Oh, Zlatan. We’ve missed you. The Manchester United striker has been serving a suspension doled out from the FA after a run-in with Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings, so we haven’t seen him in action since the first leg of the Europa League round of 16. That’s a whole week without Ibrahimovic, and that’s far too long.
Fortunately, the FA’s suspension doesn’t carry over to European matches, so the Swede started in the second leg of United’s tie against Rostov. It took a little while in terms of match time, but Ibrahimovic was back to doing Ibrahimovic things in short order.
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Now, was that back-heel intended to fall into the path of Juan Mata? Or did Zlatan want the goal (and the glory) all to himself? The world may never know.
What we do know is that it was a beautiful goal, even if United didn’t really need it. The Red Devils merely needed to hang onto their 1-1 draw from the first lead to advance on the away goal. Still, is anybody going to tell deny Ibrahimovic the right to back-heel as he pleases? I didn’t think so.
United held firm to keep Rostov off the board to win, 1-0, and advance to the next stage of the Europa League, 2-1 on aggregate.