The start of the season saw some people debating about Zlatan Ibrahimovic and how will prove to be a flop at Old Trafford. However, the big Swede netted his first hat-trick for the club in the Europa League against St Etienne. If this is not enough to silence his critics, look at his tally of 23 goals this season to rest the debate, for good. Even at this age, the formidable strike hasn’t lost his touch even a bit and is scoring goals with the same skill, power and consistency.
Manchester United hosted St Etienne last night for the first leg of their Europa League encounter. The Thor of football gave the host a lead with a deflected free-kick in the 15th minute, but he had to wait a full 60 minutes to double the lead. Zlatan scored from the spot to score his third and the decisive goal of the match in the 88th minute. Manchester United now has a leading position in the season with this win.
Zlatan has already scored 23 goals for the club in just 25 appearances. The team is present in all four competitions and the chances of him breaking Van Persie’s record of 30 goals in his debut season are still on. He has proven his worth with his feet, but the point to ponder upon is the fact that United got him for free!
Zlatan Ibrahimović has been directly involved in 29 goals in his 35 games for Utd:
He's 35-year-old & he cost nothing. pic.twitter.com/1jZe3Nz5Zy
— 8 Fact Football (@8Fact_Footballl) February 17, 2017
Well, another crucial factor of Zlatan scoring a hat-trick is his love affair with St Etienne. The big Swede loves to play against Christophe Galtier's men. Without letting odds obstruct his way, he kept his phenomenal goal-scoring run against St Etienne going. With his first hat-trick for the Red Devils, Zlatan has now scored 17 goals in 14 appearances against St Etienne. Amazing indeed! But Zlatan playing against St Etienne is not always pleasant. His meetings with the French burnoose have the tendency to prove explosive. In 2012, he was sent off, and was suspended on another occasion due to a poor challenge. Despite these incidents, he has been prolific in between.
After the game, the Swede talked to the media and said:
"We're winning, but in a short time, everything can change. It's important to keep getting the wins we need. Everything can change, but we're happy at the moment.
This is the decisive moment for the season. We are still in all four competitions. The fifth we already won [the Community Shield."
United is headed to the next round with an advantage in hand and all credit goes to the mighty Swede goal machine. Anyhow, the questions over Zlatan’s future should be now put to rest, and Red Devil fans would like to see the Swede spend another season at Old Trafford. It’s entirely possible since Mourinho is confident to retain Zlatan for one more season.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 16, 2017
Zlatan has been brilliant and has once again proved his worth. His stats are just getting better every day. His hat-trick has added another impressive record for him. He now has the same number of hat-tricks for United as a certain Cristiano Ronaldo. Well, the Portuguese took six years to score his first; it took Ibrahimovic only 35 games to score his first treble for the club.
He is fit and does not have any disciplinary issues. But most important of all, he is scoring goals. The 35-year-old is simply awesome, and without a doubt, he can undo anyone. He is simply amazing, and we have yet to figure why he insists on retiring from the game so early.