Zlatan Ibrahimovic had missed the last two league matches for Paris Saint-Germain, suspended after inadvertently karate kicking an opposing goalkeeper (Ibrahimovic’s world: Where martial arts just happen). During that time, PSG took one point from two, embarrassingly losing at home last week despite their opponents playing with only nine men.
On Saturday, Ibrahimovic returned in a big way, leading PSG to a 4-0 win over Troyes in which he engineered all of the goals:
- In the 17th minute, Ibrahimovic worked the ball along the right byline before putting a pass into a crowded six-yard box. The fell to Maxwell who punched home his second goal of the season.
- In the 63rd minute, ‘Ibra’ carried a ball from the center line to just outside the Troyes penalty area before poking a ball past the defense for Blaise Matuidi, who finished high into the right of goal to make it 2-0.
- In the 70th minute, and almost identically setup goal saw Ibrahimovic on the end of a Nene pass, Zlatan finishing with his left into the upper 90 to make it 3-0.
- And in the 89th minute, Ibrahimovic swept home a goal with his right after Ezequiel Lavezzi did the dirty work ahead of a cross.
Ibra is up to 12 goals and five assists in Ligue 1. Add in his Champions League performance (where he’s already accumulated a four-assist game) and Zlatan has 14 goals and 10 assists this season.
As nice as Radamal Falcao and Edinson Cavani are, I think we know the answer to this question.
Unfortunately for PSG, Zlatan’s been the only part of their attack that’s worked. He’s been involved in 17 of their 23 league goals. Only two goals scored while Ibrahimovic has actually been on the field have not been either setup or scored by him.
If he continues accruing numbers at this rate and plays all of PSG’s remaining Ligue 1 games, he’ll finish the French season with 38 goals and 16 assists.
And if the numbers aren’t sufficiently impressive, here’s Ibrahimovic’s first Saturday goal: