A second stalemate between the two group favourites

1990 World Cup Qualification
UEFA Group 2
Video: Full game
Wed. 6 Sep 1989
Kick-off: 7.00pm
Råsunda, Stockholm
Att.: 38,588
Ref.: Mr Hubert Forstinger (AUT)
L 1: Friedrich Kaupe (AUT)
L 2: Kuno Felder (AUT)



This is what the Group 2 table was looking like prior to Sweden v England. It is clear for all to see who is the current favourite to win the group, although England’s two remaining games are tricky away ties in Sweden and Poland respectively. As for the Swedes, they have yet to face Albania at home, a match in which it is more or less expected from them that they nick two necessary points. England’s impressive goal difference is a contributing factor in making them favourites, and a draw in Stockholm appears to be an excellent result for them. A draw is also the only hope for Poland to win the group, but it is by now far-fetched for them to carry such hopes, as in order to do so they will need to conquer a 13 goal deficit towards the English. In practice, the battle to finish top is between the two contestants in Stockholm. Even finishing second appears difficult for the Polish, who can nevertheless not surpass eight points, a tally possibly not enough to qualify for next year’s World Cup, and at least they will need a vast improvement on their goal difference. An English win in Stockholm will indeed qualify them for Italy.

Group 2 is one of three groups in the UEFA zone of the qualification containing only four teams. Group winners obviously go automatically through to the World Cup, but only two of the three runners-up will join them, so both England and Sweden thus have an eye on developments in the two other groups with four teams. This is the current situation in group 1:


the group’s two top teams will meet each other in both of the remaining matches, so the runners-up can at most reach eight points. This appears to be the group in which the eventual second best team could lose out on qualification. The standing in group 4 was this:

2West Germany4130515

Holland and West Germany have already met twice. They are both looking to get to nine points, and possibly beyond that for Holland, which will secure the two countries who had come head to head in last year’s European Championships semi-final qualification for Italia ’90.

Both Sweden and Poland had in their most recent qualification matches beaten Poland at home. England’s impressive win by a three goal margin kept them well ahead as far as goal difference was concerned, and with a two points advantage on today’s hosts, albeit with one match more played, England looked likely to gleefully accept a draw. A surprise Sweden win would give the Scandinavians the edge in the battle to win the top spot in the group.

Sweden team news

Olle Nordin (second right)

After their 2-1 win against Poland in early May, Sweden had gone through an indifferent summer. They had beaten Algeria by 2-0 at home on the final day of May, but would succumb to a shock 6-0 defeat against their neighbours and arch rivals Denmark in the middle of June. Sweden rarely conceded a lot of goals, and this was their heaviest defeat against the Danes, one of Europe’s in-form teams at the time, since a 10-0 (!) defeat in 1913! Whatmore: Nordin had played a near full-strength team, with really only goalkeeper T Ravelli and central defender Larsson absent. They would restore some pride by beating a more or less ‘B’ selection Brazil team 2-1 two days later, with both matches being part of a centenary tournament for the Danish FA. Only three weeks before taking on the English, France had visited Malmö and returned back home 4-2 winners. So the Swedish manager could be forgiven for having had a few sleepless nights ahead of this key fixture.

Sweden had both captain Hysén and his central defensive partner Larsson back since the Poland game. This meant Ljung would take up again duties at left-back, whilst Malmö’s wide man Engqvist had been drafted in as a right wing replacement for Limpar. Champions elect Malmö also had the left-sided midfield man in Joakim Nilsson. IFK Gothenburg, recently such a dominant force in Swedish domestic football, had three players in the starting eleven. However, this year they were in line for a mid-table finish, so perhaps Mr Nordin had faced some criticism for including three of their players in his starting line-up. T Ravelli was the undoubted number one between the posts, and R Nilsson, who rarely let anyone down, was Nordin’s prefered right-back choice. This time around the young Ingesson had come into a central midfield position at the expence of a former ‘Blue White’ (the nickname of IFK Gothenburg) in Strömberg, taking the position next to former Malmö starlet Thern, recently an acquisition of Benfica in Portugal. Up front, the forward duo which had played against Poland, Magnusson and Ekström, would get the nod again.

England team news

As per norm, Bobby Robson was absent on the bench from kick-off, leaving assistant Don Howe (specs) in charge

Meanwhile, England had only played one friendly since their 3-0 demolition of the Polish in June: They too had accepted a challenge from Denmark, and having beaten the Danes 1-0 in London just before the start of the qualification, they had this time around held the red and white Nordic team to a 1-1 draw in Copenhagen. The Danish goal had been only the second conceded by England since the start of the year (seven matches), so Mr Robson will have felt confident in his defence. They had fielded a near full-strength side in Copenhagen, had England, even if there had been a few players who had been relatively low in caps numbers: Paul Parker at right back playing only his third international. Liverpool midfielder Steve McMahon featured in only his fifth. And substitute goalkeeper David Seaman won his second cap, a tally equalled by another substitute: forward Steve Bull. Still the national team manager had been without starlet Gascoigne in midfield. He did seem to prefer a bit more experience in his central midfield.

For England, captain Robson was out with a light injury, and the Manchester United skipper would be replaced by Liverpool hard-man McMahon. With Webb, now also with the leading Manchester club after making a name for himself at Nottingham Forest, next to him, it would be interesting to see who of the two would make the deep runs from the English midfield. One could perhaps be forgiven for thinking that their central midfield would look too static with Webb and McMahon in combination. Other than Robson’s absence, they looked exactly like the team that had started at home to the Polish. Young Gascoigne was again named among the five substitutes, whilst there was no room for Wolverhampton striker Bull, a goalscoring sensation in the English lower leagues for several seasons. Defensive rock Butcher took over the captaincy from ‘Robbo’.


Referee was Austrian Hubert Forstinger, who had only recently turned 43. He was in his third season as an international referee, and this was his fourth match since his debut during the 1988 European Championships qualification, where he had been in charge of Portugal’s 1-0 win in Malta. He had also been the man in black during Romania’s 3-0 win against Greece in Group 1 in November ’88.

Previous meetings

In 11 previous encounters, Sweden had won three, whilst the English had left the pitch victorious on five occasions. There had not been an English win in over 21 years, but they had only met thrice during this time: two 0-0 draws and Sweden’s 1-0 win here in Stockholm in ’86, when Ekström’s early second half goal had won the hosts the match.


There was usually an element of crowd trouble when England were in action abroad, and Stockholm was no exception. Unfortunately, a number of English hooligans had gone to Sweden without a ticket, something eventually leading to approximately 70 arrests in the city centre. With Råsunda stadium to the north east of the city centre, the hosts had chosen to allow around 100 English fans entry to the ground at a cut price equivalent of £5 30 minutes prior to kick-off. This had been done to try and ease some tension.

Sweden (4-4-2)

1 Thomas Ravelli30IFK Göteborg
2 Roland Nilsson25IFK Göteborg
3 Glenn Hysén (c)29Liverpool
4 Peter Larsson28Ajax
5 Roger Ljung23Young Boys
6 Leif Engqvist27Malmö FF
7 Jonas Thern22Benfica
8 Klas Ingessonsub 72′21IFK Göteborg
9 Joakim Nilssonsub 79′23Malmö FF
10 Johnny Ekström24Cannes
11 Mats Magnusson26Benfica

12 Sven Andersson25Örgryte
13 Niclas Nylén Larsson23Malmö FF
14 Anders Limparon 79′23Cremonese
15 Glenn Strömbergon 72′29Atalanta
16 Stefan Lindqvist22Halmstad
Manager: Olle Nordin

England (4-4-2)

1 Peter Shilton39Derby
2 Gary Stevens26Rangers
3 Stuart Pearce27Nottingham
4 Neil Webbsub 73′26Manchester United
5 Des Walker23Nottingham
6 Terry Butcher (c)30Rangers
7 Peter Beardsley28Liverpool
8 Steve McMahon28Liverpool
9 Chris Waddle28Marseille
10 Gary Lineker28Tottenham
11 John Barnessub 77′25Liverpool

12 Paul Parker25QPR
13 David Seaman25QPR
14 Paul Gascoigneon 73′22Tottenham
15 David Rocastleon 77′22Arsenal
16 Alan Smith26Arsenal
Manager: Bobby Robson

Tactical line-ups

Both teams came in 4-4-2, albeit with the hosts in a more traditional one than the English, who again had Beardsley as a deep forward behind Lineker. In order to nullify the threat from the English number 7, Sweden chose to leave central defender Larsson higher up the pitch than his partner Hysén rather than having one of their central midfielders dropping back. It was a slightly bemusing ploy, but one which worked to near perfection. Neither of the two Swedish full-backs were very adventurous, and their wide midfielders had been told to double up with their own full-backs when England were in possession, in order to make it more difficult for wingers Waddle and Barnes to get crosses into the box. In the home side’s central midfield, Ingesson begun the game a very willing runner from deep positions, but this feature would be seen less and less as the game wore on. Nordin had also chosen to leave Ekström as his most right-sided of the two strikers, well aware of the fact that the left-footed Butcher, clearly the slower of the two English centre-backs, defends this territory, with the quicker but slightly less aerial strong Walker often coming up against Magnusson. Theoretically, it seemed a wise decision to opt for such a strategy, but it didn’t quite work out in practice, as Ekström could never get in behind the English defence.

Both sides made use of both substitutes: England lost Webb to what seemed like a bad ankle injury, and on in his place came Gascoigne, who was under greater freedom of expression than the man he replaced had been. In order to balance this, Mr Robson also took off the attacking Barnes and replaced him with a player more noted for his endeavour in Rocastle, simultaneously switching Waddle over to Barnes’ left hand side from the right, with Rocastle slotting into Waddle’s right wing position. The home side had brought on Limpar to replace J Nilsson down the left hand side, whereas another straight swap saw the Jesus like figure of Strömberg come on for youngster Ingesson in central midfield.

Match Report

First half:

It is the home side kicking off through their two centre forwards. Råsunda is packed; the atmosphere inside the ground appears good. Both sides are well aware of what’s at stake, and Sweden seem to have bolstered their central midfield through the inclusion of the tall, athletic Ingesson, an IFK Gothenburg part-timer, working as a woodman. In fact, there seems to be more physique throughout the Swedish side than what can be seen in the visiting eleven, where really only Butcher at centre half is a towering figure. There’s a lot of tigerishness in McMahon in midfield, though, and he can even play a pass: only a minute and a half in, Stevens easily dispossesses Ingesson on the halfway line, with the ball breaking to the Liverpool hard man. McMahon immediately spots a clever run by Lineker, who is free through the middle with both Hysén and Larsson standing too high up in the pitch. However, Sweden get full use of right back R Nilsson’s pace, as he comes inside from his flank and thwarts the England striker well before Lineker can get into the area. The Swedish get off the hook, but Mr Nordin will be worried that his defence continues to show frailty. Larsson, who was renowned for being the perfect partner to Hysén when the couple played together at Gothenburg, still seems short of confidence, and he had indeed been taken off at half time for his club side Ajax in the Dutch league at the weekend. Here the tall blonde is given a slightly more advanced role than what he normally has, and the manager’s words will have been that he should try and keep an eye on Beardsley as the deep English striker. It makes Hysén almost appear as a sweeper, and Larsson is even given the opportunity to stride forward ball at feet, which he does on a few occasions throughout the game. However, this leaves the home defence vulnerable, as he gets caught in possession. Sweden’s number 4 is clearly not at the top of his game.

After the early English threat, the game more and more falls into a pattern of stalemate. The two 4-4-2 formations cancel each other out, and in particular the home side seem unwilling to take any risks. They sit rather deep with their two wide midfield men, Engqvist on the right and J Nilsson on the left, preventing the two English wingers space to take on their respective full-backs one on one. Sweden often let Ingesson make runs into the heart of the English defence from his midfield position, as he tries his best to support the front two. Among the home strikers, Magnusson clearly tries to keep himself away from Butcher’s territory to the left of centre in the English defence, well aware that the Rangers tough man is the better of the two defenders in the air. Magnusson’s strength also lies predominantly in the air, so there are a couple of occasions where the English central defenders swap places so that Butcher can challenge him when Hysén or Ljung knock it long from the back towards the blonde Benfica striker. Ekström is also eager to make an impression himself, keen to try and use his speed against the sluggish Butcher. This keeps the pacey Walker alert, and like his central defensive partner, he also has to do a bit of covering in opposite territory to where he normally patrols. Yet Sweden are able to create any openings.

In midfield, there is no Englishman interested in making runs from the deep, as both Webb and McMahon more thrive with the ball at their feet. McMahon has quite a few touches early on, and he quickly settles into his stride, appearing very confident in his passing play. It had indeed been his pass that Lineker could have made something from in the second minute, and the recent Tottenham acquisition has another opportunity to have a go as he advances in a central position with the ball at his feet inside the opening ten minutes. However, never famous for his shooting from distance, the England number 10 instead choses a pass out to Waddle on the right, even when the Swedish defenders had stood off him. Lineker’s a great goalscorer, and a goal tonight would have taken him to 30 in England colours, but he just didn’t possess a good shot. And despite the rather indifferent start made by the hosts, the crowd release the “Mexican wave” and shout their ‘olés’.

As the match continues along its rather sedate early pattern, neither team is able to create much in ways of opportunities. The Swedish right handed midfielder, Engqvist, is of a more defensive nature than his compatriot J Nilsson down the other flank, and his inclusion is undoubtedly a tactical move to keep the English left hand side quiet. Barnes is unable to make much of a contribution, and Engqvist’s presence also keeps Pearce away from making inroads. Despite the visitors seeing more possession than the Swedish, they can’t make much of an impact on the home defensive line, which is slowly building in confidence. However, McMahon is not too far off target with a left-footed half volley from just outside the area, but it rolls off his shin and clears Ravelli’s crossbar by half a yard. At the other end, Thern makes a run through the middle with the ball at his feet and feeds J Nilsson, who cuts inside from his wide left position and fires a right-footed shot well wide. And less than a minute later it is left-back Ljung who is allowed time and space to advance with the ball at his feet inside the English half and release a shot, which again goes well wide of Shilton’s goal.

Butcher heads into Ekström and will require stitches

Approaching the halfway point in the first half, are the Swedish showing signs of coming more into the game? It appears to be a false dawn, and soon there will be a break in play when Butcher heads into the back of Ekström’s head, forcing Shilton to kick the ball out of play so the defender can receive some treatment. There’s blood streaming from his head, and he needs to be stitched up before play can resume. For the remainder of the match, Butcher will be seen wearing a head bandage. However, he will play on like nothing happened. Ekström also doesn’t seem troubled by the knock to the head.

There’s some excitement at both ends in the final 12-13 minutes of the first half. First J Nilsson, the tricky left-sided midfielder for the hosts, is felled by McMahon just outside the English penalty area to the left, and Thern, always at the heart of Swedish set-pieces, swings a shot with his right foot comfortably over Shilton’s crossbar. Then Butcher, now with blood apparent on his white shirt, beats Hysén in an aerial challenge following Waddle’s free-kick from the right hand side, but the big centre back sees his header well over, before Hysén sees a header having a similar fate down the other end from J Nilsson’s left wing corner. Barnes then picks out Lineker’s head nine yards from goal, and free from any marking, the Spurs striker appears to head it back into the direction where goalkeeper Ravelli had come from, but somehow the agile ‘keeper manages to switch weight back onto his right leg so that he can make a terrific one-handed save low down to keep Lineker’s effort out. It is a truly magnificent save, as the header had had ‘goal’ written all over it. Moments later in a frantic finale in the opening half, Engqvist sees his shot from the corner of the six yard area parried by Shilton and then hacked away to safety by Walker, after J Nilsson again had made it past a couple of tackles by English players. The excellent Austrian referee will add more than two and a half minutes to the first half after Butcher’s earlier treatment, and it has been a lively finish to the first period.

Second half:

As QPR defender Parker had been the only player of the five English substitutes not to have been warming up at half time, there had been speculations as to whether or not Butcher would reappear after the break after the nasty head collision he had had with Ekström, resulting in a lot of blood appearing from underneath his patched-up head. However, belatedly, the big, strong Rangers centre half appeared as all the other players had already taken to their respective positions. The man now dubbed ‘captain Courageous’ would not be defeated easily. So there were no changes in either camp before the start of the second half.

There also seems to be no tactical changes from either team, and the two English forwards restart the game. With less than a minute on the clock, Lineker is played in by Beardsley and has a great opportunity to put the visitors ahead. However, the ball from the Liverpool striker is a bit short, and Lineker can only toe-poke his effort towards goal, and it is parried by Ravelli, who then proceeds to block with his body the Spurs striker’s follow-up. It was the third opportunity for England’s leading scorer, and he did not seem quite as sharp as he had done against the Polish three months earlier. His movements off the ball were not as distinguishable, and his runs into the channels fewer. Yet he had the knack of creating goalscoring opportunities. Unable to break the duck, it meant he was still a goal short of emulating Nat Lofthouse and Tom Finney for 30 goals in the England jersey.

Sweden had been opportunistic on a couple of occasions during the first half, but were back to being a bit sluggish at the start of the second half. They were unable to gain control in midfield, where McMahon continued to have a good game, getting the better of the Swedish duo. Thern was his usual solid self, but perhaps the surprise inclusion of the young Ingesson was beginning to lose its effect? He seemed less disciplined, and this left a lot of ground to cover for the recent Benfica recruit by his side. Another example of McMahon’s tenacity wins England a free-kick almost 30 yards from goal to the right of Ravelli’s frame, and when the midfielder’s short kick into the path of Pearce sees the left-back strike low at goal, Ravelli again has to parry the ball, and Larsson gets to the rebound just ahead of Lineker, before R Nilsson can finally boot the ball into touch. There is no urgency about the play from either team, but England are beginning to get the upper hand, and Waddle has also started the second half well. He gets into a couple of crossing positions from his right hand side, as J Nilsson’s lack of defensive discipline leaves left-back Ljung somewhat exposed. At the other end, what Ekström and Magnusson get to work with, is usually long balls up from the back. These are more often than not comfortably dealt with by either Walker or Butcher, the latter who had come out in a clean shirt for the start of the second half, but whose stitches apparently have opened up, so he’s in need of a sponge to keep the blood away from his eyes. The big number 6 is beginning to look like a true warrior by now.

18 minutes into the second half comes a rarity: Sweden are given a free-kick inside the English penalty area, a few yards from the byline to the right of Shilton’s goal. It was Butcher who had gone in high with his foot towards Ekström’s head, and the referee saw it as dangerous play and gave an indirect free-kick. Thern was over it, played it out towards his Benfica colleague Magnusson to the rear centre of the area, but he could not get a clean strike away, so there was never any great threat to the English goal, and moments later it was Lineker’s turn yet again: he got the opportunity to shoot from 20 yards but failed to get any power behind it, and Ravelli could gather it easily.

In the Swedish midfield, Thern is having a fine match, and he combines well with J Nilsson down the home side’s left, eventually enabling the left-sided midfielder to get a shot away from the edge of the area. It takes a block from Walker to prevent Shilton from having to make a save. It is around the midway point of the second half, and like around this time in the opening half, Sweden suddenly look the stronger. But it won’t last, as the game will again go a bit scrappy, with stray passes being scattered from both sets of players.

Neil Webb goes to ground with no one anywhere near him

And there’s a flurry of subsequent substitutions too: three for tactical reasons, and then there’s the incident involving Webb, the English central midfielder who had been a mainstay in Mr Robson’s side throughout the qualification. As he picks up a rebound off Hysén following a blocked Barnes shot from outside the area, he has a pop at goal, and again the home defenders block the shot, this time through Larsson. As Webb is about to have a second go, he goes to the ground clutching his ankle, and needs to be carried off the pitch, clearly in some distress. Gascoigne comes on in his place, shortly after prompting a second midfield substitution in order to bring balance back into this area of the pitch. It is Rocastle replacing Barnes, who has not had much luck against Engqvist and R Nilsson. The young Arsenal wide man takes Waddle’s place on the right hand side, with the now Marseille player switching over to the left. Mr Nordin, the Swedish manager, has taken off the tiring Ingesson and brought on the more experienced Strömberg in his place, whilst Serie A player Limpar has come on for the exciting J Nilsson wide left.

Towards the end of the game, there’s again chances at both ends, something which could have been triggered by the four substitutions and subsequent looser strategies. Lineker is unable to connect with a header from Waddle’s left wing cross, and at the other end Walker has to make a brilliant tackle inside his own penalty area to deny Magnusson from having a free shot. The big striker looks desperately to the referee for a penalty, but the tackle was as clean as they come. Then, only seconds later, Walker almost turns from hero to villain, as he tries to play the ball back to Shilton, oblivious to the fact that Magnusson has remained inside the box. The big striker picks up the back pass, but sees his shot blocked by Shilton, who is even able to claim the ball, to the relief of the quick Nottingham stopper. And at the other end again, there’s an opportunity for Waddle, who receives the ball from Lineker, cuts inside and away from R Nilsson, but hits his shot into the side netting when he really ought to have done better. And as the topsy-turvy finish reaches its climax just before full time, Butcher has a lucky bounce after Limpar’s cross from the left hits him and goes straight into the arms of Shilton rather than outmanoeuvring his goalkeeper. The referee shortly after blows his whistle for the last time, and it is a 0-0 finish.

A second successive blank between these two. It is a game of two very similar halves, where there’s a lot of scrappy play from both teams, although England are probably edging the home side possession wise. Lineker has a big opportunity early in both halves, Sweden have some strong moments midway through both the first and the second halves, and both periods see a few opportunities towards the end. England will probably have left the pitch thinking they’d done enough to win, but Sweden battled hard, and could rightly lay claim to an important point. Both countries are still very much on course for World Cup qualification.


1 Ravelli 7.3
a fantastic save to keep Lineker’s late first half header out, and also made another couple of parries to thwart the English. Solid throughout
2 R Nilsson 7.2
a very fine full-back performance, kept Barnes in check throughout, and also stood his ground against Waddle after the English substitutions. Used his pace to prevent Lineker from finishing very early on
3 Hysén 7.1
far from as commanding as his miracle performance at Wembley, but still kept Lineker under control. Always a big presence in the air, in both boxes, and had a couple of fine tussles with Butcher
4 Larsson 6.7
a bit uncomfortable in his slightly more advanced role early on, and got caught in possession a few times. Recovered, and did better in the second half as a more conventional centre-back
5 Ljung 6.8
did struggle with the energetic Waddle a few times, but usually steady, and also willing to cross the halfway line. Had a long distance shot well wide during the first half
6 Engqvist 6.8
worked his socks off, and helped R Nilsson protect the Swedish right hand side. Not equipped with technique of the highest order, but was yet the home player with the most attempts at goal. His best opportunity came after J Nilsson’s work late in the first half, when Engqvist saw his shot from seven yards parried by Shilton
7 Thern 7.2
battled well against the English central midfielders, and showed both skill and composure. Also showed his ability to bring the ball forward through midfield, but his set-piece taking in the final third of the pitch was lacking in quality
8 Ingesson 6.8
made some interesting runs from the deep early on, got use of his physique, but was less of an influence as the game wore on
(15 Strömberg –
came on and brought composure and commitment to the Swedish cause)
9 J Nilsson 7.1
the more inventive of the Swedish players in going forward. Defensive contribution probably lacked a bit in quality, but was always committed. Combined well with Thern on a couple of occasions, and brought along a free-kick in a good position just outside the penalty area during the opening half. Grew tired towards the end, taken off
(14 Limpar –
showed his neat tricks on a couple of occasions, and did seem to take Stevens by surprise. By the time of his arrival, most of his more forward colleagues were weary)
10 Ekström 6.6
difficult job against two very solid English central defenders, and rarely got to utilize his pace. No proper effort at goal
11 Magnusson 6.7
was often found out in the air by both Butcher and Walker. Felt he should have had a penalty late on when Walker tackled him as he threatened to shoot from inside the area, and then thwarted by Shilton’s save as the Nottingham centre-back sloppily played him in a few seconds later

1 Shilton 6.9
parried well Engqvist’s shot towards the end of the first half and then Magnusson’s effort towards the end of the game, whilst in between having to work on keeping his concentration levels. Thoroughly professional, as you’d have expected
2 Stevens 6.9
tricky opponents in both J Nilsson and substitute Limpar, but did well, and never surrendered his defensive territory. Not much in way of forward contribution, but a steady performance nevertheless
3 Pearce 7.1
never gave Engqvist much space in which to manoeuvre down his side, aggressive and solid. Well struck free-kick in the second half which was saved by Ravelli
4 Webb 6.9
a steady performance, and more likely to come forward than his central midfield partner. Good vision as always, though execution not always as precise as he would have wanted. Bad looking injury to cut his performance short
(14 Gascoigne –
came on and kept his nerve in difficult surroundings, but unable to stamp any authority on proceedings)
5 Walker 7.4
surprisingly strong in the air against Magnusson, and as always important with his pace. Had one moment late on when he lost his head as he presented Magnusson with a massive opportunity, but most definitely a good match
6 Butcher 7.4
completed the game with a blood-stained shirt after his nasty first half head wound. Commitment and passion in abundance, and quality was there too. Commanding in the air, hardly put a foot wrong, also redeemed himself after a slight lack of concentration towards the end as he had threatened to give the ball away to Ekström
7 Beardsley 6.5
not his game. Unable to make much of an impact, and was constantly in a bit of a no-man’s land
8 McMahon 7.2
gave such a performance that England hardly missed suspended captain Robson. Close to scoring with a dipping left-foot volley on 20 minutes, tackled and passed, and kept the English midfield tick
9 Waddle 7.0
busy, yet not very fruitful. Always a threat to a full-back, but his crossing lacked precision. Should have scored late on
10 Lineker 6.7
far from as impressive as he had been against the Polish, and seemed a bit sluggish. When he’s on song, he loves making runs down the channels; this game saw little of that. Still could have had at least two goals, and might still be wondering how Ravelli saved his header late in the first half
11 Barnes 6.4
difficult afternoon, rarely got past R Nilsson. Tried to link up with Beardsley and Lineker, but seemed off the pace, and was deservedly substituted
(15 Rocastle –
was brought on to regain balance in midfield, and did so in cutting a steady figure on the right hand side)


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