Euro 2016: Italy v Sweden

After an opening game draw with Ireland, Sweden are desperate to bounce back against Italy

Ruaidhrí Croke Fri, Jun 17
 
LIVE: Euro 2016: Italy v Sweden

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  • 13:17
    Good afternoon and welcome to The Irish Times liveblog of the Euro 2016 Group E match between Italy and Sweden in Toulouse. This game of course has huge ramifications for Ireland - more of which I'll take you through in a minute. I'm Ruaidhrí Croke and I'll be here to take you through every thrill and spill of what promises to be an exciting match. You can get involved by using the 'Contact Us' button at the top of the blog or you can get me on Twitter @Ruaidhri_Croke. Team news on the way!
  • 13:30

    So, a win here for Italy is probably what suits Ireland best as it might mean that they will rest players in the final match. It would also give Ireland the chance to move ahead of Sweden with a draw or a win against Belgium tomorrow.

    Italy look very strong in the opening game against a disjointed Belgium side who have suffered more trouble in camp today. Read more about that HERE.

    Italy will be confident of keeping out Zlatan Ibrahimovic after a typically superb Italian defensive performance against Belgium. However, Zlatan is ready to answer back.

  • 13:33

    Italy (3-5-2)  Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Florenzi, Parolo, De Rossi, Giaccherini, Candreva; Pelle, Eder.

    Sweden (4-4-2)  Isaksson; E Johansson, Lindelof, Granqvist, M Olsson; S Larsson, Ekdal, Kallstrom, Forsberg; Guidetti, Ibrahimovic.

    Referee  Viktor Kassal (Hungary)

  • 13:35

    So, Italy once again take full advantage of having their back three and goalkeeper playing for the same club. Their familiarity was clear in the opening game and what a bonus it is to have your whole defence playing for Juventus.

    As for Sweden, they make three changes from the draw with Ireland. Guidetti comes in to partner Ibrahimovic up front while the excellent Olsson - the standout performer against Ireland - continues at left back.

  • 13:36
  • 13:36
    Gazetta Della Sport certainly aren't holding back in illustrating the Swedish team's reliance on Ibrahimovic!
  • 13:54
    Here we go! The teams are on the pitch and ready for the second best national anthem of the tournament (Les Marseillaise still just trumps Il Canto degli Italiani in my book).
  • 13:58
    Nobody sings a national anthem as passionately as the Italians. Fantastic stuff. It's nearly time for kick off! One final look at the lineups.
  • 13:58
  • 14:00
    1 min:  We're underway in Toulouse!    (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 14:03
    2 mins: Superb defensive work from Giorgio Chiellini foils Sweden's first chance of the game! Kallstrom swung in a fantastic ball from the left towards the head of Ibrahimovic but Chiellini managed to get between him and the goal to flick away.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 14:06
    6 mins: Sweden have started well here and are offering the main attacking threat so far. Kallstrom wastes a free kick in a good position with a shocking cross that's easily cleared.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 14:11
    9 mins: The first half chance of the game goes to Italy and Florenzi. Marco Parolo found the winger on the left corner of the box with an excellent pass. He cut inside and looked to shoot near post but it's blocked down and trickles into the arms of Isaksson.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 14:16
    14 mins: Olsson's throw in from the left is dummied by Ibrahimovic and finds its way to Guidetti. He dribbles into the box and tries to slip Ibrahimovic in. The new Manchester United striker shields the ball from Bonucci and is brought down. Sweden appeal for a penalty but the referee gives a free-kick to Italy instead. It looked very 50-50 and Ibrahimovic can probably feel hard done by.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 14:18
    17 mins: Ibrahimovic is getting on the ball more now and tries a quick one-two with Forsberg on the edge of the box. He gets it back and looks to slip in Guidetti but the Italian defence crowds him out. The ball deflects away to Kallstrom who tries his luck from distance but it flashes wide. This has been a good start from Sweden but it's going to take some effort to break down that Italian defence.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 14:20
    20 mins: Better attacking intent from Italy. A long ball forward is knocked down to Eder who shoots. It'd deflected out to Cabdreva on the left and his cross is punched away by Isaksson. It's livening up a bit now.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 14:23
    22 mins: On the right wing Ekdal flicks it beautifully around Chiellini and he's away and bursting towards the box. However, you're never really away from Giorgio Chiellini as he gets back to put in a strong slide tackle and deflect the ball out for a corner. The set piece comes to nothing and Italy are able to clear their lines.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 14:26
    25 mins: So, just past the halfway stage of the first half and it's still very even. Neither side have created any clear-cut chances but Sweden have caused some problems for that Italian defence.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 14:28
    27 mins: A late tackle from De Rossi on Ibrahimovic gives Sweden a free-kick in a good position on the right. Kallstrom swing it into the back post towards Ibrahimovic who this time outjumps Chiellini but his header is off-target and he's flagged for offside anyway.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 14:31
  • 14:34
    33 mins: It's all gone a bit flat the last 10 minutes or so. Italy have obviously decided that Bonucci's long passing prowess should be utilised but sure far it hasn't worked with a number of long balls over the Swedish defence going right into the arms of Isaksson.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 14:39

    38 mins: Well...this hasn't been great so far. There's no point in me trying to dress it up for you. We're surely not going to have a second 0-0 draw in a row after Germany and Poland last night are we?

    It's still early days yet, thanfully and some solace can be taken from the fact that a quarter of all goals at this year's tournament so far have been scored after the 87th minute.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)

  • 14:41
    39 mins: We nearly had a chance! Florenzi got it on the right and cut back onto his left, delivering a superb curling cross into the middle towards Eder. It's inches over his head however and is well cleared by Johansson.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 14:45
    44 mins: Every single Swedish ball forward is aimed towards Ibrahimovic. The reliance on him is absolutely incredible. A flat pass from Kallstrom towards the United striker causes a bit of a scramble in the Italian box before Chiellini turns it behind for a corner. Kallstrom takes again and (again) aims for the head of Ibrahimovic at the back post. However, this time it's Bonucci who outmuscles the Swede the see the ball safely away from danger. While it hasn't been a great game so far the Italian defence really is a joy to watch. Their awareness of where the opposition are is incredible.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 14:45
    HALF TIME: ITALY 0 SWEDEN 0!
  • 14:49

    Well thank heavens for a break from that. Neither side have looked particularly impressive with Sweden probably just shading it in terms of attacking threat. Italy have offered very, very little in the final third bar a good cross or two into the middle which Pelle and Eder have failed to reach.  

    But look, it can only get better. Can't it?

  • 14:57
    We're nearly ready to go with the second half in Toulouse but before we do, have a go at our Spot The Ball competition.
  • 15:01
    46 mins: The second half is underway in Toulouse! Let's hope it's better than the first.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 15:06
    49 mins: An early half chance for Italy! Parolo spins on the halfway line and feeds it into Eder who is bursting down the right. He goes into the box and pulls it back to Pelle on the edge of the box. The Southampton striker's first touch isn't the best, the ball bouncing up a bit on him, and he can only fire his shot well over the bar. Italy are pushing now though and have a corner.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 15:07
    50 mins: Parolo gets to the cross at the front post but his effort is deflected wide for another corner. The second delivery is easily caught by Isaksson to relieve the pressure.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 15:09

    53 mins: We've just gone past the mark where Sweden have played two hours and 20 minutes of football in this tournament. In that time they have failed to have a single shot on target.  

    Someone, anyone, please just shoot.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)

  • 15:13
    56 mins: Better passing from Italy so far and they look a bit more likely to create some chances. The long diagonals towards Pelle and Parolo seem to be the order of the day with Florenzi and Candreva getting up the wings to pick up the knockdowns and cross.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 15:16
    59 mins: The first substitution of the game is made by Italy and it's Simone Zaza who replaces the disappointing Pelle.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 15:18
    61 mins: The game is beginning to open up now and Italy nearly make the breakthrough. Candreva pulls it back to Parolo in space in the box. He looks to shoot first time but Kallstrom comes absolutely storming back to get in his way and stop the shot. That's fantastic work from the Swede and Parolo really felt that one.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 15:21

    64 mins: Ibrahimovic gets in behind and we might just have a chance!

    No. Hold your horses there. He's been flagged (correctly) offside.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)

  • 15:27

    69 mins: De Rossi picks up the second booking of the game and Sweden have a chance to toss one into the box.

    They do. And Buffon deals with it easily enough. Sweden are still yet to have a shot on target in this whole tournament. This match is still yet to have even a glimmer of excitement. It's not great, I'll be honest.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)

  • 15:30

    72 mins: We had a chance! A chance! A real chance at goal!

    Olsson delivered a superb ball from the left across the face of the goal. Kallstrom stretches to get a toe to it but it's just out of his reach! It flies all the way through to Ibhramovic at the back post but, somehow, he's managed to put it over the bar from three yards! His blushes were spared somewhat by the linesman's flag for offside but that was atrocious.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)

  • 15:32

    75 mins: Thiago Motta replaces De Rossi for Italy. It might just be opening up a little bit more now.  

    Please not the word "might" there. It probably isn't. (Italy 0 Sweden 0)

  • 15:36
    78 mins: Sweden make a double substitution with Jimmy Durmaz replacing Forsberg and Oscar Lewicki coming on for Ekdal.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 15:38
    80 mins: Durmaz shoots from 20 yards with his first touch but it's a tame effort that rolls a long way wide. Still no shots on target for Sweden in the whole tournament so far.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 15:39

    81 mins: Chance for Italy! From the left Giaccherini delivers an absolutely sumptuous ball to the back post. Parolo sees it all the way and meets it with his head. He must score!

    But no! It crashes off the bar and goes over.  

    BUT THAT WAS A CHANCE! A MOMENT OF ENTERTAINMENT!  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)

  • 15:42
  • 15:43

    86 mins: Stefano Sturaro replaces Florenzi for Italy while Marcus Berg replaces Guidetti for Sweden.

    Also, how funny is that tweet? The funniest part being that it's actually true.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)

  • 15:45
    87 MINS: GOAL FOR ITALY (EDER)!
  • 15:48
    89 mins: Well we've waited...and waited...and waited. But it was worth it in the end because the goal was a thing of beauty. Another long diagonal to Barzagli on the left allows him flick it down to Eder. The Brazilian-born winger decides to take matters into his own hands and cuts inside, beating two Swedish defenders before firing a low shot past Isaksson into the bottom right corner, not unlike Payet's goal for France against Albania. What a goal! Italy just have to hold on now.  (Italy 1 Sweden 0)
  • 15:49
    pat so at the end this game could have been just 5 mins instead of 90.
  • 15:49
    90+3 mins: Yes. Yes it could have been. And that's now the 11th goal in the tournament scored after the 87th minute. Uefa should just cut every game down to 10 minutes. That would be great entertainment.  (Italy 0 Sweden 0)
  • 15:51

    FULL TIME: ITALY 1 SWEDEN 0

    ITALY QUALIFY FOR THE LAST 16!

  • 16:00

    So, Sweden have now gone a full three hours (two matches) without a single shot on target in this tournament. That's why they look set to be going home.

    Until the last 10 minutes that game was nothing short of dire. But how typically "Italy in a big tournament" was that? Fantastic, strong defensive work and then a moment of magic right at the end to grab the win and qualify for the knockout stages. They're going to be very, very difficult to beat.

    Hopefully it means they'll now rest players against Ireland on Wednesday however.  

    We'll have a full report from Toulouse on www.irishtimes.com/sport/eu... in the next 30 minutes.

    In 30 minutes Patrick Madden will be with you for the clash of Czech Republic and Croatia before Spain take on Turkey at 8pm. So with that, I shall leave you. Goodbye!