The sheer dizzying euphoria of England winning a penalty shootout masked the fact that Victor Lindelof was once again imperious at the back as Sweden reached the World Cup quarter-final with a 1-0 win over Switzerland.
The 24-year-old, having missed the opening game due to illness, produced a heroic defensive display against Germany and quelled Mexico, but this was his best performance of the tournament yet.
Switzerland just couldn’t get balls into the box. Lindelof, accompanied by captain Andreas Granqvist, was there to stop them as they came in, time and time again, recovering the ball and moving it calmly into midfield, keeping Sweden’s tempo high and frustrating the Swiss all afternoon.
Swedish journalist Noa Bachner, who has watched Lindelof play for years, described the 24-year-old’s showing as the one of the “best performances of his career”.
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) June 28, 2018
The authority with which he played was was struck the most. Manchester United supporters know Lindelof is a talented player, blessed with ability. The questions lie with whether he has the mental fortitude to match.
Against Switzerland, he produced a pretty emphatic answer. He simply repelled everything, spotting and stamping out fires before they started, moving the ball along with purpose and guile. He is making a serious case to Jose Mourinho ahead of pre-season.