine where Poland would be on the footballing map had it not been for this striker. Led the team well in their fight to equalise and tried hard to find a winner. But, unfortunately, Lewandowski would have been hurt in how the game panned out with his side losing to an injury-time goal from Sweden.
Przemyslaw Frankowski: 6.5/10
Made an impact off the bench to set up Lewandowski’s second strike.
Jakub Swierczok: 4/10
Brought in to increase the tempo of the game as Poland chased the game.
Kacper Kozlowski: N/A
Nothing notable on the pitch to give a rating,
Przemyslaw Placheta: N/A
Did not play enough to get a rating.