Friday 24 November 2017

Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Man United Premier League bow: I feel alive - it was very good

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on the scoresheet on his Premier League debut for Manchester United
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on the scoresheet on his Premier League debut for Manchester United

Tom Rooney

Over the course of his gilded career, Zlatan Ibrahimović has never failed to make an immediate impact upon starting at a new club and, having already netted three goals for Manchester United, the towering Swede is certainly continuing that trend.

Throughout the summer, whenever the opportunity presented itself, Ibrahimović informed us that his time at Old Trafford, however brief, would not fade quickly from the memory.

If Eric Cantona was the King of Manchester, then the ponytailed striker would ascend to deity-status, or so he claimed.

Well, a wonderfully volleyed strike on his club debut in the 5-2 victory over Galatasaray, in front of a packed stadium of his compatriots in Gothenburg, was followed by the winning goal against Leicester City in the Community Shield.

The 34-year-old made his competitive bow against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium yesterday and, despite being peripheral for large segments, Ibrahimović was on target again.

With a pulverising long range effort, the former PSG man registered United’s third of the day as they cruised to a routine 3-1 win.

He has now scored on his La Liga, Ligue 1, Serie A, Champions League and Premier League debuts. Jose Mourinho’s tenure has coincided with Ibrahimović’s arrival and, thus far, it’s all going according to plan.

‘Ibra’ expressed his delight after what was far from a perfect 90 minutes for him.

“It was good, very good. I feel alive I always try to create some chances, help my team-mates, whoever scored was not important. Only to get the win to start the Premier League well.”

United led 1-0 at the break thanks to Juan Mata’s fortuitous effort, and the visitors didn’t truly come out of the blocks until after the turn.

Wayne Rooney was on target before Ibrahimović secured the three points, but he admitted the intensity of the Premier League took some getting used to. 

“I found it was a good game, not easy, the first half was hard. The second became easier. We found our game much more in the second half and scored a second and third one. The game then was, not easier, but much more open.”

United meet Southampton on Friday night.

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