Sebastian Larsson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sebastian Larsson
Seb Larsson.jpg
Larsson playing for Sunderland in 2012
Personal information
Full name Sebastian Bengt Ulf Larsson[1]
Date of birth (1985-06-06) 6 June 1985 (age 28)
Place of birth Eskilstuna, Sweden
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[2]
Playing position Right winger /
Central midfielder / Right back[3]
Club information
Current club Sunderland
Number 7
Youth career
1997–2000 Eskilstuna City
2000–2001 IFK Eskilstuna
2001–2004 Arsenal
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2007 Arsenal 3 (0)
2006–2007 Birmingham City (loan) 27 (1)
2007–2011 Birmingham City 157 (18)
2011– Sunderland 91 (8)
National team
2000–2001 Sweden U16[4] 7 (1)
2001–2002 Sweden U17[4] 16 (5)
2003 Sweden U19[4] 9 (4)
2004–2006 Sweden U21 12 (0)
2008– Sweden 63 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 12:13, 20 February 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 5 March 2014

Sebastian "Seb" Bengt Ulf Larsson (born 6 June 1985)[5] is a Swedish footballer who plays for Premier League club Sunderland and the Sweden national team.

After beginning his career at hometown club IFK Eskilstuna, Larsson was signed by Arsenal. He made three appearances for the Gunners, before joining Birmingham City, initially on loan for the 2006–07 season, before a permanent transfer in the summer of 2007. Larsson spent five years at Birmingham, experiencing promotion to, and relegation from, the Premier League on two occasions. He joined Sunderland on 1 July 2011 upon the expiry of his contract, after Birmingham suffered relegation. Larsson is renowned for being a set piece specialist.[6]

Club career[edit]

Arsenal[edit]

Larsson was born in Eskilstuna[5] and initially played football for his home-town team, IFK Eskilstuna. He joined Arsenal at the age of 16 courtesy of an Arsenal scout who watched him play a match for his country. Having been on the substitutes bench for a match against Panathinaikos, he made his first-team debut against Manchester City in the League Cup on 27 October 2004, where he played out of position at left back.[7]

Birmingham City[edit]

Larsson joined Birmingham City on a season-long loan from Arsenal in August 2006,[8] with an option to make the move permanent. He made an immediate impact, scoring late winners in his first few games against Crystal Palace and Shrewsbury Town. He also scored two goals against Newcastle United in the FA Cup. At the end of January 2007, Larsson signed permanently for Birmingham City on a four-year deal for a £1 million fee.[9] He scored Birmingham's goal of the season, against Sheffield Wednesday in April 2007, running half the length of the field with the ball and finishing from inside the goal area.[10][11]

In the 2006–07 season Larsson was used mainly on the right wing, occasionally filling in at right-back or left-back when players were injured. His performances on the wide right of midfield in the 2007–08 season, in particular a man-of-the-match showing against Bolton Wanderers,[12] indicated this to be his best position.

Taking a corner for Birmingham City, 2007

Recalled to the starting eleven by new manager Alex McLeish for the game at Tottenham Hotspur in December 2007, Larsson scored a spectacular stoppage time goal to give Birmingham their first away win in the Premier League for over three months.[13] He scored half of his six goals that season with direct free kicks, two in consecutive games, against Tottenham and Portsmouth,[14] and one from 30 yards (27 m) against Liverpool.[15] With four weeks of the season remaining, Opta statistics rated Larsson as the most accurate taker of a direct free kick in the Premier League,[16] though this ability failed to save Birmingham from relegation.

On the opening day of the 2010–11 season season, Larsson recovered from what the Observer's reporter described as an "anonymous" start to provide assists for both Birmingham's goals as they drew 2–2 with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.[17] He again provided an assist, this time for Craig Gardner, in his side's first home game, a 2–1 win against Blackburn Rovers.[18] Away to Fulham on 27 November, Alexander Hleb made "a terrific run"[19] and a "slide-rule" pass to Larsson, who opened the scoring with his first goal of the season, a low shot across the goalkeeper. The game finished 1–1.[20]

Larsson played his part in Birmingham's run to the 2011 League Cup Final. He scored from the penalty spot before Nikola Žigić headed an 84th-minute winner in the quarter-final against local rivals Aston Villa.[21] In the first leg of the semi-final against West Ham United, Liam Ridgewell scored from Larsson's corner before Victor Obinna was sent off for kicking Larsson in the groin in an off-the-ball incident.[22] Despite speculation over his future at Birmingham – with his contract due to expire at the end of the season, his advisor was given permission to talk to Newcastle United about a proposed move during the January transfer window, but personal terms were not agreed,[23] and the player was booed when he came on as a substitute in the previous game, against Manchester United[24] – Larsson returned to the starting eleven in place of the cup-tied David Bentley[25] and played 100 minutes as Birmingham overturned a 2–1 deficit to win the semi-final 4–3 on aggregate.[26] Roger Johnson flicked on Larsson's corner for Žigić to give his team an unexpected lead in the final at Wembley against firm favourites Arsenal. Though Robin van Persie equalised, Obafemi Martins scored an 89th-minute winner to give Birmingham their first trophy since 1963 in what the Daily Mail described as "the biggest upset at Wembley since Wimbledon beat Liverpool to the 1988 FA Cup".[27][28]

Larsson took advantage of a defensive mix-up to open the scoring as Birmingham beat Sunderland 2–0 at St Andrew's on 16 April,[29] and four days later, marked his 200th appearance for the club in all competitions with a penalty, albeit in a losing cause, against reigning champions Chelsea.[30] On 1 May, he exploited Michael Mancienne's mistake to score the equalising goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers, helping his side earn a point despite playing with ten men for more than an hour after Gardner was sent off.[31] No new contract was agreed, and following relegation to the Championship, the club confirmed that Larsson was to leave at the end of the season when his existing deal expired.[32]

Sunderland[edit]

Larsson taking a free-kick for Sunderland against Arsenal

On 22 June 2011, Sunderland confirmed that Larsson would join the club on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling on 1 July.[33] linking up with former Birmingham manager Steve Bruce. He was given squad number 7 for the 2011–12 season.[34] He marked his debut with the second-half equaliser in a 1–1 draw on the opening day of the season against Liverpool at Anfield, when given room at the far post to produce a "superb first-time angled volley".[35] His second Sunderland goal, direct from a free kick, put his team 4–0 up against Stoke City at the Stadium of Light in their first win of the season.[36] Larsson scored directly from another free-kick against Arsenal at The Emirates a month later, prompting Arsène Wenger to label his former player "maybe the best in the league as a free-kick-taker".[37]

He scored the opening goal in Sunderland's 2–1 home defeat to Wigan Athletic on 26 November, which proved to be Bruce's last game in charge of the Black Cats.[38] Sunderland visited Wolves the following week under caretaker manager Eric Black. With Sunderland 1–0 up, Larsson won a penalty, although replays suggested he dived. He subsequently had the penalty saved by Wayne Hennessey, and 25 seconds later, Steven Fletcher equalised for Wolves, and went on to add a late winner. Larsson made amends in the following game, scoring from a free kick against Blackburn in injury-time to secure a late 2–1 win in Martin O'Neill's first game as manager.[39] Larsson scored another free kick on 8 January 2012 in the FA Cup in a 2–0 win against Peterborough United at London Road.[40] In the fifth round tie with Arsenal, a quick counterattack from Sunderland saw Larsson hit the woodwork, and the ball subsequently hit Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to put Sunderland 2–0 up, and in to the quarter-finals.[41] Larsson scored twice as Sunderland drew 3–3 with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on 31 March.[42]

Larsson scored a screamer as his first goal of the 2012–13 Premier League season against West Ham United on 12 January 2013 in a 3-0 win.[43] He provided the assist to Stephane Sessegnon's goal in Sunderland's 1-0 defeat of Everton on 20 April, pushing the club clear of the relegation zone.[44] The strike against West Ham proved to be Larsson's only goal of the campaign, a season in which was underwhelming on both individual and club levels as Sunderland barely managed to avoid relegation.[45]

International career[edit]

Larsson playing for Sweden at Euro 2012

Larsson received his first call-up to the Sweden squad for the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying games against Liechtenstein and Northern Ireland in October 2007.[46] He was an unused substitute against Liechtenstein[47] but did not make the bench for the Northern Ireland game.[48] He made his debut for Sweden in February 2008, playing the whole 90 minutes of a friendly draw against Turkey in Istanbul.[49] He was named in Sweden's 23-man squad for UEFA Euro 2008,[50] and has since become a regular in the national team.[51]

He scored his first goal at senior international level in March 2011 as Sweden beat Moldova 2–1 in a Euro 2012 qualifier.[52] During the Euro 2012 Qualifiers in October 2011, Larsson added two more goals to his international tally. The first was the opener in a 2–1 away victory over Finland in Helsinki[53] and the second was a penalty in a 3–2 come from behind victory over the Netherlands on 11 October at the Råsunda in Stockholm.[54] On 29 February 2012, Larsson scored two second half goals to down Croatia 3–1 at the Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb.[55]

Larsson was selected in Sweden's squad for Euro 2012.[56] He started all three of Sweden's group games, and scored Sweden's second goal in their 2–0 win over France, but Sweden did not make it through to the knockout stages of the competition.[57]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Sweden's goal tally first.[58]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 29 March 2011 Råsunda Stadium, Solna  Moldova 2–0 2–1 Euro 2012 qualifier
2. 7 October 2011 Helsinki Olympic Stadium, Helsinki  Finland 1–0 2–1 Euro 2012 qualifier
3. 11 October 2011 Råsunda Stadium, Solna  Netherlands 2–2 3–2 Euro 2012 qualifier
4. 29 February 2012 Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb  Croatia 2–1 3–1 Friendly
5. 3–1
6. 19 June 2012 Olympic Stadium, Kiev  France 2–0 2–0 UEFA Euro 2012

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 15 February 2014.[59]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Arsenal 2004–05 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 3 0
2005–06 3 0 1 0 4 0 1 0 9 0
Total 3 0 1 0 7 0 1 0 12 0
Birmingham City
(loan)
2006–07 27 1 3 3 4 2 34 6
Birmingham City 2006–07 16 3 0 0 0 0 16 3
2007–08 35 6 1 0 1 0 37 6
2008–09 38 1 0 0 1 0 39 1
2009–10 33 4 4 0 1 0 32 4
2010–11 35 4 1 0 5 1 41 5
Total 184 19 9 3 12 3 205 25
Sunderland 2011–12 32 7 6 1 1 0 39 8
2012–13 38 1 2 0 1 0 41 1
2013–14 21 0 3 0 5 1 29 1
Total 91 8 11 1 7 1 109 10
Career total 278 27 21 4 27 4 1 0 326 35

Honours[edit]

Birmingham City

Sunderland

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Premier League clubs submit squad lists". Premier League. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "Player Profiles: Sebastian Larsson". Birmingham City F.C. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Larsson delight at midfield berth". ESPN. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "Herr: Årets första EM-kvaltrupp". Svenskfotboll. 15 March 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Larsson, Sebastian" (in Swedish). Swedish Football Association. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 
  6. ^ "Larsson: How to hit an unstoppable free kick". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "Player profile: Sebastian Larsson". Arsenal F.C. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Arsenal pair to join Birmingham". BBC Sport. 27 July 2006. Retrieved 25 March 2007. 
  9. ^ "Birmingham wrap up Larsson deal". BBC Sport. 31 January 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2007. 
  10. ^ Tattum, Colin (3 May 2007). "Clemence scoops top award at Blues". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 27 April 2008. 
  11. ^ Instone, David (29 April 2007). "Birmingham City 2 Sheffield Wed 0: Larsson takes Blues to brink". The Independent (London). Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  12. ^ Rowbottom, Mike (16 September 2007). "Birmingham City 1 Bolton Wanderers 0: The Kapo fits as Birmingham pile pressure on Lee". The Independent (London). Retrieved 1 October 2007. 
  13. ^ Soni, Paresh (2 December 2007). "Tottenham 2–3 Birmingham". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 December 2007. 
  14. ^ Hassan, Nabil (1 March 2008). "Birmingham 4–1 Tottenham". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 April 2008. 
    Hassan, Nabil (12 March 2008). "Portsmouth 4–2 Birmingham". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 April 2008. 
  15. ^ Sanghera, Mandeep (26 April 2008). "Birmingham 2–2 Liverpool". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 April 2008. 
  16. ^ Tyler, Martin (7 April 2008). "Dead ball demons". Sky Sports. Retrieved 27 April 2008. 
  17. ^ Taylor, Louise (15 August 2010). "Liam Ridgewell completes Birmingham comeback against 10-man Sunderland". The Observer (London). Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  18. ^ Roopanarine, Les (21 August 2010). "Birmingham 2–1 Blackburn". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  19. ^ "Birmingham's Sebastian Larsson grateful for Hleb assist". BBC Sport. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  20. ^ Roopanarine, Les (27 November 2010). "Fulham 1–1 Birmingham". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  21. ^ McNulty, Phil (1 December 2010). "Birmingham 2–1 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  22. ^ "Foster blunder gives West Ham slim edge". FIFA. Agence France-Presse. 11 January 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  23. ^ Tattum, Colin (14 January 2011). "Kenny Miller deal is close". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  24. ^ "McLeish urges Birmingham City fans to support Seb Larsson". Birmingham Post. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  25. ^ "Larsson going nowhere". Premier League. 26 January 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  26. ^ McNulty, Phil (26 January 2011). "Birmingham 3–1 West Ham (agg 4–3)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  27. ^ Harris, Chris (27 February 2011). "Carling Cup: Birmingham 2–1 Arsenal – Report". Arsenal F.C. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  28. ^ Lawton, Matt (28 February 2011). "Arsenal 1 Birmingham 2: 'Flippin' Eck, we've won it! McLeish's men bring Wenger to his knees". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  29. ^ Chowdhury, Saj (16 April 2011). "Birmingham 2–0 Sunderland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  30. ^ "Chelsea 3 Birmingham 1". Birmingham City F.C. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  31. ^ Fletcher, Paul (1 May 2011). "Birmingham 1–1 Wolverhampton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  32. ^ "Carr Gears Up". Birmingham City F.C. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 27 May 2011. 
  33. ^ "Seb Larsson and Keiren Westwood sign for Sunderland". BBC Sport. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  34. ^ "2011–12 squad numbers confirmed". Sunderland A.F.C. 8 August 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  35. ^ Harris, Nick (14 August 2011). "Liverpool 1 Sunderland 1: Dalglish claims Dowd bottled red-card call". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  36. ^ Sinnott, John (18 September 2011). "Sunderland 4–0 Stoke". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  37. ^ Mason, Richard (17 October 2011). "Wenger hails Larsson qualities". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  38. ^ "O'Neill arrives at Sunderland". Sky Sports. 3 December 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011. 
  39. ^ McNulty, Phil (11 December 2011). "Sunderland 2–1 Blackburn". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 December 2011. 
  40. ^ Wilson, Jeremy (8 January 2012). "Peterborough United 0 Sunderland 2: match report". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  41. ^ Brenner, Steve (20 February 2012). "Sunderland 2 Arsenal 0". The Sun. (subscription required (help)). 
  42. ^ "Manchester City staged a dramatic late fightback to keep their title bid alive, coming from 3-1 down to draw with Sunderland at Etihad Stadium.". BBC Sport. 31 March 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  43. ^ "Impressive Sunderland brushed aside woeful West Ham with an emphatic win to ease relegation fears on Wearside.". BBC Sport. 12 January 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  44. ^ "Sessegnon sinks Toffees". ESPNFC. 20 April 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  45. ^ Hytner, David (19 May 2013). "Sunderland's Paolo Di Canio slams 'arrogant, ignorant' players". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  46. ^ "Birmingham's Larsson given Sweden chance". Soccernet. ESPN. 2 October 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2007. 
  47. ^ "Liechtenstein 0–3 Sweden: Easy for Swedes". Soccernet. ESPN. 13 October 2007. Retrieved 7 February 2008. 
  48. ^ "Sweden 1–1 Northern Ireland". Soccernet. ESPN. 17 October 2007. Retrieved 7 February 2008. 
  49. ^ "Herr: Mållöst på Inönü" (in Swedish). Swedish Football Association. 6 February 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2008. 
  50. ^ "Larsson returns for Sweden again". BBC Sport. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 27 April 2008. 
  51. ^ "Herrlandslagets spelare 2009" [Men's international players 2009] (in Swedish). Swedish Football Association. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  52. ^ "Sweden 2–1 Moldova: Larsson goal crucial". ESPN Soccernet. 29 March 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  53. ^ "Finland 1–2 Sweden". The Guardian (London). 7 October 2011. 
  54. ^ "Sweden 3–2 Holland". The Guardian (London). 11 October 2011. 
  55. ^ http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/football/international-friendlies/2012/croatia-sweden-498686.html
  56. ^ "UEFA Euro 2012: Hamrén Selects Sweden Squad". Bleacher Report. 14 May 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  57. ^ "Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic's spectacular goal helped condemn France to the Group D runners-up spot and a Euro 2012 quarter-final against Spain.". BBC Sport. 19 June 2012. Retrieved 21 My 2013. 
  58. ^ "Sebastian Larsson profile". Union of European Football Associations. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  59. ^ Sebastian Larsson career stats at Soccerbase

External links[edit]