Sweden essentially dominated a lackluster France, earning a 2-0 win in their final match of Euro 2012. Sweden were already eliminated going into the day, so the pressure was off and it showed. An amazing strike by Zlatan Ibrahimović and a late goal by Sebastian Larsson helped the Swedes cruise past France.
Despite being scoreless, the first half was reasonably entertaining. Sweden were content to defend and pick their spots to attack, which they did exceedingly well. If not for a couple of offside calls and an off-target shot, Sweden could have easily been ahead by a goal or two at the break. As it was, France controlled the flow of play, but were unable to find a way through the Swedish defense.
While I can't prove it, England's goal at the start of the second half of their match with Ukraine seemed to quickly matriculate to the French bench, as they perked up in the minutes after the goal and began to press a bit harder on the attack. Bad idea.
Sweden opened the scoring in the 51st minute thanks to a wonder strike from Ibrahimović. Larsson was left alone outside on the right wing and swung a cross in to the top of the box where Zlatan went airborne and blasted a shot past French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris with a stunning mid-air scissor kick that was quite possibly the goal of the tournament so far.
Sweden capped their Euro 2012 experience with a late goal by Larsson. After Christian Wilhelmsson made a great run and a clever cross that was hit off the bar by Samuel Holmén, Larsson was lurking and put home the rebound to give Sweden the 2-0 lead.
France looked a mess for most of the second half, playing some uninspired and disorganized soccer. Despite the loss, the England win over Ukraine allows France to quietly advance to the quarterfinals anyway. Laurent Blanc and his team have a ton of work to do ahead of a date against Spain. If France play like they did today, they will have a long day against the defending champions.
One final note: Blanc has been on record saying he would never play two strikers together and that the 4-4-2 formation was no longer relevant in modern football. By the end of the match today, France was in a 4-4-2 formation with Karim Benzema and Olivier Giroud up front. It appears that when push comes to shove, even the most ardently held beliefs can indeed change. Of course, it didn't really work, so maybe Blanc felt justified at some level. (Probably not.)