World Cup Qualifying - European - Play-off - 1st Leg
Sweden1Italy0

Sweden 1-0 Italy

Sweden celebrate
Sweden finished above the Netherlands on goal difference to seal their play-off spot

Italy manager Giampiero Ventura says his side need a "great performance" in the second leg of their play-off with Sweden if they are to avoid missing out on a first World Cup since 1958.

The Swedes won the first leg 1-0 at the Friends Arena, the only goal coming when Jakob Johansson drilled home from 20 yards, via a Daniele de Rossi deflection.

They were the better team in the first half, and while the Azzurri slightly improved after the break, they were still disappointing.

Matteo Darmian went closest to equalising but hit the post.

Italy - who will be without the suspended Marco Verratti - will need to win Monday's second leg at the San Siro to reach the World Cup in Russia.

Ventura said: "This result is punishing. I hope that in Milan the officials give to us what they granted to them here.

"In a match as important as this we wanted a more even-handed approach. Now all that matters is getting the result.

"We have to turn everything on its head back in Milan. San Siro must give us a hand too but it is up to us to deliver a great performance for our fans."

Physical Sweden deserved their win

The Swedes - who finished above the Netherlands to seal their play-off spot - looked up for the game from the very first whistle.

Robin Olsen
Swedish keeper Robin Olsen only had to make two saves all night

They played at a high-energy tempo, showing plenty of aggression in their attacks. Striker Marcus Berg, who scored eight goals in qualifying, was booked within 50 seconds. Ola Toivonen appeared to elbow Leonardo Bonucci in the face, with Berg booked for his angry reaction to his team conceding a free-kick.

Bonucci said after the game that the challenge fractured his nose.

"The Italians obviously wanted me to be dismissed," said Berg. "They fell over whenever they could. I don't think they pulled it off very well.

"I knew there would be war tonight and it will be a damn war on Monday."

That intensity continued for the rest of the half, with a noisy home crowd getting behind their team - and loudly booing Bonucci every time he had the ball.

Most of the chances in the first half were Sweden's - with six shots to Italy's one. Toivonen shot just wide from 20 yards, the impressive Emil Forsberg curled wide from 25 yards and veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon had to act quickly to deny Berg and then Toivonen.

They were more subdued in the second half, but got their goal when Emil Krafth's throw-in was laid off by Toivonen for substitute Johansson - who had only been on the pitch for four minutes. His effort hit De Rossi, and sent Buffon the wrong way.

Sweden - who lost to Italy at Euro 2016 - are now one clean sheet in Milan away from reaching their first World Cup since 2006.

With the away goal rule counting in World Cup play-offs, a Swedish goal at the San Siro would leave the Azzurri needing to score three times.

Ventura's Italy underperform again

Gianluigi Buffon
Gianluigi Buffon's dreams of playing at a record sixth World Cup are in real doubt

Italy - led by Giampiero Ventura - did not impress in their qualifying group. The four-time world champions were unfortunate to be in the same pool as Spain, but a 3-0 defeat in Madrid and a 1-1 draw against Macedonia were not to be expected.

Ventura again failed to find room in his 3-5-2 formation for in-form Napoli winger Lorenzo Insigne, and his front two - Andrea Belotti and Ciro Immobile - did not click at all.

Belotti - who played for the 69-year-old manager at Torino - missed the Azzurri's one and only chance of the first half. He headed wide from close range from Darmian's cross. Shockingly, that was one of only five touches he had before being replaced in the 65th minute.

Influential midfielder Verratti, the Paris St-Germain schemer, got himself needlessly booked for a lunging slide on Berg in his own half - a yellow card which means he is banned for the second leg.

The hosts did go close when Darmian hit the post from 25 yards with a fantastic strike from Verratti's pass but they failed to build any late pressure.

Italy did bring on Insigne for Verratti in the final 15 minutes but at that stage the rot appeared to have set in and the substitute dragged a shot wide in injury time.

The result means legendary Italy keeper Buffon, winning his 174th cap, could play his final competitive international game on Monday. The Juventus star had planned to retire after the World Cup - a tournament which would be his record sixth, if he can reach it.

Bonucci conceded they need to improve for the second leg: "We have to be quicker on the ball. In the return leg, we have to really fight. They played a very physical game but we can't make excuses."

Man of the match - Andreas Granqvist (Sweden)

Andreas Granqvist
Sweden captain Andreas Granqvist may not have made the grade at Wigan but was superb at the back. He made eight clearances, four interceptions, won the ball eight times and had 94.6% passing accuracy

Line-ups

Sweden

  • 1Olsen
  • 16KrafthSubstituted forSvenssonat 83'minutes
  • 3Lindelöf
  • 4Granqvist
  • 6Augustinsson
  • 17Claesson
  • 7Larsson
  • 8EkdalSubstituted forJohanssonat 57'minutes
  • 10Forsberg
  • 20Toivonen
  • 9BergBooked at 1minsSubstituted forThelinat 75'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Larsson
  • 5Olsson
  • 11Guidetti
  • 12Johnsson
  • 13Johansson
  • 14Helander
  • 15Svensson
  • 18Jansson
  • 19Rohden
  • 21Thelin
  • 22Sema
  • 23Nordfeldt

Italy

  • 1Buffon
  • 15Barzagli
  • 19Bonucci
  • 3Chiellini
  • 6Candreva
  • 18Parolo
  • 16De Rossi
  • 8VerrattiBooked at 28minsSubstituted forInsigneat 76'minutes
  • 4Darmian
  • 9BelottiSubstituted forÉderat 65'minutes
  • 11Immobile

Substitutes

  • 2Rugani
  • 5Gagliardini
  • 7Florenzi
  • 10Insigne
  • 12Donnarumma
  • 13Astori
  • 14Frello Filho
  • 17Éder
  • 20Bernardeschi
  • 21Zappacosta
  • 22Perin
  • 23Gabbiadini
Referee:
Cüneyt Çakir
Attendance:
49,193

Match Stats

Home TeamSwedenAway TeamItaly
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home8
Away10
Shots on Target
Home2
Away1
Corners
Home1
Away7
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Sweden 1, Italy 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Sweden 1, Italy 0.

Attempt missed. Lorenzo Insigne (Italy) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Ciro Immobile.

Attempt blocked. Giorgio Chiellini (Italy) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Éder with a cross.

Attempt missed. Giorgio Chiellini (Italy) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Attempt missed. Ciro Immobile (Italy) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Lorenzo Insigne.

Offside, Italy. Giorgio Chiellini tries a through ball, but Ciro Immobile is caught offside.

Giorgio Chiellini (Italy) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Viktor Claesson (Sweden).

Substitution

Substitution, Sweden. Gustav Svensson replaces Emil Krafth because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Emil Krafth (Sweden) because of an injury.

Giorgio Chiellini (Italy) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Isaac Kiese Thelin (Sweden).

Attempt missed. Lorenzo Insigne (Italy) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Andrea Barzagli following a corner.

Corner, Italy. Conceded by Jakob Johansson.

Matteo Darmian (Italy) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Isaac Kiese Thelin (Sweden).

Substitution

Substitution, Italy. Lorenzo Insigne replaces Marco Verratti.

Offside, Italy. Leonardo Bonucci tries a through ball, but Ciro Immobile is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Éder (Italy) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, Sweden. Isaac Kiese Thelin replaces Marcus Berg.

Corner, Italy. Conceded by Ludwig Augustinsson.

Attempt blocked. Antonio Candreva (Italy) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Daniele De Rossi.

Attempt saved. Viktor Claesson (Sweden) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Emil Forsberg.

Matteo Darmian (Italy) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Marco Verratti following a corner.

Corner, Italy. Conceded by Ola Toivonen.

Corner, Italy. Conceded by Viktor Claesson.

Leonardo Bonucci (Italy) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Marcus Berg (Sweden).

Substitution

Substitution, Italy. Éder replaces Andrea Belotti.

Foul by Andrea Belotti (Italy).

Viktor Claesson (Sweden) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Giorgio Chiellini (Italy) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Viktor Claesson (Sweden).

Goal!

Goal! Sweden 1, Italy 0. Jakob Johansson (Sweden) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ola Toivonen.

Daniele De Rossi (Italy) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Marcus Berg (Sweden).

Giorgio Chiellini (Italy) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Marcus Berg (Sweden).

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Friday 10th November 2017

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France107211861223
2Sweden106132691719
3Netherlands106132112919
4Bulgaria104151419-513
5Luxembourg10136826-186
6Belarus10127621-155

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Portugal109013242827
2Switzerland109012371627
3Hungary104151414013
4Faroe Islands10235416-129
5Latvia10217718-117
6Andorra10118223-214

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany1010004343930
2Northern Ireland106131761119
3Czech Rep104331710715
4Norway104151716113
5Azerbaijan103161019-910
6San Marino100010251-490

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Serbia1063120101021
2R. of Ireland10541126619
3Wales10451136717
4Austria104331412215
5Georgia10055814-65
6Moldova10028423-192

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland1081128141425
2Denmark106222081220
3Montenegro105142012816
4Romania103431210213
5Armenia102171026-167
6Kazakhstan10037626-203

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England108201831526
2Slovakia106041771018
3Scotland105321712518
4Slovenia10433127515
5Lithuania10136720-136
6Malta10019325-221

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain109103633328
2Italy107212181323
3Albania104151013-313
4Israel104061015-512
5Macedonia103251515011
6Liechtenstein100010139-380

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium109104363728
2Greece105411761119
3Bos-Herze1052324131117
4Estonia103251319-611
5Cyprus10316918-910
6Gibraltar100010347-440

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Iceland10712167922
2Croatia106221541120
3Ukraine10523139417
4Turkey104331413115
5Finland10235913-49
6Kosovo10019324-211
View full World Cup Qualifying - European tables

Top Stories