Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored four outstanding goals including a contender
for goal of this or any other season as Sweden opened their new Friends
Arena with a 4-2 win over England in a superb friendly on Wednesday.
capped an great personal display with a breathtaking 25-metre
injury-time overhead-kick from a botched Joe Hart header as Sweden
avenged their 3-2 defeat by England at Euro 2012.
doing so he spoiled the celebrations of England captain Steven Gerrard,
who became the sixth man to win 100 caps for his country.
was delighted to have done so well against a country whose media had
not generally held him in as high esteem as elsewhere in the world.
"It's not often you score four goals against such good opposition," the striker told a news conference.
was the first to praise the Swede, who moved into third place in his
country's all-time scoring chart taking his tally to 39 goals from 85
"His performance tonight was simply world class and that fourth goal was one of the best I've ever seen," Gerrard told ITV.
"I thought we were very comfortable till we started making all those changes.
"I'm going to give my shirt to my dad - he has supported me all through my career and he deserves to have it."
England coach Roy Hodgson was pleased with his inexperienced side's performance but was left stunned by Ibrahimovic.
"The fourth goal was the crowning glory [but] I'd have rather seen it against someone else," he said.
coach Erik Hamren also waxed lyrical about his captain's ability as his
side got off to a winning start in their new home.
"We have a world star who scores four goals," he said.
"The last one? You might never see that again in your life. Unbelievable, really."
scored the first goal at Sweden's new home when he fired home after 20
minutes at the second attempt from Martin Olsson's cross after Steven
Caulker, one of six England debutants, blocked his first shot.
The ball ran kindly to the Swede who lashed it into the roof of Hart's net.
equalised when Manchester United winger Ashley Young ghosted past
Sebastian Larsson and his centre was turned in from close range by
unmarked team mate Danny Welbeck after 35 minutes.
minutes later Gerrard created England's second when defender Caulker
got on the end of his captain's free-kick for a debut goal.
Hodgson handed six players their international debuts but Gerrard's
experience was much-needed in central midfield and he had a good match,
going close to a goal on two occasions.
with a famous comeback to 4-4 from 4-0 down against Germany fresh in
the memory from October, Ibrahimovic rallied his troops and went on a
second-half scoring spree to hand Hodgson his first 90-minute defeat in
12 matches as England coach.
equaliser came as he chested down Anders Svensson's pass to fire past
Hart and minutes later his thunderous free-kick was deflected past the
Manchester City goalkeeper to put Sweden 3-2 up.
misery was complete a minute into stoppage time as his header was
spectacularly volleyed into the unguarded net by Ibrahimovic from
outside the box to cap a man-of-the-match performance as Sweden scored
three in the last 13 minutes.
well as Caulker, Hodgson gave first caps to starters Leon Osman and
17-year-old Raheem Sterling, who became England's fifth youngest player
of all time.
Ryan Shawcross, Carl Jenkinson and Wilfried Zaha all won their first caps late in the game as substitutes.
"I thought for 75 minutes we played very well when we had the more experienced players on the pitch," Hodgson said.
second in 2014 World Cup qualifying Group C behind Germany, next host
Ireland in a qualifier in March when England visit San Marino trying to
seize back top spot in Group H after Montenegro beat the minnows 3-0 on
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