Lagerback hails Sweden strength

Boss pleased by battling performance

Lars Lagerback was delighted by Sweden's showing in their 2-0 victory over Greece.

In a game which for long periods threatened to produce nothing in terms of goalmouth action, it was the Swedes who ultimately snatched all three points.

Having seen group rivals Spain produce a scintillating display of attacking football in the early Group D kick-off, the Scandinavians knew that it was vital to keep pace at the top.

They were frustrated by the reigning European champions for over an hour until talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic ended his two-and-a-half year wait for an international goal with a spectacular 25-yard drive.

When a second duly arrived six minutes later through centre-half Petter Hansson the Swedes were home and dry and could afford to relax.


For coach Lagerback it was the battling nature of the performance which pleased him the most, while he was also happy to have kept a clean sheet.

"We knew the Greeks were likely to string five across the back and were physically strong," he said.

"It's great to have won the first match - our defence in particular was exemplary."

Injury blow

One area of concern for Sweden in forthcoming games could come in the form of a second half injury sustained by Christian Wilhelmsson.

The former Bolton winger hobbled out of the action with 12 minutes remaining, appearing to be suffering with a thigh complaint.

"It seems this injury is serious," said Lagerback.

"I don't think it's possible he can play against Spain (on Saturday) and if it is serious then he'll not be able to feature against Russia (on 18th June) either."


Sweden may not require the services of Wilhelmsson should Imbrahimovic continue to supply the goods, and the Internazionale ace is determined to see Sweden build on their opening success.

"It was a difficult match, especially for the strikers, as the Greeks defended well," he said.

"We did fantastically and played with intelligence. The important thing was to get the three points."