Ibra's four ends England unbeaten run under Roy

ROY HODGSON’S 11-match unbeaten run as England manager came to an end on Wednesday night as his youthful team lost 4-2 to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic-inspired Sweden at the Swedbank Stadium in Stockholm.

Ibrahimovic scored all four Sweden goals. He put them in front with a 20th-minute strike and helped them to recover from a 2-1 half-time deficit with three goals inside the last 15 minutes – the last of them an overhead kick from outside the box.

England looked in control after Danny Welbeck and Steven Caulker notched in the space of four first-half minutes. And the Swedes, well backed prior to the match, traded at an in-play high of 26 on Betfair.

Hodgson will still have drawn plenty of positives from the performance and will expect to select from a stronger pool of players when England resume World Cup qualification with a trip to San Marino in March. Bet365 go 5-6 your choice about more or fewer than 5.5 players keeping their places.

England dropped to second in World Cup qualifying Group H after Montenegro climbed two points above them with a 3-0 victory at home to San Marino. Northern Ireland’s slim hopes of reaching Brazil 2014 were reduced after they drew 1-1 at home to Azerbaijan.

Scotland caretaker-boss Billy Stark steered his side to a 2-1 victory away to Luxembourg.However, the pressure increased on Ireland’s Giovanni Trapattoni, who presided over a 1-0 loss at home to Greece.

 

Match in Focus

18:00 TODAY BT2

Mgladbach v Villarreal

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Villarreal had the best away record outside La Liga’s top three last season
Expert verdict
Gladbach found their cutting edge in a 4-1 dismantling of Schalke on Saturday. It was impressive stuff but the German side had not really clicked in the Bundesliga before that result, so trusting them requires a leap of faith. With uncertainty about their consistency, preference is for the increasingly reliable Yellow Submarine.

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