Ibrahimović nets 500th club goal as Milan beats Crotone 4-0
MILAN (AP) — Zlatan Ibrahimović took his tally to more than 500 club goals as he scored twice to help AC Milan beat Crotone 4-0 and move back top of the Serie A standings on Sunday.
The 39-year-old Ibrahimović is in his second spell at Milan, where he has now scored 83 goals. His goal tallies for other clubs are Malmö (18), Ajax (48), Juventus (26), Inter Milan (66), Barcelona (22), Paris Saint-Germain (156), Manchester United (29) and LA Galaxy 53.
“It means I’ve scored some goals in my career, but what’s important is to continue and help the team in the best way possible," Ibrahimović said. "My job is to score goals and create opportunities to score goals.
Ibrahimović fired Milan ahead in the 30th minute with his 500th club goal and extended that tally in the second half. Ante Rebić scored two goals in less than a minute shortly after.
“Looking at how he (Ibrahimović) prepares himself and how he trains, it’s hard to be surprised. He’s a champion,” Milan coach Stefano Pioli said. “It’s difficult to keep doing what he does, when he’s fit he almost always scores two goals. That’s who he is.
“He has helped and he continues helping the team to grow.”
Milan moves two points above second-place Inter, which won 2-0 at Fiorentina on Friday. The two Milan teams meet in two weeks.
Lazio closed in on the top four with a 1-0 win at home to struggling Cagliari.
Crotone came into the match having lost five of its previous six games.
Milan thought it had taken an early lead but Davide Calabria’s goal was disallowed as Ibrahimović had been offside in the buildup.
It did break the deadlock when Ibrahimović played a one-two with Rafael Leão before placing an angled drive into the far side of the net.
Ibrahimović’s 501st club goal was perhaps the easiest he’s ever scored as he was left unmarked, six yards out, to tap in Theo Hernández’s low cross.
That was in the 64th minute and Crotone then fell apart.
Rebić headed in Hakan Çalhanoğlu’s corner in the 69th and then moments later fired in the rebound after Ibrahimović’s effort had been parried by Crotone goalkeeper Alex Cordaz.
Lazio's Ciro Immobile boosted his bid to claim Serie A’s top scoring prize for the second successive season.
Immobile scored the only goal of the game in the 61st. He managed to squeeze the ball into the bottom left corner after Sergej Milinković-Savić had headed Lucas Leiva's long pass down to him from the byline.
It was Immobile’s 14th goal of the season, putting him level with Ibrahimović in second in the goalscoring charts, two behind Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
Immobile netted 36 league goals last season, also winning the European Golden Shoe award.
Lazio moved level on points with fourth-place Roma but is below its city rival on goals scored. Head-to-head record is the deciding factor at the end of the season.
Cagliari remained 18th, a point from safety.
Parma was two points further back after losing 3-0 in a relegation fight against Bologna, which moved eight points above the drop zone.
Musa Barrow scored twice in the first half and Riccardo Orsolini struck in stoppage time.
Udinese left it late before beating Hellas Verona 2-0 to boost its survival hopes.
It took Udinese until seven minutes from time to take the lead, when Verona goalkeeper Marco Silvestri turned the ball into his own net as he attempted to save Gerard Deulofeu’s attempt.
Deulofeu got on the scoresheet himself in stoppage time to seal the result, which saw Udinese move nine points above the relegation zone.
Benevento is a point further back after drawing 1-1 against Sampdoria.
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