Thursday 18 December 2014

Video: Ibrahimovic wonder goal silences England fans

Sweden 4
England 2

Henry Winter

Published 15/11/2012 | 05:00

Ibrahimovic: It was his fourth goal that will linger long in the memory, that will be saluted around the world.

Just when the England fans started ironically serenading the pony-tailed Zlatan Ibrahimovic with "you're just a s*** Andy Carroll", the Swedish forward moved up a gear, adding to his first-half goal with three late gems, including a strike that defied geometry let alone belief.

Ibrahimovic's first was a poacher's finish, his second an emphatic shot, his third a 30-yard free-kick. England had not conceded a hat-trick since the marvelous Marco van Basten gave Tony Adams nightmares in 1988. It needed something special to go one step beyond that and Ibrahimovic delivered in spectacular style.

It was his fourth goal that will linger long in the memory, that will be saluted around the world. He was out on the right, Joe Hart's poor clearance dropping towards him. Hart, a bag of nerves in the second half, was off his line but the angle was still ludicrously tight.

It needed technique, imagination and a sense of outrageous boldness to attempt what Ibrahimovic did, sending the ball back in with a sensational overhead kick.

promise

A beautiful goal capped a brutal end to the friendly for England, a first defeat for Roy Hodgson. With Steven Gerrard on the pitch, England played with urgency and there were moments of promise from Raheem Sterling, Steven Caulker and Leon Osman, but Gerrard's withdrawal removed organisation and resilience and Ibrahimovic pounced and pounced and pounced.

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