Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s deal invoked a lot of variation in reactions among both critics and fans alike. Some felt like he wouldn’t do well in the Premier League, while some felt like he was getting too old to take up this role. Others were delighted at the thought of having Ibrahimovic in the team. However, trust Ibrahimovic to prove the ones who doubt him wrong, and to do it with class!
He has established the fact that he is a force to be reckoned with in all leagues. He put in an impressive display in the pre-season games, and his goal for his Premier League debut was simply sublime.
United were leading 2-0 early on in the second half owing to goals by Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney. Of course, Zlatan is not one to be left behind and he seized the opportunity as soon as he saw one.
The Swede obtained the ball in the middle, ran towards the Bournemouth goal and fired a perfectly angled 25 yard drive past a seemingly stunned Artus Boruc to give the Red Devils a dominating 3-0 lead.
What’s even more amazing about this is the fact that this goal has completed a full set for Ibrahimovic – his debut Premiere League goal is now added to the ones he scored on his Champions League debut, Serie A debut, La Liga debut and his Ligue 1 debut.
There are some players whose talk doesn’t match their play, but Ibrahimovic can afford to have the kind of attitude he has, because his play always matches up – or sometimes even exceeds, and that’s what’s important.
He already made a place for himself in the hearts of the United fans after he scored the winner in Community Shield match against Leicester, and he also showed some clever touches throughout as the whole focus of the United attack ahead of Rooney, who played behind the Swede in the number ten role.
It is his determined, aggressive and focused approach is what United was lacking all along and moreover, the amount of experience he has had can only mean good news. Ibrahimovic looked like he was in the game to win it, right from the opening minute, trying to release Rooney with a neat, flick which the pair repeated a couple of times throughout the match.
He is always involved in the game and that was seen as he tried to block Bournemouth captain Simon Francis trying to get on the end of a cross from Valencia, with both players needing attention after a rather nasty clash.
Although Ibra was influential in the second half, his touches in the first half did not seem to do much for him. He took his own time to settle in before he went for the goal. He was low-key till half-time and, soon after the break, the match was still 1-0.
Rooney’s header pushed United up to a 2-0 lead, shortly after which Zlatan stepped up to take a free kick just outside the Bournemouth area, but his whipped effort was well claimed by Boruc in the centre of the goal, and Bournemouth looked safe for the time being.
But then, in the 64th minute, Ibrahimovic gave the United fans exactly what they wanted to see, firing in his delightful, long-range strike. It’s been a while since United fans witnessed such football from their team and the happiness was clearly writ on their faces.
Although Bournemouth did score five minutes later through Adam Smith, they knew that the fate of the match was already sealed. And that’s when Zlatan began experimenting with a variety of cheeky tricks – which given the situation seemed okay, but then he would need to tone it down for the big games and keep his head in the game till the very end.
Having said all that, the Red Devils were elated after the victory, and the rest of the Premier League needs to be extremely cautious of them as they are here to win!