Ibra shows strength as Sweden beat Iceland

Zlatan Ibrahimovic revelled again in a playmaking role to help Sweden beat Iceland 3-2 in a Euro 2012 warm-up in Gothenburg on Wednesday.

While coach Erik Hamren will be concerned about conceding two soft goals, he could not fail to be impressed by AC Milan forward Ibrahimovic.

Having orchestrated a 3-1 win against Croatia in February, Ibrahimovic was deployed in a free role again against Iceland and volleyed the opener from the edge of the box after two minutes.

With Markus Rosenberg given the task of pulling the Icelandic defence apart with his running, Ibrahimovic was free to roam the length and breadth of the pitch in order to exert his influence.

His economic use of the ball, flicking first-touch passes off either foot, encouraged the home side to a style of play more Spanish “"tiki-taka" than Scandinavian pragmatism.

In the 14th minute he created Sweden's second goal, chasing down a loose ball before bamboozling a defender and crossing for Ola Toivonen to tap home from close range.

Two goals to the good early on, Sweden looked like they were preparing for a rout but the coach in the away team's dugout had a point to prove.

Iceland coach Lars Lagerback, a Swede, guided Sweden to the finals of five successive tournaments but his careful, conservative style never really won over Swedish fans, and his relationship with the media was frosty at best.

Lagerback's influence was clear to see, however, with Iceland's diligence getting them back in the game when Kolbeinn Sigthorsson beat Olof Mellberg to reduce the deficit just before the half-hour mark.

Hamren will be disappointed by the ease with which defender Mellberg was beaten in the air, something that will surely be noted by England manager Roy Hodgson and striker Andy Carroll ahead of their Euro 2012 meeting in Kiev on June 15.

The slew of half-time substitutions slowed the game down, with the exception of Sweden's Pontus Wernbloom, who mixed his usual quota of tough tackles with some sprayed passes.

It took the introduction of winger Christian Wilhelmsson for Ibrahimovic on the hour to breathe some life back into what had become a pedestrian encounter.

Wilhelmsson's sleight of foot on the wing ensured Ibrahimovic was not missed, and his efforts were rewarded when he volleyed Sweden's third in the 78th minute.

Sweden then took their foot off the gas and Hallgrimur Jonasson headed home from a corner with the last touch of the match.

Sweden will now face Serbia in a final pre-Euro friendly on June 5 before heading to Kiev, where they will face hosts Ukraine in their opening game on June 11.