Sweden 2-0 France: Seb Smashes Home As Swedes Bow Out

Sebastian Larsson of Sweden scores his teams second goal during the UEFA EURO 2012 group D match between Sweden and France at The Olympic Stadium on June 19, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine.

As the group stages come to a close, so does the Euros for Sunderland's quartet, yet Sweden at least salvaged some pride in going out with a bang by beating France 2-0.

It proved to be a perfect outcome for Sunderland fans, well those that support England, as the result left Roy Hodgson's men atop the group and our boy Seb Larsson lashed the icing on the cake late on.

For those of you that didn't see this one, here's what went down...

Despite Sweden being already eliminated, wholesale changes were left alone and Larsson started in his customary role on the right-hand side of midfield. Seb seemed to save the best for last, as he made a big contribution to his side's only win on the tournament - his cross finding Zlatan Ibrahimovic to score before he smashed home Sweden's second in stoppage time.

After only 4 minutes, Larsson was at the thick of things with a shot that Hugo Lloris dealt with. Moments later, he lined up a free-kick that was blocked by the French wall. These were to be the first of a number of sights at goal Larsson had, as Sweden's movement in the final third became difficult for France to deal with.

On 19 minutes, Larsson fired wide from just outside the box as Sweden looked to turn their pressure into something more tangible. Defensively, Larsson did well to protect his full-back from a left side that contained Gael Clichy and the unpredictable Hatem Ben Arfa. The Sunderland man made a timely interception to prevent Ben Arfa receiving the ball in space and one-on-one with Andreas Granqvist.

Larsson's influence on the game was to grow in the second half; he met Christian Wilhelmsson's cross but Lloris was again a match for his shot back across the face of goal. But as Sweden probed down Larsson's flank more often in search for the breakthrough, and on 53 minutes, Larsson's cross was brilliantly turned home by Ibrahimovic.

With Wilhelmsson introduced as a half-time replacement for Emir Bajrami, Larsson moved inside as the game progressed. Yet it was from that central position that saw Larsson arrive late on the scene as Samuel Holmen hit the bar from Wilhelmsson's cross, and smash the ball high into the French net to double Sweden's lead.

It was undoubtedly Sweden's best game of the tournament - one in which you can see that they are a decent side, when they put their collective mind to it. Ibrahimovic's goal was one of the tournaments best thus far, and the freedom of movement between himself and Ola Toivonen - a player that has been linked to Sunderland in some shape or form -proved difficult for France to cope with. Larsson, having assisted that goal and then scoring one himself, had a very productive tournament sign-off, giving Sunderland fans a timely reminder that he is one that Martin O'Neill won't need to replace this summer.

Sweden now head home, and Larsson finally gets a chance to put his feet up after having surgery towards the end of the season to enable him to play in the Euros.

See Seb Larsson's goal in the video below, towards the end:


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