Diogo Jota scored two and made the other as Portugal stayed top of Group A3 by swatting aside a gallant Sweden side.
Match in brief
The game got off to a breathless start and Diogo Jota fired wide inside two minutes before William Carvalho headed against the post.
But it wasn’t all one-way traffic as Mikael Lustig fired a glorious chance over the top. And he was made to rue that miss when Diogo Jota unselfishly set up Bernardo Silva to open the scoring.
Marcus Berg hit the post at the other end, but the hosts doubled their lead when João Cancelo found Diogo Jota for the second. Rui Patrício denied both Berg and Viktor Claessen after the break but Diogo Jota added a marvellous third, running into the area at pace before dispatching the ball past Robin Olsen.
Alexander Isak was also denied by Rui Patrício but in the end it looks more comfortable for Portugal than it was. They remain joint top with France.
Carlos Machado, Portugal reporter
The biggest compliment you can give this team tonight is that they didn’t miss their talisman Ronaldo at all. Portugal had some luck, but Diogo Jota’s effeciency in front of goal made the difference. The Liverpool man scored two and made another in a game where the result was a lot better than the performance for Portugal.
Sujay Dutt, Sweden reporter
Sweden gave Portugal an early scare and then went close through both Lustig and Berg in the first half, so they did not lack an attacking edge. The problem was that Portugal were so much sharper, cutting through the Swedish defence when and where it hurt the most. Conceding a third goal in the second half, Swedish spirits were deflated even more and the final 20 minutes had the look of a friendly. A learning experience for a Swedish team in development.
Diogo Jota, Portugal forward: “It was an excellent night, one of the best performances (of my career). Representing my country for the second time and having this performance, together with my colleagues is great. We achieved a great result against Sweden, a team that is not easy to beat 3-0, and it is a result that we can be proud of.”
Janne Andersson, Sweden coach, speaking to Sveriges Radio: “We got off on the wrong foot from the beginning, with them taking the lead. They got to control the match, which they’re really good at. Coming back from a 2-0 deficit in Portugal is something we managed to do in a 2017 friendly. But that’s a rare occurrence. Their second goal was decisive.”
- Portugal are unbeaten in their last 20 home matches.
- They have lost only three of their last 43 fixtures, winning 26.
- Portugal, the 2019 winners, have never lost a UEFA Nations League game (W7 D3).
- Portugal have won by a margin of at least two goals in nine of their last 13 matches.
- Pepe has become Portugal’s fourth most-capped player outright, overtaking Nani (112).
- Sweden have lost their last four UEFA Nations League matches, scoring only once in the process.
- Sweden have only lost six of their last 23 matches, winning 11.
- Sixteen of the last 18 goals Sweden have conceded have come after the 40th minute. Twelve of those were from the 58th minute onwards.
Portugal: Rui Patrício; João Cancelo, Pepe, Rúben Dias, Guerreiro; William Carvalho (João Moutinho 80), Bruno Fernandes (Renato Sanches 88), Danilo; Diogo Jota (Rafa Silva 88), João Félix (Podence 75), Bernardo Silva (André Silva 75).
Sweden: Olsen; Lustig (Johansson 54), Jansson, Lindelöf, Bengtsson; Kulusevski, Olsson, Ekdal, Claesson; Berg (M. Olsson 88), Quaison (Isak 62).