Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Sweden July 2011 #2

A weekend visit to Sweden for two Premier League games including the abandoned game at Malmo.

Malmo 1 Djurgarden 0.

This match was suspended after about 12 minutes due to crowd disturbances amongst the away fans.

Which was a shame because the atmosphere had been vibrant and noisy but ultimately spoilt by the Djurgarden ultras continuing to let off their fireworks.

In some countries it might not have been an issue but in Sweden it quickly caused the referee to take the players away and after about a thirty minute delay the game was abandoned.

As it was not the first time a recent Swedish game has been affected by crowd trouble the local FA are likely to consider more serious sanctions.

The new Swedbank Arena has the trappings of a modern stadium (the old ground remains nearby) with in-built bar & restaurant.
I sampled the beer whilst watching a Arsenal v Chelsea re-run.

In the action we did see Dardan Rexhepi smashed in a shot from close range, giving the giant Pa Touray no chance.

Then the off field action began.

Helsingborg 2 IFK 1.

More away ultras arrived for this one but they were very controlled by the accompanying Gothenburg police and presumably well searched before being allowed into the stadium.

The ancient Olympia, used in the 1958 World Cup, was well filled with the locals (still plenty with Henrik Larsson shirts) used to seeing a good performance from the home team with only one league defeat all season.

The IFK fans, packed into a section of the away terrace, maintained their support but their team were generally second best although they, arguably, had the best chance in the first half.

Helsingborg passed the ball well with midfielders Gashi and Mahlangu especially effective.

The impressive Rasmus Jonsson, a shorter version of Peter Crouch, set up the first for Andersson and Mahlangu scored a terrific solo second.

IFK’s top scorer Tobias Hysen did get a very late consolation but they were well beaten by then.

I strolled back to the station were there was still plenty of police presence and took the, incident-free, train on to Gothenburg.

more pictures at http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/843334203

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