Zlatan Ibrahimovic nets on return home as five-star PSG qualify with Malmo win

53

Champions League Group A, Malmo New Stadium – Malmo 0Paris Saint Germain 5 (Rabiot 3, Di Maria 14, 68, Ibrahimovic 50, Lucas 82)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic capped a triumphant homecoming with a goal as Paris Saint Germain beat Malmo 5-0 to clinch their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The maverick striker shamelessly hyped up his return to the club where it all began in the build-up to the contest, but he allowed his teammates to take centre stage early on as goals from Adrien Rabiot and Angel Di Maria put the visitors two up inside 14 minutes.

Malmo battled valiantly and went close through Markus Rosenberg and Jo Inge Berget but there was always a sense that there was more to come from Ibrahimovic and co.

The PSG hitman was the toast of Sweden last week as he fired his country to Euro 2016 and he inevitably marked this occasion with a clinical finish in what will be remembered as the significant moment of the night.

Malmo had their opportunities and should have deservedly got on the scoresheet soon after but Rosenberg saw his spot kick crash back off the woodwork.

PSG then put the seal on victory as Di Maria nodded in a well-worked training ground goal before substitute Lucas Moura curled a delightful free kick into the corner.

Despite the margin of their triumph, Paris Saint Germain will finish as Group A runners up after Real Madrid‘s win at Shaktar Donetsk assured Los Blancos of top spot.

KEY MOMENTS

3′ – GOAL! Malmo 0-1 PSG. Rabiot breaks forward and plays the ball into Ibrahimovic who lays it out wide. Van der Wiel whips it in from the right and Rabiot finishes what he started with a simple header into the corner.

Adrien Rabiot

14′ – GOAL! Malmo 0-2 PSG. The visitors are in cruise control. Di Maria coolly side-foots into the corner via the post from Matuidi‘s low ball from the left. Malmo switched off and have paid the price.

22′ – MALMO CHANCE! Berget bursts from deep, exchanges a one-two and slaloms past a defender before firing a low shot that nicks off Trapp‘s leg and rolls just wide.

50′ – GOAL! Malmo 0-3 PSG. It’s Zlatan’s big moment! The forward glides into the area on the left side and fires a high shot beyond Wiland via the hand of the keeper. Terrible defending from the hosts who got caught out in the right back area.

62′ – MALMO PENALTY MISS! Rosenberg steps up and smashes his spot kick against Trapp’s right-hand post with the keeper diving the opposite way. What a glorious chance wasted!

68′ – GOAL! Malmo 0-4 PSG. Di Maria sprays the ball out wide to Maxwell and then races into the area to meet the full back’s cross with a simple downward header to make it four. A training ground goal. Simple but effective.

82′ – GOAL! Malmo 0-5 PSG. It’s five! Lucas curls a 20-yard free kick over the wall that flies into the far corner. Everyone was expecting Zlatan to take it and Lucas caught them all by surprise.

Angel Di Maria

KEY STATS

Ángel Di María scored the 7,000th goal in the history of the Champions League (main competition) with his first on the night.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored in each of his last 11 official matches on Swedish soil.

Adrien Rabiot is the second youngest goalscorer for Paris in the CL (20 years & 7 months) after Marquinhos (v Benfica 19 years & 4 months).

Stats courtesy of Opta and Infostrada

Matchcast: Full match stats and commentary

TALKING POINT

Zlatan’s big night. Ibrahimovic hired Malmo’s main square for a public broadcast of the match and made a big deal of his return through interviews and social media plugs. It wasn’t ostentatious as some suggested, but a ‘thank you’ for the support of his fans and a recognition of the fact the city of Malmo is where it all began for him. His goal would have broken hearts but been greeted by nods of appreciation on a night that couldn’t have gone much better for him. He’ll go back to Paris with fond memories of the day and happy that his current club are through to the last 16.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG): The forward barely broke sweat at times but oozed class as he helped pull the strings before capping his evening with the goal everyone had come to see. Not his finest display by a long shot, but he gets the award for the occasion, as a host of PSG players were in contention.

PLAYER RATINGS

Malmo: Wiland 6; Tinnerholm 6, Brorsson 6, Bengtsson 6, Konate 6; Rodic 6,Lewicki 6, Adu 5, Berget 7; Rosenberg 6, Djudjic 5. Subs: Wolff Eikrem 6, Kroon6, Rakip n/a.

PSG: Trapp 6; Van der Wiel 7, Thiago Silva 7, Marquinhos 6, Maxwell 8; Thiago Motta 7, Matuidi 7, Rabiot 8; Di Maria 8, Cavani 6, Ibrahimovic 8. Subs: Lucas 7,Stambouli 6, Augustin n/a.

Author: EuroSports

Comments are closed.