Saturday 22 October 2016

Zlatan Ibrahimovic up and running with a debut goal for Manchester United

Published 14/08/2016 | 15:41

Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked his Premier League debut with a goal
Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked his Premier League debut with a goal

Zlatan Ibrahimovic toasted his Premier League debut with a well-taken goal as Manchester United eased home 3-1 at Bournemouth.

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Here, Press Association Sport examines the 34-year-old Swedish striker's English league bow.


Ibrahimovic improved markedly after half-time, warming to his focal-point task as the tie wore on. The 34-year-old put his body on the line attempting to sneak between two defenders for a first-half header though, proving his commitment to his latest cause. Typically however he picked his moment to raise his own level to deliver the goods, and as so often in the past, the tactic paid full dividend.


United's quiet first half coincided with Ibrahimovic failing to dominate, but after the interval the Swedish hitman quickly found his stride. A powerful and deliberate flick set up Wayne Rooney for what should have been a straightforward goal. And just moments later Ibrahimovic held up play before sending Rooney through on goal for a second time. Once again Rooney was unable to deliver, playing for a penalty that never came by attempting to draw the tackle instead of firing off a shot.


Ibrahimovic's new team-mates conjured precious few chances for the powerful striker, but the man himself forced a first-rate save from Boruc from a fine free-kick. And just moments later the talismanic forward angled a 20-yard drive into the bottom right corner of Boruc's net.


Even if Ibrahimovic is past his very best, his supreme strength of character and will to win ensures he can still produce the goods when required. A low-key first-half meant precious little once he emerged after the break a man on a mission. All it took was 10 minutes' effort, and Bournemouth were swatted aside. Such purple patches of concentration and quality are precisely why United's Premier League rivals will fear the big Swede.

Press Association

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