When Zlatan Ibrahimovic lines up to take a free kick, you have to watch. You can almost count on it ending up in the opposing team’s net, especially when it’s just outside the box. So when the Manchester United striker found himself with a dead ball a few yards from the area, it was almost a foregone conclusion.
Would he bend it up and over the wall? Or maybe Zlatan would drill a curler around the defense? Neither of those options seemed appetizing to Zlatan. He opted for door No. 3. What’s door No. 3? It’s pure and utter chaos.
Ibrahimovic laced a low strike right at Saint-Etienne’s wall, hoping to thread the needle. He did, kind of. Stephane Ruffier saw it and dove to cover, but at the ball nicked off the wall and sent the ball careening the other way. Helpless, Ruffier watched as Zlatan’s free kick meandered its way into the net to give United a 1-0 lead.
It was dumb. It was ugly. But it was a goal, and that’s all that matters. Just like Zlatan drew it up.