Sweden's stunned players blamed
poor luck for their 3-2 defeat by England in a thrilling Euro
2012 Group D match at the Olympic Stadium and thought they were
the better team on the night.
The Swedes said they were frustrated by England's defensive
approach and long-ball tactics which paid off in the end.
Midfielder Sebastian Larsson, who has spent his entire
career in England with Arsenal, Birmingham City and Sunderland,
said Theo Walcott's deflected equaliser to make the score 2-2
just past the hour happens once in a thousand attempts.
"I threw myself to block the shot, it touched the slightest
millimetre of my shin pad but it was enough to cause problems
for 'Isak' [goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson] and it went in," he
"That happens once in a thousand efforts. There's not a lot
more to say."
Larsson added that his team felt they were far better than a
defensive England side and Sweden deserved to win.
"Without a doubt, but what does it matter? We're
desperately disappointed, but it doesn't make any difference. If
you want to go through the game, the way it felt on the pitch
was that we were clearly the better team.
"We meet an extremely defensive side that go for long
balls, and that's the way they can threaten us, but they win the
game. What the hell difference does it make if we were better or
Sweden had fallen behind to an Andy Carroll header before
centre-back Olof Mellberg dragged his side back into the game by
forcing an own goal, scoring another and defending maniacally
against England's aerial attack.
But Walcott's deflected shot put England level and he then
teed up Danny Welbeck for a deft finish to send Sweden hedaing
for the exit along with Ireland.
Drained after his efforts, Larsson thanked the fans and
apologised for Sweden's results.
"Fantastic support. We had it against Ukraine too. They're
all incredibly disappointed, as we are. You represent you're
country, but you're also a supporter."
"What do I say? I'm sorry but we did everything to make it
go right, but it wasn't [successful] this time. Obviously, we
feel for the fans that have come here.
"There are no excuses, we lead two matches after 60 minutes
and we leave without any points. It's not good enough."
Sweden face France in their final Group D game on Tuesday
when the French need a point to clinch a quarter-final spot.
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