Ibra's near-perfect return

MALMO • It was not quite the perfect homecoming that Zlatan Ibrahimovic had imagined but it was close enough.

A day after the Sweden striker declared that "a perfect scenario is that we win, I score three goals and everyone chants my name after the match", he netted on his return to Malmo as Paris Saint-Germain strolled into the Champions League last 16 with a 5-0 victory.

First-half goals on Wednesday from Adrien Rabiot and Angel di Maria put the French champions in control before Ibrahimovic struck just after the interval.

Di Maria was then on target again before Lucas added a late fifth to ensure PSG's progression to the knockout phase for the fourth straight year.

"I lived a dream tonight, coming back. On top of that, I scored one. I'm very happy," said Ibrahimovic.

"Since the beginning, there's a great relationship between Malmo's fans and me."

Much was made of Ibrahimovic returning to the club with whom his professional career began 16 years ago, with the Sweden captain booking Malmo's main square to show the match on a big screen.

The 34-year-old was also handed the PSG captain's armband for the occasion, which he rose to, scoring five minutes into the second half from a tight angle.

When he made way for Jean-Kevin Augustin late on, the sell-out crowd at the Malmo New Stadium rose in unison to applaud their hero.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2015, with the headline 'Ibra's near-perfect return'. Print Edition | Subscribe