Three goals, one assist: The great Ibrahimovic show
After his move to Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS, evil tongues claimed Zlatan Ibrahimovic only wanted to earn the big money one last time. The Swede has been responding regularly on the pitch ever since – the most impressive so far in his 4-3 win over Orlando City.
The experts quickly agreed: Ibrahimovic’s performance at the wild 4:3 over Orlando City was his best so far – and a real Ibrahimovic. Galaxy was 2-1 down at the interval, the only goal the Swede had prepared with a header. After changing sides, goalscorer Giovani dos Santos returned with a fine cross to Ibrahimovic, who equalised again by head (47th).
LA Galaxy’s weak defensive behavior remained one of the biggest problems, however, with Dom Dwyer leading Orlando 3-2 after a left cross. But that really spurred Ibrahimovic on: After Ola Kamara’s sensitive cross, the team’s superstar headed 3-3 and in the 72nd minute Ibrahimovic had turned the game around completely, taking on a short header defence in the penalty area with his chest and chasing dryly into the long corner. After the 4:3, which also meant the final score, Ibrahimovic took off his jersey and posed.
For him, it was the 15th goal in the 17th game, plus six templates – a record that is impressive and does not sound like retirement. Against Orlando, Ibrahimovic also brought almost 80 percent of his passes to his colleagues. “It was a good day. For the team. For me,” said the 36-year-old, who disagreed with the first 45 minutes: “We started weakly. Very weak. We’ve cashed simple goals. I think it was a lack of willpower, concentration, energy and motivation. In the second half, we showed what we wanted.”
“The physically strongest player this league has ever seen”
The Californians are third in the Western Conference behind FC Dallas and local rivals Los Angeles FC after their narrow home win. Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid went into raptures with Ibrahimovic: “He is the physically strongest player this league has ever seen. If Ibrahimovic opposes it, it’s like Shaquille O’Neal or people like that – you can’t get them out of there. And we learned as a team to take advantage of it.”