French football club Paris Saint-Germain spent a lot of money this summer in an attempt to strengthen their squad and thankfully new signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic saved them from an embarrassing loss at home in their season opener. PSG were trailing Lorient in their French league match on Sat. Aug. 11 until Ibrahimovic saved the team’s blushes by taking matters into his own hands.
The 30-year-old Swedish international, who was signed from Italian club AC Milan, scored midway through the second half to bring PSG within striking range and then tied the game in the 90th minute on a well-placed penalty kick. Ibrahimovic said it was a great debut for him, especially because he feels he’s not at 100 per cent yet. He said he’s been training with his new club for just 10 days and it’ll be a little longer before he’s in top shape.
PSG spent about $185-million this summer on new players after spending about $123-million last season and are noe only at 1.30 in odds to win the league among most good bookmakers. They fell behind in the game when Maxwell, a Brazilian defender, inadvertently put the ball in his own net in the first half. Lorient then went up 2-0 when forward Jeremie Aliadiere added a second. PSG supporters jeered the players as they left the pitch at halftime and Ibrahimovic said he understood why the fans weren’t too happy with them.
He told Swedish media that the fans were fantastic but had hoped for a better showing than they got in the first half and the players responded well in the second stanza. Ibrahimovic claimed the team started to play better once the supporters got behind them. PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti wasn’t really too happy with the draw though since his team dropped two points at home. He realizes how important each point can be since the club lost the league last season by a point.
Ancelotti said he didn’t think his club played very well and basically gave the first half away to the visitors. He claimed his team was caught out of position several times on counterattacks and the balance on the field wasn’t right. However, he added that he hopes the players have learned a lesson from the game because there aren’t going to be any easy matches at all this season.
PSG hasn’t won a league title since back in 1994 and Montpellier edged them out last year. This is one of the main reasons that Ibrahimovic was brought in. He led the Italian Serie A in scoring last season with 28 goals and PSG is hoping he can duplicate that this season. He’s off to a great start and he might have had a hat trick if he had hit the target on an 85th-minute header.
Ibrahimovic took the last-minute penalty after Blaise Matuidi was chopped down in the penalty area. Ancelotti also started two other new players in 19-year-old midfielder Marco Verratti and left winger Ezequiel Lavezzi. Nene, who scored 21 goals for PSG last season, was left sitting on the bench when the game kicked off.
Ibrahimovic actually had numerous chances during the game and also hit the crossbar in the second half before finding the back of the net in the 64th minute. He has 33 goals in 80 matches for Sweden, but really shines at club level. He now has 234 goals in 490 games for club teams. If he plays the rest of the season the same way he did in PSG’s season opener, Ibrahimovic shouldn’t have a problem leading his team and possible the league in scoring this season. If that happens, it might be the best 20 million Euros the French club has ever spent.
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