Gerrard pleased after 'eventful' night
Saturday, 16 June, 2012
Captain's joy at win over Sweden despite errors that almost cost the Three Lions
Steven Gerrard says he was pleased with England's win over Sweden on Friday night after they made it a harder job than it might have been after taking a comfortable lead into half time.
The skipper provided the cross for Andy Carroll to put the Three Lions in front on 23 minutes, and when they went in for the break it looked like there was only going to be one outcome with the Swedes failing to make an impact. But that all changed early in the second period when Olof Mellberg scored twice at set-pieces to put Erik Hamren's side in the driving seat.
But England rallied and strikes from substitute Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck restored the lead and helped them claim three valuable points, sending Sweden out of Euro 2012 in the process.
"It was very eventful, but it was important that we got over the line and got the three points tonight," said Gerrard. "There were mistakes in the game, I thought we were very sloppy at set-pieces. When you take the lead in international football it's important that you stay solid and don't make mistakes. We made it really difficult tonight, but I'm pleased with the win."
He continued: "I think we've proved that we can be ambitious and we can be bold at the right times, but we paid for a lack of concentration at set-pieces. People who know the game will tell you that you go out of competitions and lose big games if you concede goals at set-pieces.
"That was the only disappointment of tonight, I think general play we were better than Sweden, we played the better football and created a lot more than them."
The Liverpool midfielder also praised his Anfield club-mate for the header that put England on top in the first half, following his pin-point delivery from wide on the the right.
"If you give him the right service he'll get you goals, he's proved that in his career," beamed Gerrard. "You don't always get them right, but I got tonight's cross right. There was still a lot of work to do, it was a fantastic header."
Now Roy Hodgson's men face co-hosts Ukraine in their final Group D game back in Donetsk on Tuesday and will be bouyed by the return of Wayne Rooney, who sat out the opening two fixtures due to suspension.
"He's itching, he's ready to go," added the captain. "That's another big boost from tonight that we've taken four points from two games. We've got Wayne to come back in, he's fresh and hopefully now he can provide that little bit extra that we need."