Euro 2012: Day eight as it happened

Live text and video commentary as England come from behind to beat Sweden 3-2, while France beat Ukraine 2-0 in Group D.

15 June 2012 Last updated at 23:01

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As it happened

  1. 2300: 

    That is it for our coverage from Euro 2012 on a day that Donetsk briefly flirted with the apocalypse before France took Ukraine to the cleaners and England put us through the ringer again before coming up trumps. You can read reaction and reports and watch highlights on the BBC Sport website. I'll be back tomorrow to guide you though the final round of games from Group A. It's been emotional. I'll see thee.


    Willa Wobble on Twitter: "Both strikers scored, so who do you take out to put Rooney in? Or do you play all three?"

    Paul Wills on Twitter: "Not the best performance in the world but there's no pictures on the league table! Three points is three points no matter how ugly."

    Tim G on Twitter: "Roy has managed to do that what Capello hadn't. The team is playing with pride and passion and playing as one team!"

  3. 2254: 

    England coach Roy Hodgson: "I'm delighted for the younger guys but pleased with the older guard against Swedish team that asked a lot of questions. They dealt with most of the questions asked of them."

    "With Rooney available, he will play in his position - a striker that sometimes drops deep, like Ashley Young did in first game and Zlatan Ibrahimovic did today. I'll probably push Ashley to the wing when Wayne comes back."


    Rob, London, via text: "Let's be categorically clear about this. Welbeck's goal was superb. It is one of the goals of the tournament. The timing and the touch was masterful."

    Arj, London, via text: "Everyone chats about the nightmare of supporting England. Poor Swedes been leading in two games and are still on zero points. Happy days."

  5. 2252: 

    A few random little facts about tonight's game, courtesy of Infostradalive:

    Theo Walcott became England's first substitute to score in a European Championships final match. He is the ninth substitute to score and give an assist in a Euros match. Walcott's goal was England's first at a major tournament from outside the box since David Beckham netted a free kick against Ecuador at the 2006 World Cup.

    Olof Mellberg (at 34 years and 286 days) became Sweden's oldest goal scorer at the European Championships.


    Everton skipper and ex-England international Phil Neville on Twitter: "Great win, spirit looks strong to me. Third game in tournament, fresh legs, rotate, trust the squad we've got. I've got a good feeling about us!!!"

  7. 2248: 

    England captain Steven Gerrard on BBC Radio 5 live: "We've done it the hard way but we're delighted with the three points and the win. But there are still things to learn from - we lost concentration at the set pieces where we conceded the goals.

    "You always have negative thoughts when you're losing but you also have that belief you can turn it round. I never thought we would lose the game even at 2-1 down. It wasn't from general play where they were taking us apart, it was just set plays."


    Charlie Smith on Twitter: "Hodgson seems to be getting the intelligent stuff spot on, bringing on Walcott, picking Carroll, long may it continue!!!"

    Eddy Grogan on Twitter: "Most realistic England fans don't expect quality from this team, but within rights to expect heart - and boy did we get that"

    Alex Rudge on Twitter: "Parker, Milner & Gerrard lack the technical ability to keep close ball control so we cant build attacks & keep pressure on"

    Steve Deadman on Twitter: "Great performance from England tonight guts, character and a little bit of class thrown in"

  9. 2243: 

    More Hodgson on talisman Wayne Rooney's impending return from suspension: "Wayne's been excellent in training and looking really sharp. We need quality for the next game against Ukraine where we've got to get a result and a player like Rooney can make a major difference.

    "If I did make the decision to leave him out all hell would break loose in the dressing room."

  10. 2243: 

    The next round of games from Group D - which sees Ukraine play England and Sweden face France - are on Tuesday 19 June (kick-off 19:45 BST). In case you've forgotten, England will have a certain squad member available again, fit and raring to go. I think you all know who I mean. Yes, Martin Kelly has shaken off the flu.

    I am of course being facetious. Wayne Rooney is back, rubbish haircut and all. Fear us Europe.

  11. 2238: 

    England boss Roy Hodgson on BBC Radio 5 live: "It was a cracking game of football. We were reasonably comfortable at half-time and had a good control of the game before they rocked us on our heels.

    "We knew how dangerous they were from set-pieces and they proved true to that. But it was very good the way the team responded to that.

    "I must emphasise we've got a good victory against a team with a lot of experience and experience in tournament football."

  12. 2238: 

    The BBC Sport website already has the highlights of both the England v Sweden game and France v Ukraine (we're as efficient as Theo Walcott over here). However, if you want to watch a full re-run of the England game you can do just that on this very website from 22:45 BST. There are also highlights on ITV, starting pretty much now.

    For the sake of your sanity, just keep reminding yourself while you're watching: England win, England win, England win.

  13. 2233: 

    So where does that leave Group D? Well, Sweden are gone, regardless of what they do in their final game against France. The French top the group courtesy of a superior goal difference to England, both of whom have four points. Ukraine are second with three points, meaning England need only to draw with the co-hosts in their final game to progress. However, with Spain a good bet to win Group C, England may want to try and win the group to have a pop at Italy or Croatia in the quarters instead.


    Martin, Fleet, via text: "Hodgson deserves a lot of credit. Same old England but big difference was positive substitutions. Got to get a lot better to beat Ukraine on their own patch though."

  15. 2230: 
    Former England goalkeeper David James:

    "The players will now go through the post-match analysis and will iron out the problems, especially conceding from the free-kicks having looked so disorganised. There is a lot of work still to be done but a tremendous game."


    Big Mick, Tamworth, via text: "That's the proudest I've been of an England team at a major tournament since 2000. We are not the best but do not question the heart."

  17. 2228:  
    BBC Sport's Martin Keown in Kiev:

    "When you concede a goal so early in second half, you have to show determination to get back. The manager showed great guile, putting Theo Walcott on and he did the business for England. The team are growing nicely, they are demostrating at this level they have belief."

  18. 2224: 

    England striker Andy Carroll: "It is a great night for me and the team. I was told this morning I was playing and got my head around it in the afternoon and scored. The manager told everyone what we had to do and when we went 2-1 we had to fight back. I gave the free-kick away and they scored, then got another but we showed the determination we have in the side. Both centre-halves were tough but I enjoyed the game and I am happy with the result. Wayne Rooney is back in the frame, training well and everyone is over the moon to have him back. The manager wants us to go out and win games, not to settle for draw. Even at 1-0 we were going for the second."


    Lewis C Dellar on Twitter: "Johnson put in a motm performance, justified his call up - as did the strikers. Nice to see passion from the manager"

    Simon on Twitter: "Well done England!! matches like this should come with a health warning on the packaging!!"

    Mike Martin on Twitter: "Every ladder has a first rung. For England, its character, spirit and pride in the shirt. Box ticked in first two matches."

  20. 2221: 

    To the casual football observer that was an increasingly entertaining see-saw rollercoaster of a game. For the seasoned England fan, it is par for the course in the process of following your side at a major international tournament. But then, who ever said supporting England was easy. After all, you have to go through the wringer to make the joy worthwhile.

  21. 2217: 

    Matchwinner Danny Welbeck, who insists he intended to produce the backheel flick to score England's third, on BBC Radio 5 live: "I'm delighted to get the winning goal but it was more of a team performance.

    "At the start of the second half we let in two sloppy goals and that's something we want to put behind us. Our team spirit showed and we're delighted to get three points.

    "Our defending at set pieces was a bit sloppy but towards the back end of the game we showed we could deal with quality balls into the box.

    "We're all very pleased for Theo. We know when he gets on the pitch he's going to make a difference. That's what he's done today."

  22. 2213: 

    England midfielder Scott Parker: "It was a mixed game. We dominated the first half and didn't come out in the second half. They were two sloppy goals, but we dug in and showed big character."

  23. 2210: 

    More from England super-sub Theo Walcott: "It is always nice to come off the bench and show what you can do. I have been training hard. It is not about the starting line-up, it is a team thing. You need to be sharp on the pitch and it is tough at this level. It means a lot for the fans who have travelled out here and to make my appearance in such a high profile area means so much to me. It was always going to be like a Premier League game. We needed to pick it up offensively but the guys worked hard."

  24. 2208:  
    Former England captain Alan Shearer on BBC MOTD:

    "We are no good at keeping the ball. We can all see that and the only time we passed it with the some composure we scored the goal. To improve and to get better, we need to pass it a lot better. Theo gave them some energy and managers need players coming on to make impact and he has done that tonight."

  25. 2206:  
    Former Arsenal and England defender Lee Dixon on BBC MOTD:

    "We said at half-time it was not a great game but the second half exploded into life. You feared for England at 2-1 down but the spirit was fantastic to get back into the match. Theo Walcott came on and changed the game. The movement and passing for the second goal was so much better with penetration at the end."


    Felix Claridge on Twitter: "And who said England are boring?"

    Cameron Laws on Twitter: "Welbeck is a LAD, Walcott finally had a good game and I've just won £50. Get in boys!!"

    BackpacktoBikeRack on Twitter: "Don't give Roy too much credit: he's selected a team that anyone would pick. There are only so many ways to butter bread."

  27. 2205:  
    BBC pundit Alan Hansen on BBC MOTD:

    "Roy Hodgson changed the game when England were down. Andreas Isaksson made a terrible mistake for the second goal but the finish from Danny Welbeck was exquisite. England had a 20 minute period when they were awful but they did well to turn it around."

  28. 2202: 

    England's super-sub Theo Walcott: "It was my first appearance in such a high-profile arena. I've been waiting a while. I hope there are more chances for me."


    Mark Roberts, Anglesey, via text: "The way Welbeck readjusted himself and instinctively in a split second made that finish - pure genius. Any other touch it would have been a goal kick. What a finish from the young man!"

  30. 2201:  
    BBC football pundit Robbie Savage

    "Great win. Positives - Gerrard, Carroll, Welbeck, Walcott, team spirit, Hodgson subs. Negatives - Young, Terry's lack of pace, defending. Positives far outweigh negatives. Well done England and Roy Hodgson. Harry who?"

  31. 2201: 

    It is only right to pay full testimony to Theo Walcott for his influence on this game. He completely changed it. He scored with practically his first touch and then made Welbeck's winner (albeit the striker still had a lot to do). The Arsenal winger could not have answered Roy Hodgson's SOS more emphatically.

  32. 2157:  
    BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty in Kiev:

    "England go back to Donetsk to face Ukraine knowing a draw will put them into Euro 2012's last eight. Their resilience will serve them will in a hostile atmosphere in the Donbass Arena - but that standard of defending will not."

  33. 2157:  
    Former England manager, and BBC Radio 5 live summariser, Graham Taylor in Kiev

    "We've talked a lot about the mistakes in the game, but a lot of fans will tell you this is what they come to watch football for. England fans will tell you they've won - and that's the main thing."


    Keith Mildenhall, via text: "All those predicting England's demise against Spain, I seem to remember similar comments re Chelsea v Barca."

  35. 2156: 

    A whole nation lets out a collective sigh of relief. What a breath-taking second half. England looked to have thrown it all away with the kind of horror start to the half that has grown men breaking down in frustrated tears. But credit where it is due, they rallied and with the help of an inspired substitution from Roy Hodgson to introduce Theo Walcott, they battled their way to victory. The England fans in the Olympic Stadium, Kiev are loving every minute of this. The Sweden fans, who make up the majority in the stadium, are utterly broken. They will be going home after their final game with France.

  36. 2154:  
    Football analyst Mark Lawrenson on BBC MOTD:

    "You just thought at 2-1 down that this wasn't going to happen. You just thought, 'Oh here we go again,' but this England side have shown a great spirit about them."

  37. 2153:  
    BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle in Kiev

    "It's an ugly win - but you take the points."

  38. 2153: 
    FULL-TIME- Sweden 2-3 England
  39. 2153: 

    Sweden come forward looking for last-gasp salvation. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has the ball but he blazes his long-range shot over the bar. Zlatan's reaction suggests he thinks that is his side's last chance...


    Ted, via text: "You can give this England team a lot of stick for a lot of reasons, but Hodgson's team selections and substitutions have been superb."

  41. 2152: 

    England break away. This could seal the game for good. Theo Walcott is off and into the box. He has Steven Gerrard and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain free to his left. He finds the former and his volley is goalbound until Andreas Isaksson produces a miraculous save. It keeps Sweden in with a shout. For at least another minute.

  42. 2150:  
    Former England manager, and BBC Radio 5 live summariser, Graham Taylor in Kiev

    "From a personal point of view I think that change says to the players 'listen we're winning this game, we don't want to be holding back. Roy's trying to tell the players that it's not necessary to step back off Sweden."

  43. 2149: 

    We are into four minutes of injury time. England have a free-kick 30 yards from goal because of a Sweden handball, which earns Anders Svensson a booking. Steven Gerrard strikes it but it rose early and kept rising, way over the bar.

  44. 2147: 
    SUBSTITUTION- England - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on for Danny Welbeck

    David Britten on Twitter: "Why is watching England such a stressful and painstaking experience, even when we are winning???"

  46. 2147: 

    Sweden come again and they force a corner. Joe Hart watches it all the way on to his right fist, which hammers it clear of the box. It is only a brief respite, though, as Seb Larsson launches a long ball forward to Markus Rosenberg. He cannot get his head to the ball, though, and it runs through to Hart. Time ticking away.

  47. 2145: 

    Sweden will be going home unless they get an equaliser. You can sense their desperation now. Joleon Lescott comes over to meet Markus Rosenburg, but he gives a free-kick and Sweden can deliver this into the box. Kim Kallstrom swings it over but England hold firm and head away.

  48. 2143: 

    Theo Walcott has been on 22 minutes, has been on the ball 11 seconds, has made four passes (all successful), and has one assist and one goal. Not a bad little cameo. Chances of him starting against Ukraine: high. There is just over five minutes to go and for England to hold out.

  49. 2142:  
    Former England manager, and BBC Radio 5 live summariser, Graham Taylor in Kiev

    "Walcott has come on - what a substitution. He scores the first and makes the second. Sometimes you look at a game and there's a lack of quality but it's riveting. England have the chance in the lead again to hold it."


    Paul, via text: "Whatever happens we have let two in to an awful Sweden team. Out group stage and if not definitely next round we're gone."

  51. 2142: 

    England chance. Theo Walcott is away and plays in Steven Gerrard who in turn finds Danny Welbeck. The striker's lay-off is to Scott Parker, who blazes a shot over the bar.

  52. 2139: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Sweden - Christian Wilhelmsson on for Rasmus Elm

    This follows an earlier substitutions that saw Andreas Granqvist leave the field to be replaced by Mikael Lustig and Markus Rosenberg come on for Johan Elmander.

  53. 2139:  
    BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty in Kiev:

    "England have dragged themselves out of a deep hole here and credit to manager Roy Hodgson for not wasting time in introducing Theo Walcott, who scored the equaliser and has now made the third for Danny Welbeck."

  54. 2138:  
    BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle in Kiev

    "In this game anything can happen - there are that many mistakes and people are not doing their jobs. But it's led to an exciting game."

  55. 2136: 
    GOAL- Sweden 2-3 England (Danny Welbeck, 78 mins)

    Unbelievable! England back in front! It is a great finish as well from Danny Welbeck, but credit must also go to substitute Theo Walcott, who added to his equaliser with a major part in this goal. He cuts in to the right byline and crosses. It is behind Welbeck but he hooks his foot round the ball to flick it past Andreas Isaksson. What else can this mad second half throw at us?


    Antony Gelberg on Twitter: "Obviously the reason 'England get into pickles like these' is that they are not as good as some people seem to think they are."

    Saidmadrid on Twitter: "If any of these teams go through to the quarters and face Spain it will be painful for them."

  57. 2136: 

    It is Sweden again going close and Joe Hart comes to the rescue. Zlatan Ibrahimovic lines up a shot from 25 yads and his effort swerves and dips before Hart dives to his right to palm away.

  58. 2134: 

    Great chance for Sweden. Martin Olsson cuts in down the left and crosses for Kim Kallstrom in the box. He opens himself for a first-time shot but puts it past the near post. Big let off for England. It has been an unbelievable change in this game since half-time. It is really open now.


    David, Earley, via text: "What happened to that boring half?"

    I think there is a cliche that caters for this.

  60. 2132: 

    Here is a chance for England. A free-kick from 25 yards that Steven Gerrard and Ashley Young are over. Gerrard walks away, Young curls it, but it is always going high and wide.

  61. 2131:  
    Former England manager, and BBC Radio 5 live summariser, Graham Taylor in Kiev

    "It's amazing - the more mistakes are made, it leads to goals and the game becomes exciting. The goals in the game have generally come out of mistakes."

  62. 2131: 
    YELLOW CARD- Sweden - Jonas Olsson
  63. 2131: 

    Question: why are the assistant referee's there is they can't spot a ball that is out from right under their nose? Reason I ask is that Joe Hart tries to keep a back-pass in play at the byline and fails but it takes the referee to give the corner with the assistant a yard away from the incident. The corner comes to nothing.

  64. 2129: 

    This game is there for the taking for either side now. England try to restore their one-goal advantage but Andy Carroll's shot from distance is just over the bar. Decent effort.

  65. 2127:  
    BBC Radio 5 live commentator Mike Ingham

    "How do England get themselves into pickles like these against Sweden? It always happens - it's unbelievable really. England need more than a draw."


    Tom Swain on Twitter: "So frustrating that England have to go behind in order to show urgency. Good sub, Roy deserves credit."

  67. 2127:  
    BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty in Kiev:

    "Madcap start to the second half with some atrocious England defending giving Sweden two goals - but manager Roy Hodgson will hope Theo Walcott's can equaliser restore some order to proceedings."

  68. 2127: 

    You know what, this has only turned into an end-to-end encounter. Rasmus Elm lines a shot up from distance, but it is blocked by Joleon Lescott. Then, down the other end, Danny Welbeck runs clear and is tackled by Olof Mellberg to prevent him running into the box.

  69. 2125: 

    Surely that is a free-kick to England?! Steven Gerrard is body checked on the edge of the box but referee Damir Skomina waves play on, much to England's chagrin.

  70. 2122: 
    GOAL- Sweden 2-2 England (Theo Walcott, 64 mins)

    England level! And it is the substitute Theo Walcott! Sweden clear a corner but the ball falls to Walcott on the edge of the area and his shot swerves and beats Andreas Isaksson. From the sublime to the ridiculous for the keeper. This second half couldn't be more different to the first.

  71. 2122: 

    What a save from Andreas Isaksson! Glen Johnson crosses into the box and John Terry meets it but with the ball seemingly destined for the goal Isaksson somehow gets the ball up and over the bar.

  72. 2121: 
    YELLOW CARD- Sweden - Olof Mellberg

    Nath, Kent, via text: "Absolutely awful start to the second half from England. Sitting too deep and we're far too negative against a very average Swede side. Changes needed."

  74. 2120: 

    England have a corner. Can they hit back and level immediately? Steven Gerrard delivers but despite a half-chance for Glen Johnson with a shot, Sweden clear. In a flash, Johan Elmander finds Zlatan Ibrahimovic and only a Johnson tackle at the back post denies him.

  75. 2119:  
    BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle in Kiev

    "I can't believe that. Nobody has jumped to defend the free-kick and Sweden have a free header. They were queuing up. That was a simple goal - like the first one."

  76. 2119: 
    SUBSTITUTION- England - Theo Walcott on for James Milner
  77. 2119:  
    Football analyst Mark Lawrenson on BBC MOTD:

    "There was no challenge when the ball comes into the box. Olof Melberg is completely unmarked. An absolute free header. In splendid isolation if you are a Swede."

  78. 2117: 
    GOAL- Sweden (Olof Mellberg, 59 mins) 2-1 England

    Sweden complete the turnaround. James Milner gave away the free-kick, Seb Larsson delivers it from deep and Olof Mellberg is completely and utterly unmarked to head the ball past Joe Hart and in. Two goals to Mellberg in the space of 10 minutes. Wasn't it England's plan to win the aerial battle?

  79. 2115: 
    YELLOW CARD- England - James Milner

    The midfielder allows Jonas Olsson to get away from him and gets a booking for slicing him to the ground with a poor tackle.

    BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty in Kiev:

    "And for all the excellence of his first half Carroll must accept his responsibility in Sweden's equaliser for giving a daft free-kick away."

  81. 2115: 

    Glen Johnson has a chance to cross from the right but, as with so much this game, the quality is poor and Andy Carroll cannot do anything with his header. At the other end, Rasmus Elm almost has a clear sight of goal on the left side of the box but Glen Johnson's superb tackle denies him.

  82. 2113:  
    BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle in Kiev

    "It's just a game of mistakes and slack passing. That's what is going to cost one of these teams. It's just mistake after mistake."

  83. 2113: 

    England had done a great job of keeping the Swedish fans quiet in Kiev, but now they are bouncing. England must be strong.

  84. 2112: 

    England's first attempt to rectify the situation sees Scott Parker tee up Steven Gerrard on the edge of the box but his shot is blocked by a diving Sweden defender.

  85. 2111: 

    That is a really disappointing goal to concede from England's point of view. They simply did not start at the second half and their sloppiness cost them. They have it all to do again.

  86. 2110:  
    BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle in Kiev

    "It's unlucky for Glen Johnson in the end - but he was the one who played everyone onside. Nobody attacked the ball when it came off the wall."

  87. 2110:  
    BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty in Kiev:

    "Messy nonsense of an equaliser for Sweden. Johnson may have to take that one as an own goal but Olof Mellberg is claiming it."

  88. 2107: 
    GOAL- Sweden (Olof Mellberg, 49 mins) 1-1 England

    It has been all Sweden at the start of the second half and the pressure tells. A desperate challenge from Andy Carroll on Kim Kallstrom gives Sweden a free-kick. Zlatan Ibrahimovic hits it, but straight into the wall, before the striker volleys it back straight to Olof Mellberg in acres of space. His shot beats Joe Hart and also the desperate attempts of Glen Johnson to clear. If the devil is reading this, the deal is most definitely off.

  89. 2105: 

    Sweden begin with a period of possession in the England half that twice sees them deliver crosses - one from each side - but John Terry's head and then Joleon Lescott's boot clear the ball from danger for England.

  90. 2103: 
    KICK-OFF- Sweden 0-1 England
  91. 2103: 

    The teams are back out. If our deal with the devil has worked, we should have the worst goalless half of football ever. Here's hoping.

  92. 2101: 
    Former England goalkeeper David James:

    "The tactics are going according to plan. My concerns are the two banks of four. They worked well for England against France but we seem to be a bit more apart this time around and with a bit of cute passing Sweden could get through us."

  93. 2101:  
    BBC Sport's Martin Keown in Kiev:

    "It was like Tarzan to the rescue, showing incredible power in the air. It was begging to be headed into the net. You cannot switch off for a second with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in their side. We just need the wide players to come in centrally and put our foot on the ball, just need to be a little patient and it will be a good night."

  94. 2101: 

    Right, are you ready for more? I'd guess if it wasn't England playing the answer would be a resounding no. However, it is England and we're all in this together. We'd probably also all take the worst half of football ever played so long as Sweden don't score. It can be our own little Faustian pact. Hurt our eyes football, not our soul. The devil can have that.


    Steven Broadbent on Twitter: "Don't care if it's the most boring football match ever. I'd be happy with another dire 45 minutes, providing we win."

    Alex Steele on Twitter: "So far, so good. Monster header from Carroll, even better cross from Gerrard. Plenty of optimism."

    James Humpoletz ‏on Twitter: "Another disappointing performance from Young but good to see Milner doing well. Perhaps Ox on for Young to mix things up a bit?"

  96. 2057:  
    Former England manager, and BBC Radio 5 live summariser, Graham Taylor at half-time in Kiev:

    "It was a first class header by Carroll - that's what he has been brought in for by Roy Hodgson. The delivery from Steven Gerrard was also first class.

    "But it's two teams playing similar formations against each other. You wonder in an European tournament where is the player who is going to do something out of the ordinary? In England's case he is sat, not on the bench, but in the stands waiting to play the next game.

    "However, in an international tournament there are a lot of people who aren't bothered if it's like a club game. They only want a good result."


    Richard, London, via text: "Ashley Young not in the game, Roy must bring him off at half-time. Walcott or the Ox would be better."

  98. 2055:  
    Former Arsenal and England defender Lee Dixon on BBC MOTD:

    "There isn't a lot of quality but I don't care. We have to win this game and are doing the bitty bits better than them. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the only one in their team with a brain so the defenders just need to keep concentration at the back. They are there for the taking."

  99. 2054:  
    BBC pundit Alan Hansen on BBC MOTD:

    "Roy Hodgson takes the plaudits for picking Andy Carroll and it was a great ball from Steven Gerrard finished off by a top header. We are watching two average sides, and it has been a bitty and fragmented match. England can run out convincing winners here."

  100. 2054:  
    Former England captain Alan Shearer on BBC MOTD:

    "Two bits of tremendous quality summed that half up for England. Andy Carroll must have been dreaming of a ball like the one delivered by Steven Gerrard and it was a great header. Sweden are there for the taking. They just need to have a bit more composure on the ball. They are getting enough of it so they need to use it."

  101. 2051:  
    BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty in Kiev:

    "England have had a satisfying half. They have the lead and manager Roy Hodgson's plan has come together - but history suggests Sweden will not be going quietly."

  102. 2051:  
    Football analyst Mark Lawrenson on BBC MOTD:

    "I think so far so good. England just need to keep the ball a bit better. Sweden are an ordinary team and it's important England don't make them look better than they are. The key is not to stop Zlatan but to score another."

  103. 2050: 

    To say that was a poor half of football would be an understatement. It has been absolutely dire. However, England will not care because Sweden have been worse than them. Roy Hodgson's Andy Carroll plan bears fruit with the big man providing the one real moment of entertainment from a wonderful Steven Gerrard cross. I'd love to be hopeful for a better second half but I fear we are destined to suffer through another 45 minutes of graft as opposed to guile.


    Roland Babajide on Twitter: ‏ "Who needs a three-man midfield when you got Stevie G.....he's basically Busquets, Xavi and Iniesta in one."

    Ed Trevor-Jones on Twitter: "England clearly designed team for Carroll and it's working. Mr Rodgers should take notes."

    Ridwaan A Omar on Twitter: "Where's the support for Welbeck when there's a counter attack? Maybe he's too fast for his team mates to catch up!"

  105. 2048: 
    HALF-TIME- Sweden 0-1 England
  106. 2048: 

    Last minute of the half and England have a corner. Andy Carroll looks to head back the deep delivery but Sweden are able to clear. It is the last meaningful act of the half. The whistle blows and Andy Carroll lets down his flowing locks like a butch Rapunzel.

  107. 2045: 

    Danny Welbeck is away for England, but he is all on his own with four Swedish defenders for company. The England striker has to slow his run and invites the tackle from Olof Mellberg, which dispossesses him. 'Support?' he has every right to ask.


    Suzy, Portsmouth, via text: "As they said in the A-Team...'I love it when a plan comes together'. A manager with a tactical plan for each game...novel!"

  109. 2043:  
    BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle in Kiev

    "It's not been a great football match - but England are winning which is the good news. But there's been nothing else to talk about after that."

  110. 2043: 

    England look for Andy Carroll in the box again, but James Milner's cross from the right is too high and drifts over the striker and wide of goal.

  111. 2043: 

    John Terry almost puits his side in trouble with a misplaced pass as Sweden charge forward. Seb Larsson's pass is meant for Johan Elmander, who has got ahead of the England defence, but Joe Hart is quick off his line to smother.


    Dan, Kent, via text: "England have three Man City, two Man Utd, three Liverpool, two Chelsea and one Spurs player in starting XI. Sweden have a Sunderland player, one ex-Bolton and a right-back who couldn't cut it at Wigan. Far superior quality...nothing to worry about."

  113. 2040:  
    BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle in Kiev

    "Young has rushed his shot there and it's a wasted chance. His first touch let him down."

  114. 2040: 

    Take that referee! Andy Carroll blasts a shot from 25 yards but Damir Skomina is right in front of it and takes it very close to a highly sensitive area. He's made of tough stuff, though, the Slovenian. He doesn't even rub it. Pain is for linesmen.

  115. 2038: 

    Sweden look to punish England for their wastefulness as Kim Kallstrom unleashes an effort from the edge of the box. It is well hit but just too high and it clears the bar.

  116. 2038: 

    That was a clear opening for England and Ashley Young has wasted it. Ashley Cole releases the Man United winger on the left, but his control just lets him down and the split second he loses dragging the ball back sees the angle close. He shoots tamely past the near post and Andy Carroll - who had made a decent run into the middle - is understandably aggrieved.

  117. 2036:  
    Former England manager, and BBC Radio 5 live summariser, Graham Taylor in Kiev

    "Sweden have come back at England again after going 1-0 down to a very good goal. But I repeat - it's like watching a Premier League club game. Neither team seems prepared to change something to see if they can get on top. It's an even game."

  118. 2036: 

    England put together an uncharacteristic patch of lovely football. Ashley Young starts it, Danny Welbeck contributes and Steven Gerrard looks to end it by jinking into the box but just as they'd convinced us they were great, they give the ball away. Normal service is resumed as the tempo dips to a crawl.


    Opta Joe on Twitter: "32%. Percentage of goals so far at Euro 2012 that have been headed, compared to 19% at Euro 2008. Bonce."

  120. 2034: 

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic has another sight of goal that see him shoot from distance, but the sting is taken out of it by an England leg and Joe Hart is able to dive and save comfortably.

    BBC Sport Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty in Kiev:

    "England goalscorer Andy Carroll waves furiously at keeper Joe Hart to send the ball his way from a restart. The big man has got the bit between his teeth after that wonderful header."

  122. 2032: 

    John Terry and Rasmus Elm have a little battle on the floor for the ball. The latter sits on it, Terry tries to kick it and catches Elm. It is a free-kick to England. Apparently.

  123. 2031: 

    You may remember that England also took the lead against France and let it slip. They will be determined not to allow this to happen again. They have looked solid so far.

    MOTD presenter Gary Lineker

    "In the battle of the ponytails Andy Carroll uses his to great effect. Come on England."


    David Clare, aged eight, Burnley, via text: "A good old fashioned England striker's goal."

    George, Wigan, via text: "Carroll leapt like a majestic salmon to nod that in."

    Adam, Cheltenham, via text: "Could Holt do that? Doubt it. Maybe the criticism will stop now..."

  126. 2029:  
    Football analyst Mark Lawrenson on MOTD:

    "What an absolute brilliant ball that was from Steven Gerrard and a great reaction from Andy Carroll. The key is the cross because Gerrard had the quickest of looks and wrapped his foot around it. Don't sit back now England, it's a really good line. Keep it compressed."

  127. 2029:  
    BBC Sport Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty in Kiev:

    "In the space of seconds England manager Roy Hodgson's selection is justified. Andy Carroll rises superbly to head home Steven Gerrard's cross - exactly how he imagined it when he made the change. No wonder Hodgson punches the air in triumph."

  128. 2028: 

    Carroll was of course drafted in to capitalise on Sweden's weakness in the air. Of the last eight goals that Erik Hamren's side has conceded, seven have been headers. I'd call that a problem.

  129. 2027:  
    BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle in Kiev

    "Where did that come from? Gerrard again provided a first-class delivery. We saw him deliver a set piece from a similar position against France with pace. It was a good run from Andy Carroll and a great header. He heads it down and it skids off the surface past the keeper. Hopefully that will settle England down and they can play more football."

  130. 2027: 

    Sweden look to hit back but Rasmus Elm's cross from the left drifts over the goal and behind.

  131. 2023: 
    GOAL- Sweden 0-1 England (Andy Carroll, 23 minsl)

    England lead! It is the first real moment of quality in the match that sees Steven Gerrard cross from deep on the right and Andy Carroll - the man drafted in to make an aerial difference to England's attack - rise and crash a header down and past the dive of Andreas Isaksson. That is why he is in the team. It has been an efficient as opposed to excellent start from England, but that moment encapsulated elements of both.

  132. 2023:  
    Former England manager, and BBC Radio 5 live summariser, Graham Taylor in Kiev

    "I feel like I'm watching an old-fashioned club game. I don't feel like I'm watching an international game. Both sides are playing the same formation, there's no movement of players and no change of positions from players on either side. It's a different type of game to the ones we have been watching in this competition."

  133. 2023: 

    Not quite sure what Ashley Cole was attempting there. I think it was a long shot. A very long shot. But is drifts closer to the corner flag than the goal.

  134. 2023: 

    John Terry v Zlatan Inbrahimovic is going to be an interesting battle. The latter gets the best of the first tussle, muscling Terry off the ball with ease deep in England territory, but his pass is poor and England clear.

  135. 2021: 

    It has not been an inspiring start to the game from either side. Arguably, England have had marginally the better of it. They've given Sweden a little look-in at the back on occasions, though. The latest of these sees Zlatan Ibrahimovic shoot from distance, but Joe Hart is equal to it with a tidy save low to his left.


    BBC Sport's Alistair Magowan on Twitter: "'England in control, so far' says Chris Waddle on BBC Radio 5 live. Five leading passers so far are English."

  137. 2018: 

    First sight of Zlatan Ibrahimovic as Seb Larsson swings a ball over the top to him from the right. However, before he can settle on the ball, Glen Johnson is back to claim the ball and pass back for Joe Hart to clear.

  138. 2017: 

    Half-chance to England. Good play from Andy Carroll - both hold-up play and pass - releases James Milner down the right. His cross is superb and met by Danny Welbeck, but the contact on the header isn't strong enough and flashes across goal and wide. That was promising, though.


    Christopher Drury on Twitter: "Hodgson's Fulham were solid but could also turn it on like vs Juve. We can do this."

    Gavin Osborn on Twitter: "10 minutes in... lost count how many times England have needlessly given away possession."

    Matthew Vins on Twitter: "Ibrahimovic and Carroll are the same person. Big, cumbersome, and ineffective. overpriced/over-hyped."

  140. 2014: 

    From the evidence of the opening to this game, it is going to be an encounter of few chances. Both teams are very compact and the tempo is quite slow. If that is indeed the case, it comes down to who can rise to the occasion when those few chances come about?

  141. 2012: 

    Sweden's first strike on target sees Seb Larsson fire a rising shot on target from 25 yards, but Joe Hart is behind it and clutches the ball to his midriff.

  142. 2011:  
    Football analyst Mark Lawrenson on BBC MOTD:

    "The game is very compact. I think England are going to have to be patient because Sweden are quite happy sitting back."

  143. 2010:  
    BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle in Kiev

    "Good spell by England with good possession. They just need that bit of quality in the box."

  144. 2010: 

    England have seized the initiative and are taking the game to Sweden. However, a move breaks down and Sweden launch a long ball to the back post where Sebastian Larsson has ventured into the box. Ashley Cole shows composure to head back to Joe Hart and avert danger.


    Chris Keates on Twitter: "Whoever has the best ponytail will score tonight, Ibra or Carroll? My vote's on Carroll."

  146. 2008: 

    First effort in anger goes to England and it is from an unlikely source. Scott Parker tries a shot from 25 yards and it is goalbound but Andreas Isaksson dives to his left to claw the ball away from goal.

  147. 2008: 

    England push into Sweden territory as good play from James Milner releases Ashley Cole. He is forced to check, though, and the chance to strike evaporates. England feeling their way into the game, looking to hold on to possession and build slowly.

  148. 2005:  
    BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle in Kiev

    "It's been a very edgy start, though I know it's early in the game. So far the two sides have matched up and are cancelling each other out. England just have to relax, get possession and build confidence. There's no rush."

  149. 2005: 

    It has been a very broken opening to the game with both sides giving away cheap free-kicks. England make their way into the Sweden half for the first time but the ball for Ashley Young is a bit too strong and it runs through to Swedish keeper Andreas Isaksson.

  150. 2003:  
    BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle in Kiev

    "I hope England don't try playing every ball long up to Andy Carroll."

  151. 2003: 

    Andy Carroll's second action is to give away another free-kick for a late tackle. Bit over-enthusiastic from the big striker.

    Football Focus presenter Dan Walker

    "Anthems: noise level goes to the Swedes but England just take it on gusto - special marks to Joe Hart for huge mouth. Come on England!"

  153. 2002: 

    Andy Carroll's first involvement is to crash into Andreas Granqvist and give away a free-kick.

  154. 2000: 
    KICK-OFF- Sweden v England (20:00 BST)

    Andrew White on Twitter: "Good to see whole team singing national anthem - hope Rooney has learnt the words for his return."


    Ishan Islam on Twitter: "Not long to go now, feel people might be underestimating Sweden, but if we can contain Zlatan, definitely have a chance."

    PMLegend on Twitter: "Everyone seems to forget. England don't win on paper, form or good fortune. It's a 50-50 game at best."

    Jon Davies on Twitter: "Would love to see Carroll flourish in this game, to prove he was rightly picked for the tournament."

  157. 1958: 

    The Olympic Stadium in Kiev, as predicted, is dominated by Swedish fans. Can England silence that majority? We're about to find out.


    Connor, Rothwell, via text: "Hopefully England don't stick with flat 4-2-2 for the whole game. Be flexible and switch to 4-3-3 at times with Young wide left and Welbeck wide right, dropping Milner into the middle."

  159. 1955: 

    It is a quick turnaround in games thanks to that freak weather over Donetsk, but we're in the warmer, rain-free climate of Kiev now. The players are on their way out of the tunnel and in just a few minutes, England's second game of Euro 2012 will be coming at ya, like Cleopatra.

  160. 1952:  
    Former England manager, and BBC Radio 5 live summariser, Graham Taylor in Kiev

    "We have to win this game."

  161. 1952: 

    England fans can have all the belief in the world, but nothing quite beats a high-profile former player from the opposition saying he's worried about playing you. Over to you, Henrik Larsson...

    "Normally, when England goes into a championship, everybody - and I mean everybody - talks about them as being one of the favourites to win the whole thing.

    "This time around, with all the problems that there have been on and off the pitch, nobody is really talking about that because nobody is really expecting anything from England.

    "That's why I think they are more dangerous than [at] any time in the past."

  162. 1950:  
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby in Donetsk

    "There was never any doubt with that result. The only thing missing from the first half was France scoring a goal or two. But they haven't given me the impression yet they are ready to win the tournament. But they could go a long way."


    Damo, Leeds, via text: "Hate to agree with a City fan but Noel Gallagher has a point - England's best two players against France were Hart and Lescott. I fear for England though - Carroll is not worthy of a place in the squad let alone a starter."

  164. 1948: 

    For a while, it looked as though this game wouldn't go ahead thanks to the Donetsk weather. Ukraine may wish it never had. France have won this comfortably and top Group D with four points. Now then England, what have you got?

  165. 1947: 
    FULL-TIME- Ukraine 0-2 France
    BBC Sports Editor David Bond

    "Kiev awash with a sea of yellow - 20,000 Swedish fans. Can't remember England being outnumbered like this."

  167. 1946: 

    We are half way through three minutes of added time in Donetsk. It has been a long old game this, delay and all. France are going to win it, though.

  168. 1945: 

    Former England keeper David James: "If you look at Joe Hart's game, in all areas he is very professional. He is confident from crosses, his distribution is good and is confident with the ball at his feet. He just exudes confidence, not in an arrogant way, and he just wants to get better. Joe eventually ended up taking my place at Manchester City and for England.

    "Roy Hodgson will have looked at Sweden weaknesses. They are poor aerially, but that does not mean England will go route one. We will get crosses in from the wingers and I predict a 2-0 win."

  169. 1944: 

    Ukraine have been poor in this game. We've seen nothing for England to fear in their final group game. Saying that, will they be as bad as this again. Another potential plus for England is that Andriy Shevchenko has played two whole games now in four days. Is his aging body going to able to recover properly for a third so soon after this?

    BBC Sport's Jake Humphrey in Kiev

    "I'm predicting a 2-0 England win, a dominant performance, and some delicious Borscht for supper. Enjoy the game peeps..."


    Former England striker Michael Owen on Twitter: "Fingers crossed for England tonight. Not convinced if we are playing a straight 4-4-2. May get away with it tonight but I'm sure the manager will change the system against a top team. Just hope we haven't underestimated the Swedes. The last World Cup proved that even against inferior teams, if you get the system wrong and lose the midfield battle then you are in trouble at this level."

  172. 1943: 

    Yevhen Konoplyanka tries to give his side a late lifeline but his shot from a good position on the left side of the box is sliced across goal and out for a throw to France. Even the most loyal of Ukraine fan must accept that this game is gone now. We're into the last minute.


    Andrew Peace on Twitter: "Good result as this means England have to come out and fight....come on lads let's get some goals."

  174. 1941: 

    Marvin Martin is tripped by Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, which earns the Ukraine man a booking. It also gives France a free-kick on the right side of the box. Samir Nasri shoots but Andriy Pyatov prevents it hitting the top corner by palming it behind.

  175. 1939:  
    BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle

    "I would like to see the two wingers playing higher up the field. Andy Carroll needs service and in the last 25 yards, not from the halfway line. I think Steven Gerrard will have to be very reserved on his runs forward. If he sees the two wingers running forward he will have to be disciplined. But he has got an old head."


    Infostrada Sports on Twitter: "Ashley Cole plays his 20th match at major tournament (Euros and WC), equalling the most ever by an English player: David Beckham and Peter Shilton."

  177. 1939: 

    Another Ukraine free-kick, this time from deeper on the right. However, the delivery is too close to Hugo Lloris who comes out to punch clear.

  178. 1937: 

    Yann M'Vila has a pop at goal from well out, but it is high, wide and never threatening goal. Not that it matters. France are en route to victory here.

  179. 1937:  
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby in Donetsk

    "We tried to build up Aliyev's free-kick. But it was just pathetic."

  180. 1937: 

    Musician and Manchester City fan Noel Gallagher: "We need to get out of the group and it can be done. No one expects England to set the tournament alight because we don't have the players to do that. We should be fine if leading or drawing but I fear for England if we go a goal down and to chase a game.

    "We only buy the best and the best are on show here. I am happy to see Manchester City's appeal spreading around the globe."

    BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty in Kiev

    "All the noise coming from Sweden supporters. England's minority drowned out. Long time since this happened."

  182. 1934: 

    Now then, can Ukraine put the cat amongst the pigeons. Philippe Mexes fouls Artem Milevskiy on the edge of the box for a dangerous free-kick. Mexes is booked for the challenge. Olexandr Aliyev is something of a free-kick specialist, but he curls it over the wall and the goal.


    Segun Agbaje on Twitter: "Benzema shouldn't be disappointed with his performance. Held the ball up well and brought others into the game."

  184. 1934:  
    Former England captain Alan Shearer on BBC One:

    "Anyone that doesn't like Zlatan, should look at his record both at international level and club. His style is lazy and he has a good arrogance about him but he has a great touch in the Teddy Sheringham role just in behind the striker and can shoot with both feet. For me he is a top player. Roy Hodgson will have mentioned him a few times this week."

  185. 1933: 

    Some very grave Ukrainian faces in the crowd now. Their team are heading for defeat here unless they can conjure something special. It does not look likely, though. France are comfortable.

  186. 1932: 
    YELLOW CARD- France - Mathieu Debuchy

    Debuchy fells Yevhen Konoplyanka for a booking.

  187. 1930:  
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby in Donetsk

    "Sometimes you criticise teams who employ two holding midfielders. But one of France's is Cabaye and he's an all-round midfielder, who sits when he has to sit and gets forward too. It works well for them."

  188. 1930: 

    Former Sweden international Freddie Ljungberg on England v Sweden: "It's a massive game. Not just because it is England but because Sweden lost the first game. The Swedes have a big belief they can do it but it's best to be modest and surprise people."

  189. 1929: 
    SUBSTITUTION- France - Olivier Giroud on for Karim Benzema

    Arsenal fans well be interested to see what Giroud does in the next 15 minutes if rumours linking him with a move to the Emirates prove to be true.

  190. 1929: 

    Time running out for Ukraine. They are seeing some of the ball but their belief has gone. The first signs of descent start from the crowd, who boo as the home side gift possession back to France.

  191. 1928:  
    BBC pundit Alan Hansen on BBC One:

    "I think if England play well, they win. The manager and players both think that. They are better than their Swedish counterparts and I disappointed with the in their first match. They were poor defensively, and will have joy tonight if can get service to Danny Welbeck and Andy Carroll. Roy Hodgson has been aggressive in his line-up. Carroll looks stronger and fitter than he was at the start of the season."

  192. 1927:  
    Former England captain Alan Shearer on BBC One:

    "There is lots of room for improvement, particularly going forward. One effort on target is not good enough and our wide play was poor so delivery is key tonight. Defensively, England weren't tested but they will be tonight. I am delighted to see Ashley Young on the left, he didn't have his best game against France but tonight he will move it to his right and whip it in. This game is made for Andy Carroll, both offensively and defensively. We can't play the way Spain do, we are not good enough but we need to get the ball out wide and get the ball into the box, that is where we will get the joy. The strikers will be rubbing their hands."

  193. 1926: 
    SUBSTITUTION- France - Marvin Martin on for Jeremy Menez
  194. 1926: 

    This is a big chance for France to seal this match. They have a free-kick 20 yards from goal and central. Franck Ribery whips it past the wall but also past the post.

  195. 1925: 

    Ukraine continue to battle away and Marko Devic fights past Alou Diarra and into a shooting chance from 25 yards. He drags his shot badly, though, and it trickles wide of the post. 20 minutes to go.


    Bryan Maguire on Twitter: "Some great stuff from France there. Pressing high up the park and suffocating Ukraine. Then some lovely passing around the box."

  197. 1924:  
    BBC Sport Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty in Kiev:

    "Sweden fans are swarming around Kiev's Olympic Stadium and are vastly outnumbering England's followers. They are estimated to have around 20,000 supporters while England have around 6,500. The fact that Sweden share the same colours as Ukraine - yellow and blue - and the stadium seats are decorated in those colours will make England's opponents feel even more at home."

  198. 1923:  
    Former Arsenal and England defender Lee Dixon on England v Sweden:

    "England need to improve all round. They got a creditable draw again France and Roy has changed the team and freshened it up, but we should be expecting now. This Swedish team is definitely beatable, but they have Jonas Olsson coming in at centre-back which should definitely be and improvement. They couldn't decide where to push up or play deep in their last match."

  199. 1922:  
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby in Donetsk

    "All the things that came off for Ukraine in their first game are not happening tonight."

  200. 1922: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Ukraine - Olexandr Aliyev on for Andriy Yaramolenko
  201. 1921: 
    SUBSTITUTION- France - Yann M'Vila on for Yohan Cabaye
  202. 1921: 

    Ukraine have upped their game in the last two minutes. Andriy Yaramolenko has space 25 yards from goal but his shot is blocked and goes well wide of goal. That was promising, though, and lifts the home crowd again.

  203. 1919: 

    France are completely dominant now. They are playing it completely at their own pace. They spend two minutes looking for a way in on the edge of the Ukraine box. Finally, after feigning to shoot a number of times a French player - Yohan Cabaye - does. It is a great effort as well and strikes the outside of Andriy Pyatov's right-hand post and goes wide.

  204. 1917:  
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby in Donetsk

    "The whole stadium is beaten now. A result like this was their fear. But it is against one of the best teams in the competition."


    Akude Emeka O on Twitter: "Ukraine should try to contain France because goal difference could be crucial in this group."

    Toby on Twitter: "This result means England need to try and score plenty tonight, topping the group could come down to goal difference."

    Si's Insights on Twitter: "Ukraine briefly switched off at the back and have been punished. And they don't look to have the players to turn it around."

  206. 1916:  
    BBC Sport's Martin Keown in Kiev:

    "The English fans might be outnumbered but I'm sure they will make plenty of noise. It's great news for them that Andy Carroll is coming into the side as it sends out an attacking message. He is awesome in the air. It's cool here and I think we'll see a high tempo England performance. I've seen the players close up and they are really up for it. I was speaking to [former Arsenal team-mate and ex-Sweden international] Freddie Ljungberg today and he is a worried man."

  207. 1916: 

    France's Karim Benzema has worked hard this game. He has only had half-sights of goal, though. He gets another from 25 yards but directs his effort straight at Andriy Pyatov, who saves.

  208. 1913: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Ukraine - Artem Milevskiy on for Serhiy Nazarenko
  209. 1913:  
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby in Donetsk

    "Ukraine were simply caught out for the first goal. They were on the attack but when Cabaye won the ball he quickly changed the play up to Ribery. When Ribery played the ball up to Benzema you thought the French really had Ukraine struggling. Menez cut inside the defender and his shot left the keeper with no chance. How Menez did not start the first game instead of Malouda I don't know.

    "You can't take a lot away from France for the first goal. But the second is what we spoke about - where were the Ukraine central defenders? How Cabaye, the holding midfielder, was free I don't know. Now you fear for Ukraine - it's game over."

  210. 1909: 
    GOAL- Ukraine 0-2 France (Yohan Cabaye, 56 mins)

    Two goals in quick succession for France and they have complete control now. Karim Benzema turns away from his marker and finds Yohan Cabaye in the box with a neat pass. Cabaye gets lucky with a little defelction off Oleh Gusev, that knocks the ball into his path, before holding ofthe attentions of the Ukraine man and finishing low past the diving Andriy Pyatov. It is very, very quiet in the Donbass Arena now.

  211. 1906: 
    GOAL- Ukraine 0-1 France (Jeremy Menez, 53 mins)

    Finally, Jeremy Menez makes the most of a chance after missing at least two clear opportunities earlier. Franck Ribery finds his fellow midfielder in the box with a pass and Menez does all the rest by cutting inside and firing a low shot in at Andriy Pyatov's near post. The Donbass Arena is shocked into a moment of silence. Ukraine had to come from behind their first game. They will have to do that again if they are to claim another victory here.


    Bolton light-welterweight boxer Amir Khan on Twitter: "Hope England can do it today! I'm going for a 2-1 win...think Welbeck's gonna score. What you guys saying?"


    Fifa on Twitter: "Our ‪poll‬ results - England to win (60.03%), Sweden to win (27.11%), match to be drawn (12.86%). Thanks for taking part!"

  214. 1905: 

    England boss Roy Hodgson speaking to BBC Radio 5 live about Andy Carroll's inclusion against Sweden: "It's important to get another forward player on the field tonight and more importantly I wanted Ashley Young to go back to his original position, which is as a wide player, with a view to Wayne Rooney coming back into the team against Ukraine.

    "Alex [Oxlade-Chamberlain] did well in the first game but I thought it would be a good idea to give him a chance from the bench rather than the start.

    "Andy Carroll will be useful to us in both penalty boxes. Against a team with the height and power of Sweden we needed as much aerial height as possible."

  215. 1904: 

    Two good efforts in a minute from Ukraine. Anatoliy Tymoshchuk has only scored four goals in 118 internationals, but he nearly has a fifth when he shoots from the edge of the box. It is rising and continues to do so as it clears the bar. Ukraine have their tails up and the crowd are responding with very vocal encouragement.

  216. 1903: 

    Jeremy Menez has had enough chances to win this game on his own. He is given the ball in the box on the left and shoots, but Andriy Pyatov saves with his feet. Immediately down the other end Andriy Shevchenko has the ball midway in the France half, cuts inside Adil Rami and smashes a shot from distance that flies just over the bar.

  217. 1901: 

    France almost weave their way into a shooting chance as Franck Ribery flicks the ball over Taras Mikhalik and Jeremy Menez attempts a back-heel to return the ball to the midfielder, but the ball is cleared behind by a Ukrainian defender. The corner is met by a home defender and cleared.

  218. 1859: 
    KICK-OFF- Ukraine 0-0 France
  219. 1858: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Ukraine - Marko Devic on for Andriy Voronin
  220. 1858: 

    The teams are back out in Donetsk. Hopefully, we're in for a better second half. Ukraine are making a change.


    Matthew Flatt on Twitter: "That line up is OK with Ox on a yellow. Bring Ox, Walcott and Defoe on at 60 mins if we aren't winning to inject some pace."

    Dan Nugent on Twitter: "Team selection just screams long ball game."

    Kamran Khan on Twitter: "Gerrard, Carroll, Welbeck and Young start. Excellent choice, looking even more forward to this!!"

  222. 1855:  
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby in Donetsk

    "France should be ahead at half-time - Ukraine can only hope to hang in. They have had their moments but are not playing as well as they did against Sweden because they're playing against a better class of opposition."


    Dan Strange on Twitter: "Re 1835. Lloris couldn't catch a cold. I recently covered a game he was playing in and he punched the ball into his own net!"


    Steve Law on Twitter: "Well after all that, the first half turned out to be a bit of a damp squib."

  225. 1848: 

    As expected, Andy Carroll starts for England. The striker comes in for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as England make only one change from the 1-1 draw with France. Ashley Young was up front against Les Bleus but is likely to move to the wing to accommodate Carroll.

  226. 1847: 
    BBC Radio 5 live commentator Darren Fletcher in Donetsk:

    "Jeremy Menez has got to be booked for that challenge and France should be down to 10 men. It was high, studs up and Menez is an extremely lucky boy."

  227. 1846:  
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby in Donetsk

    "Despite my concerns about Mexes, he has been excellent. He's won all his headers and been really strong. There's not been as much space for Ukraine in attacking areas as there was against Sweden."

  228. 1846: 

    We had to wait an hour for this game to really get going after one hell of a storm led to the referee taking the players off. Unfortunately, it wasn't really worth the wait. France have been the more positive, but they have spurned the few decent chances they have had. The Ukraine crowd come to life when their team have the ball, but the fact they have been quiet for much of the half tells you all you need to know.

  229. 1844: 
    HALF-TIME- Ukraine 0-0 France
  230. 1844: 

    Jeremy Menez with a clumsy challenge on Yevhen Selin. He has been booked already and, had he not been, you would think he would have been booked for that. Referee Bjorn Kuipers is lenient, though. A let off for the French midfielder.


    Akinpelu Kayode on Twitter: "You just have to admire Shevchenko. Despite his obvious lack of pace, he's been brilliant and led the line well so far. Class."

  232. 1842: 

    We are nearing half-time of what can't be far off the longest first-half of all time. France end it on the front foot as Karim Benzema collects a ball forward in the box on the right. His cross is low and straight to Taras Mikhalik, who hammers the ball clear.

  233. 1839: 

    Almost an opening for Ukraine as the ball breaks to Andriy Voronin 40 yards from goal. His pass through to Andriy Shevchenko is well over-hit, though, and his fellow striker doesn't have a chance of catching it. Even in his rapid prime he'd have given that up as a lost cause.

  234. 1837:  
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby in Donetsk

    "When you need a local hero up pops the Shakhtar goalkeeper."


    Opta Joe on Twitter: "Andriy Shevchenko has had three of Ukraine's four shots on target so far at Euro 2012. Figurehead."

  236. 1837: 

    Here's a chance for France. Oleh Gusev cleans up Franck Ribery wide on the left of the Ukraine half for a free-kick. Samir Nasri swings over a cross and Philippe Mexes meets it unmarked, but Andriy Pyatov does well to get a string hand on the goal-bound effort. It is a corner but France are unable to use it effectively.

  237. 1835: 
    BBC Radio 5 live commentator Darren Fletcher in Donetsk:

    "It just shows even the great players need a confidence boost. Shevchenko looked like he was feeling in the dark in the first 45 minutes against Sweden. But after those two goals he looks a different player. That was vintage Shevchenko."

  238. 1835: 

    Hugo Lloris almost makes a mess of a clearance as Andriy Yarmolenko bears down on him. He slices it out for a corner, which is poorly dealt with France and a second corner follows. This time Philippe Mexes meets it and heads away to safety.

  239. 1832: 

    Andriy Shevchenko is away and bearing down on goal. Is this his and Ukraine's moment? He cuts in from the left and shoots on goal from inside the box but Hugo Lloris is equal to it and blocks. Ukraine's best chance by far.


    BBC Sport's Alistair Magowan on Twitter: "Ribery busiest player on pitch so far but conditions mean he has lost possession 14 times already. Lost ball 21 times in match v England."

  241. 1830: 

    Franck Ribery sure can scream at the sky when he feels harshly treated. He thinks he has a corner having skipped over a Ukrainian tackle. The referee disagrees. If Ribery had tried that screaming act in the storm an hour earlier it would have made a cracking King Lear impression.

  242. 1828:  
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby in Donetsk

    "Benzema is still not playing as a lone striker. He's coming back to get the ball deep and then cutting inside to shoot.

    "Still I think Ukraine are doing as well as expected against this class of opposition. They're not playing as well as they did against Sweden but France are a different proposition."

  243. 1828: 

    Jeremy Menez has had some good opportunities for France in this opening 30 minutes. This is the best of them. Franck Ribery's cross from the right is just behind Karim Benzema but breaks for Menez, who has driven on into the box. However, with only Andriy Pyatov to beat, Menez's shot is poorly directed and the keeper makes a great save to keep the scores level.

  244. 1826: 

    Another France shot, another save from Andriy Pyatov as Karim Benzema strikes along the floor from 20 yards.


    Tommy Ross on Twitter: "The energy from the Ukrainian fans when the team booms forward is amazing. Here's for hoping they score."

  246. 1824: 

    Glorious chance for France - their best of the match so far. The ball is fed into the box from the left and finds Jeremy Menez, but Karim Benzema just gets in his way a bit and the midfielder plants his shot in the stand from about 15 yards.

  247. 1823:  
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby in Donetsk

    "I'm not convinced by Philippe Mexes - everytime I see him play I just think of Jean-Alain Boumsong."

  248. 1823: 

    Ukraine enjoying a good spell. Andriy Yarmoleko drives at the French box and creates space on the edge of the area to shoot, but his effort lacks power and is saved by Hugo Lloris at his near post.

  249. 1822: 

    As a result of the delay here, the kick-off for England's game against Sweden has been delayed by 15 minutes.

  250. 1821: 
    BBC Radio 5 live commentator Darren Fletcher in Donetsk:

    "Of course there are some advantages to a huge storm - it was stifling hot and it's much cooler now. The players will certainly be happy it's not as hot as it was before."

  251. 1821: 

    The first sight of Andriy Shevchenko on the ball is greeted with huge roars from the home crowd, but he is wide left and his ball inside is lazy and straight to a French defender.

  252. 1817: 

    It is still all France at the moment. Every time Ukraine get the ball in even a half promising position, the crowd spark into life, but they have had precious little to cheer so far.

  253. 1816: 

    The pitch is behaving itself so far. Considering just how much rain fell on it that is something of a surprise. It is also a victory for Ukrainian mopping up techniques.

  254. 1815:  
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby in Donetsk

    "France right-back Mathieu Debuchy looks a very good player. He's good defensively and always looking to come forward to create the extra man."

  255. 1814: 

    France have the ball in the net... but it is ruled out. Franck Ribery exchanges passes with Karim Benzema and then threads a pass through for Jeremy Menez, but he is just beyond the last Ukraine defender. Good call from the assistant official.

  256. 1812: 

    Cynical block from Serhiy Nazarenko on Mathieu Debuchy, but referee Bjorn Kuipers doesn't deem it a booking. Yellow has been shown for a lot less in this tournament.


    Jeff Hare on Twitter: "Ribery is the most overrated player ever seen. What has he ever done to warrant superstar status?!? Always loses possession."

    Sam Says on Twitter: "Let's see how fancy little pass keep ball works on this now, eh Monsieur Blanc?"

  258. 1810: 

    Ukraine hit back. Oleh Gusev gets in behind the French defence and digs out a cross from the right byline but it is not directed well and evades any of his team-mates before France clear.

  259. 1809: 

    France have settled best after the break. Karim Benzema is adjudged offside from one move and then Samir Nasri is muscled out as he looks to get in on goal from a subsequent one soon after.


    Bob, via text: "Will the referee have to signal a minimum of 55 minutes of added time?"

  261. 1807: 

    France look to walk the ball in as some Jeremy Menez and Samir Nasri interplay sets up Karim Benzema. He can't get his shot away, though. Soon after, Mathieu Debuchy fires from distance but it is a poorly hit shot and Andriy Pyatov claims with ease.

  262. 1806: 

    Huge roars in the Donetsk Arena (which has refilled very quickly) as Ukraine come forward. The attack is snuffed out nearly straight away, though, by France. The rain has certainly not dampened the home crowd's spirit.

  263. 1804:  
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby in Donetsk

    "It's one of those days where you just shoot on sight. Shoot from wherever you can and test the goalkeeper."

  264. 1803: 

    First chance after the restart, and it goes to France. Karim Benzema has a pop from an angle on the left but it is straight at Andriy Pyatov, who palms down and gathers.

  265. 1801: 

    We're going to start with a drop ball, which France boot straight back to the Ukrainian players. Game on.

  266. 1801: 

    Well that was a bit of fun. Back down to the serious business of Euro 2012 football...


    Christopher Bell on Twitter: "Has anyone got a massive hair dryer? No, but you've got 40,000 people with two lungs each. BLOW."

  268. 1800: 

    Wait, something's happening... the players are coming out on to the pitch. A serious point: if any of these players get injured now after no warm-up there will be some questions asked of Uefa, surely.


    Ian Huffman on Twitter: "Re 1741. Sheva, Voronin, M'Vila, Benzema, two baguettes, two Nutellas, and two fried Ukrainian pierogis."

    Jamie Hardesty on Twitter: "I'd save Ben Arfa and Cabaye on my ark...need them at Newcastle next season alive and kicking."

    Andrew Wilson on Twitter: "England - John Terry and Ashley Cole. France - Nasri and Evra. Purely so I could throw them overboard later..."

  270. 1759: 

    Well, the players are ready to go. The Ukraine players are in the tunnel have a little indoor kick about. Some of the French players are out on the pitch passing a ball between them. The sensible football fan in me wants them to wait until the pitch is totally playable. But the malicious part of me wants them to get on now for some keystone cops-style shenanigans.

  271. 1756: 

    Has anyone got a massive hair dryer?


    Joe Green on Twitter: "Re 1712. Instead of Noah's Ark will it be Platini's Ark?"

  273. 1754:  
    BBC Radio 5 live summariser Jan Molby in Donetsk

    "This is not ideal but as a player you are ready to play tonight. This game will go ahead - there's no doubt in my mind."

  274. 1754: 

    Referee Bjorn Kuipers is out rolling the ball around various parts of the pitch. To be fair, they've done a cracking job of getting a lot of the surface water off the pitch. One thing is for certain, Uefa will be keen to get this game on as soon as possible. The ref doesn't look happy by the results of his ball roll test, though.


    Matt Hardy on Twitter: "Group D survivors: ENG - Hart, Rooney, FRA - Evra, Ribery, UKR - Tymoshchuk, Shevchenko, SWE - Larsson, Ibrahimovic."

    Thomas Edwards on Twitter: "It has to be Shevchenko surely. As for the other Ukrainian who cares. Maybe Konoplyanka just for his name."

    Andrew Harvey on Twitter: "Definitely Shevchenko and Tymoshchuk from Ukraine. France is trickier, but I think Ribery and Mexes just shade it."

  276. 1748: 

    Forget pitch forking ground staff, the lads in Donetsk have brought out the big guns: a machine with a load of pitch forks on the back that stabs away at speed. Take that nature.


    Craig on Twitter: "How does Duckworth Lewis work for football?"

    Are we down to who had the most touches of the ball in that first five minutes?

  278. 1744: 
    BBC Radio 5 live commentator Darren Fletcher in Donetsk:

    "Uefa will be desperate to get this game back on tonight. It will be a logistical nightmare for supporters, the teams, everybody, if they have got to put the game back 24 hours. If they can possibly play this game tonight they will do."

  279. 1744: 

    Andy Townsend is having his say on England v Sweden over on ITV. It looks pretty sunny in Kiev. Townsend isn't taking his chances, though, he's got a body warmer on.

  280. 1741: 

    As predicted there is some serious pitch fork action taking place on the pitch. One fella is using a pitch fork in each hand and stabbing away like Hannibal Lector. Why? Because one pitch fork is for losers.


    David Garlick on Twitter: "Re 1712: If you had an ark which two players from each team would you save?"

    I like this David. I like it a lot. Twitter folk, do your stuff...

  282. 1738: 

    We've got a small team of officials having what looks like a serious chat down on the touchline. One of them is referee Bjorn Kuipers. A France player makes his way across the pitch. He may as well swim. I feel like Alan Partridge commentating on the races from Marple. Aggggh.... raining.

    BBC Radio 5 live presenter Mark Pougatch

    "If necessary can they play the remainder of Ukraine v France the same time tomorrow as the simultaneous Group A games are evening kick offs?"

  284. 1735:  
    MOTD presenter Gary Lineker

    "Inspection at 6. Consensus, unless dramatic turnaround in conditions, is that sensible decision would be to cancel game and play at 5 tomorrow."


    Kevin Borras, Croydon , via text: "Re 1720. There's never any need for Cliff Richard."

    I wholeheartedly concur.

  286. 1733: 
    BBC Radio 5 live commentator Darren Fletcher in Donetsk

    "The rain is as light as it has been for quite some time. It's still raining heavily but nowhere near as severe as it was."

  287. 1730:  
    BBC football commentator John Motson on 5 live

    "This reminds me of a similar situation in my first World Cup in 1974. It was a second phase game between Germany and either Poland or Sweden and I remember the pitch was waterlogged. They brought on little apparatus to drain the pitch and that enabled the game to go ahead. I remember the shock inside the stadium because something like that to go wrong in Germany was almost unheard of!"

  288. 1729: 

    It looks like it has stopped raining in Donetsk. But as anyone who has played cricket at any level knows, it is just a waiting game now. Before a lot of pitch fork action. The players can have a game of changing room football.

  289. 1726:  
    MOTD commentator Jonathan Pearce:

    "It will be 40 minutes before play can resume, at the earliest."

  290. 1726: 
    BBC Radio 5 live commentator Darren Fletcher in Donetsk

    "We've heard nothing from Uefa, but the pitch is underwater. Even if this rain does stop, and there's no sign that will happen any time soon, it's going to take a long time for the pitch to drain.

    "There is a genuine concern at this stage that this match will not go ahead."

  291. 1725: 

    Just in case you're a lover of rules, here are the Uefa regulations regarding such match abandonment scenarios:

    "If the match is abandoned before the end of normal time or during any extra time because the field is not fit for play or for other reasons, it must be replayed in full either the next day or on another date as agreed by the host association and the visiting association, subject to the approval of the UEFA administration. An agreement must be reached within two hours of the referee's decision to cancel the match. In case of dispute, the UEFA administration fixes the date and kick-off time of the match. Its decision is final."

  292. 1720: 

    From shots we are getting of the pitch in the Donbass Arena, the rain is really taking its toll. We've got some serious surface water on there now and even if it stopped raining now work would need to be done before the game would restart. There are still regular bolts of lightning lighting up the Donetsk sky as well.


    Darran Beard on Twitter: "Where's Cliff Richard when you need him?"

    MOTD commentator Jonathan Pearce:

    "The referee has been told the storm is set to last another five minutes."

  295. 1715: 

    If this game is called off (which is becoming increasingly likely) then there are contingency plans to play the game tomorrow. In the meantime, some fans are still enjoying the rain. In the tunnel, Andriy Shevchenko is wrapped up all nice and warm in a big blanket. Bless.

  296. 1712: 

    I was only joking about the apocalypse earlier. I'm worried I may have been right. Someone out there may need to build an ark.


    Jamie Hardesty on Twitter: "UK-RAIN-E... Coincidence?! Elaborate tactics from the host nation disrupting France's gameplan..."

  298. 1711:  
    BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle

    "They've gone off for the safety of the players. There's that much rain going on the pitch the referee couldn't take the risk of continuing.

    "In this situation the players will probably be changing their kit back in the dressing room and the coaches will be making a few pointers."

  299. 1710: 

    Ukraine v France suspended due to adverse weather conditions. Match to resume at 1800 BST.

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