Manchester United fans were ecstatic after Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted the winner in their side’s 2-1 Community Shield victory over Leicester City on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho’s side struck the first blow after a period of sustained domination in the first half through a wondrous Jesse Lingard goal, but were pegged back after Jamie Vardy rounded David to Gea to level the scores on the other side of half time.
But it was the big Swede, playing in his first competitive game for Man United, who decided the affair with a thumping header after 83 minutes.
The 34-year-old’s goal turned out to be the winner, and it sent United fans into raptures.
Fabulous, stooping header from Ibrahimovic. That's why #mufc signed him. Classic figurehead.
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) August 7, 2016
Incredible Ibrahimovic. Commendable how he continues to be decisive at 34. Look at top class players, vast majority are finished at 32.
— . (@AydanAzzar) August 7, 2016
I have strong positive emotions about Zlatan
— Paul (@NQATPaul) August 7, 2016
Zlatan doesn't do community spirit.
— Sam Homewood (@SamHomewood) August 7, 2016
An unwelcome feature of last season was a notable lack of conviction in front of goal, especially in crucial, potentially game-changing moments. Louis van Gaal‘s side may have boasted plenty of speed and technical ability, but there was nobody to grab a game by the scuff of its neck in one sudden surge of guile and power.
Needless to say, the arrival of a certain Swede has emphatically put that issue to rest. Largely peripheral all game, Ibrahimovic received just one chance – a half chance, really – to shape the destiny of this game, and he duly delivered. For a side pursuing silverware, that type of player is invaluable.