Football: Zlatan takes just 190 seconds to make mark

Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates with team mates after scoring their first goal.
Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates with team mates after scoring their first goal.PHOTO: REUTERS

GOTHENBURG, Sweden (AFP) - New signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored an acrobatic scissor kick within four minutes of pulling on a Manchester United shirt for the first time in a 5-2 friendly rout of Galatasaray on Saturday (July 30).

The superstar forward, who moved from Paris Saint Germain earlier in the summer, was finally unleashed by new manager Jose Mourinho in Gothenburg in his native Sweden.

He had hardly broken sweat when, after just 190 seconds, Antonio Valencia – who was to grab three assists in all – swung over a deep cross and Ibrahimovic launched a right boot at it.

It was not the cleanest of volleys – and Mourinho barely acknowledged the goal – but it was enough to bounce into the ground and into the top left corner to deceive Fernando Muslera in the Galatasaray goal.

The 34-year-old Ibrahimovic was replaced at the break by Marcus Rashford, when Galatasaray led 2-1 through Sinan Gumus and Bruma.

Wayne Rooney scored a penalty in a second-half brace and Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata were also on the scoresheet as United came on strong after half-time.

“We have something big going on. It looks very interesting,” Ibrahimovic told Swedish television afterwards.

United are tight-lipped about talks with Juventus and French international midfielder Paul Pogba, with British media speculating a mega-money move could be close.

“Let’s see if Pogba will also (come), then it will be even more interesting,” added Ibrahimovic.

Mourinho played down the victory over Galatasaray, ahead of their season opener on August 14 at Bournemouth, and refused to single out Ibrahimovic for his fast start in United colours.

The Swede, Anthony Martial and Rooney all started in an attacking side that also included another new signing, Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

“Of course Marcus (Rashford) and Ibra showed glimpses of the things they can bring. But when I see guys like Fellaini, Martial and (Morgan) Schneiderlin, they train two days and they come here,” Mourinho told MUTV.

“I just told them, ‘Don’t try to go with the intensity of the game, try to go with an intensity that makes you comfortable’. I prefer this way.

“We are going to play 60 matches (in a season) – you cannot do it with 11 players. To be in this squad, you have to understand the squad is more important than any individual, the club is more important than all of us.

“To be in the squad, you have to be ready to play, not to play, play a lot, play less, play 90 minutes, play one minute, be not selected.”