Euro 2012 Short Takes: Swedes dig for excuses

 

Sweden refuse to go quietly. So stung were they by that rare defeat to the English that they blamed bad luck.

The Swedes were frustrated by England's defensive approach and long-ball tactics, with midfielder Sebastian Larsson, who has spent his career with Arsenal, Birmingham City and Sunderland, claiming that Theo Walcott's deflected equaliser was a complete fluke. "I threw myself to block the shot, it touched the slightest millimetre of my shin pad but it was enough to cause problems and it went in," he said. "That happens once in a thousand efforts. There's not a lot more to say." Certainly not "well done" to his old team-mate.

103

The number of caps Franz Beckenbauer won for West Germany, which is a tally Lucas Podolski is hoping to match before the end of the tournament in Poland and Ukraine. Podolski will be awarded his 100th cap against Denmark tonight and must help guide Germany to the final to match the great Beckenbauer. "The goal this summer is not the 100, but the 103 and I am optimistic that it will happen," Podolski said.

Ukraine come of age

Former Tottenham striker Sergei Rebrov has been delighted to see his old friend Andrey Shevchenko strike a blow for the over thirties. Shevchenko, 35, scored twice against Sweden and went close in Friday's defeat by France. Next up are England. "People in Ukraine think if you are over 30 you should stop playing," said Rebrov. "They have been saying it about Andriy for the past few years but he has proven otherwise."

A keepsake for Given

Shay Given felt hard done-by when he lost his Manchester City place to Joe Hart and the competition between the two is still fierce. Given, for all his faults in this tournament, has made the most saves of any goalkeeper, with 22 to his name. Just two behind the Irishman is his old nemesis Hart. Each keeper has his merits but these are worrying statistics for both Irish and English defences.

Capello has it figured

The outrage over the Capello Index before the 2010 World Cup is looking more and more like a storm in a teacup. The controversial ranking system former manager Fabio Capello lent his name to two years ago is up and running at the European Championship. Two of the current top-three ranked players in Group D are Danny Welbeck and Joleon Lescott. Maybe it should have been used in South Africa after all.

Paranoia stalking Italians

With a decisive match against Spain tomorrow, Croatia are being battered with questions about Italy. Croatia and Spain can advance to the quarter-finals if they draw 2-2 (or greater) in Gdansk. Croatia's Everton striker Nikica Jelavic has tried to ease Italian nerves by saying: "You must play for all three points." He added that he and his team-mates "expect a good result for us". Italians are worried, though, and not about the team's opponents Ireland. Italy went out of Euro 2004 when Sweden and Denmark drew 2-2 in their final group game, qualifying on goals scored in head-to-head matches. Gazzetta dello Sport is predicting a "nightmare".

Suggested Topics
News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
art
News
newsIn short, yes
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Life and Style
Cara Delevigne at the TopShop Unique show during London Fashion Week
fashion
News
The life-sized tribute to Amy Winehouse was designed by Scott Eaton and was erected at the Stables Market in Camden
peopleBut quite what the singer would have made of her new statue...
Sport
England's Andy Sullivan poses with his trophy and an astronaut after winning a trip to space
sport
News
peopleThe actress has agreed to host the Met Gala Ball - but not until 2015
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories
Ashya King: We need to stop being cowardly about death

We need to stop being cowardly about death

Ashya King's story has made us confront the idea of terminal illness, in an age when we've lost the ability to discuss how we face our final days
They talk the talk, but do our leaders have the stomach to face up to the Russians?

They talk the talk, but do our leaders have the stomach to face up to the Russians?

Nato has a commitment to defend the Baltic states, unlike Ukraine. But those in charge seem less than committed, says Rupert Cornwell
Heaven on wheels: Meet the skateboarding padre

Heaven on wheels: Meet the skateboarding padre

Skateboards are no longer just for kids, the oldies are getting in on the act too
Can breakdance divert the young men of Tunisia from the killing fields of Iraq and Syria?

Can breakdance save the Arab Spring generation?

Sarfraz Manzoor gets down with the B-boys (and girls) of north Africa
Face of an angel, but has Cara Delevingne the talent to act?

Face of an angel, but has Cara Delevingne the talent to act?

A film based on the Meredith Kercher murder is a challenging first role for the supermodel