Peerless Ibrahimovic stuns England
One centurion, six debutants and England's fifth-youngest player of all time - but it was Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic who scored four to wreck Roy Hodgson's unbeaten start as manager, as the hosts triumphed 4-2.
When skipper Steven Gerrard exited the Friends Arena 17 minutes from the end of this Stockholm friendly, the visitors were feeling rather pleased with themselves. Goals from Danny Welbeck and Steven Caulker had overturned an early deficit, Raheem Sterling for one had impressed and others were preparing for the start of their international careers.
But FIFA Ballon d'Or nominee Ibrahimovic had a nasty surprise in store. Capitalising on Ryan Shawcross switching off, Ibrahimovic rammed home a leveller, before finding the bottom corner with a precise free-kick six minutes from time.
And the coup-de-grace came in stoppage time when, he moved onto a wayward clearing header from Joe Hart, he sent an overhead kick sailing into an empty net from fully 25 yards. Never again will he hear the phrase, which has become a staple of the British press, 'he never does it against English teams'.
The Swedish talisman opened the scoring, the first at their new national stadium, but no-one could have guessed he was about to eclipse it. After Jonas Olsson had robbed Sterling and then kept going to take a return pass down the left of England's penalty area, Ibrahimovic was quick enough to recover when Caulker blocked his initial effort, prodding the rebound past Joe Hart.
Had Mathias Ranegie not skied Ibrahimovic's lay-off over after a defensive mix-up, such a significant evening for the Three Lions might have turned into a distinctly deflating experience. Instead, the visitors profited from their escape.
Warming to his task after a slow start to his international career, Sterling spread the ball wide to Ashley Young. The Manchester United winger delivered a peach of a cross right into the heart of Sweden's six-yard area and Welbeck was on hand to finish.
It was not in the same class as his brilliant match-winner in Kiev, but it was his fifth goal of an incredible calendar year. Three minutes later, England were ahead.
Gerrard sent a sumptuous curling free-kick curling into enemy territory and Caulker read it perfectly. England's most experienced player claiming an assist for one of their most inexperienced.
Another hesitant moment from Hart apart, there was little else to talk about until Jack Wilshere was introduced just after the hour. It was the Arsenal midfielder's first England appearance in 17 months and it was not long before he was planted on his backside by Andreas Granqvist, who was booked for his challenge from behind.
The Zlatan Ibrahimovic show
Shawcross had only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes when Ibrahimovic exposed a momentary lapse in concentration, and belted his second of the evening past Hart with a thunderous volley, following on from a classy piece of control to tee himself up.
This was only the start of the Zlatan Ibrahimovic show, which built to a staggering crescendo as the curtain came down on the new arena's first game. His hat-trick was completed with a brilliant free-kick, firing it low from all of 40-yards to beat Hart at his nearest post - not a goal the England goalkeeper will want to see again.
While Ibrahimovic's jaw-dropping fourth was again down to a Hart blunder, but you'd be surprised if doesn't want to take a second look at it. The Manchester City stopper raced out of his area to tidy up a long-ball down the middle, but proceeded to head it more up, than out. Ibrahimovic coolly turned his back to goal and, before the ball could bounce, pulled off a sensational bicycle-kick that arced over the on-looking defenders and into the corner of the net.
As home and away fans applauded the undoubted man of the match from the field, you'd be hard-pressed to find a Swede anywhere on the planet who could think of a better way to open their new stadium.