Fagerlund: Another ear file for Malmö – but no hard one

Sure, new loss, no goal yet.

But this ear file is a light caress for Malmö compared to previous efforts.

Thousands of supporters drown out the banal lyrics known as the Champions League anthem with songs about Malmö. It is hardly possible to describe Swedish football in a clearer way.

MFF, which received Italian, Russian and English hits during the autumn, is last in the group but at the top of the Allsvenskan. In terms of quality, they are far from Zenit, even further from Juventus and Chelsea. The negative results have led to a kind of sudden crisis in some parts of the country, initiated by those who obviously do not follow the top leagues very closely.

Yep, we’re slipping behind. It has been established for a long time.

That is why it was hopeful to witness the first half at Eleda Stadium. Do Not Float Away, Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Mason Mount and – pust – Mateo Kovacic was all on Chelsea’s long injury list. The only really regular in the guests’ starting eleven was goalkeeper, back line and Jorginho (possibly Callum Hudson-Odoi who has played a lot lately).

Takes the Mountain before Alonso

At the same time, the home team was forced to do without the key player Anders Christiansen. Despite this, they managed to build a much more stable wall compared to the painful landslide at Stamford Bridge. The center-backs, now including Anel Ahmedhodzic, were close to Kai Havertz and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. 19-year-old Sebastian Nanasi (who started eight games before that) hit on what could have been a real chance, created by Sergio Peña. Jo Inge Berget is almost preferable to Marcos Alonso.

What more could you ask for in front of a crowded, vibrant hometown?

It took 55 minutes before Chelsea broke down the light blue wall by making a defensive mistake. Hudson-Odoi as an arrow along the right edge, the ball into the penalty area and Hakim Ziyech at the far post with a finish (the players changed the edge after half time, a move á la Tuchel). A quick, effective attack and a supposedly relieved goal scorer. The Moroccan has had a hard time impressing the times he has been given the opportunity and is in need of some success.

“Ruthless!” tweeted Mason Mount at home from the couch. Of course, once Chelsea punishes one, they are punished severely. The away team dominated statistically with around 73 percent of the ball possession, 21 created chances and 23 shots.

Welcome to Sweden

Malmö can still get off the field with straight backs this evening, receive applause from a hoarse heel who wants to win a Swedish Championship gold. 0-4 in London burned, 0-4 in St Petersburg probably felt more and 0-3 against Juventus was a wake-up call.

0-1 against Chelsea (with refreshing equalizer towards the end)? It’s something to spin on. Not in the Champions League 2021 because it is pitch black there, but maybe it can give some small injection in the Allsvenskan riot. What will lead to new opportunities and new money next year.

An English journalist colleague on site in Malmö also messed during the match. “Do they never stop singing ??”, was the message with a picture on one short side. “Welcome to Sweden”, I replied. We must not have the money and thus not the players to compete in the world’s best club team tournament in earnest. But speed in the stands is it anyway.


Sportbladet – Allsvenskan

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Fagerlund: Another ear file for Malmö – but no hard one