Jose Mourinho has explained why Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal haul at Manchester United is so impressive, pointing towards the fact that only one of his goals have come from the spot this season.
The Swede netted his 20th goal for Man United during Sunday’s 3-0 win over Leicester City, sweeping the ball home from an Antonio Valencia cross.
19 of his goals have come from open play, with his only goal from the spot coming during a 2-0 win over Southampton back in August – the only penalty Mourinho’s men have received this season.
And the 54-year-old, speaking after the win over Claudio Ranieri’s side, was quick to hail Zlatan for achievements at Old Trafford so far this season.
“Normally when strikers score goals we say ‘22 goals – 14 goals and eight penalties’, or ‘21 goals – 14 goals and seven penalties’. With Zlatan we need to remind ourselves it’s 20 goals – 19 and one penalty,” he said.
The 35-year-old became the first player in the post-Fergie era to reach 20 goals in one season against Leicester, emphatically demonstrating that, finally, United have a striker capable of not just leading the line, but leading the line in the United-way: arrogant, bombastic, utterly ruthless and furiously efficient.
Then again, should we be surprised by all of this? Zlatan came to Old Trafford having claimed 121 goals in just three seasons, and you’d have to venture all the way back to 2010 for the last time he scored less than 30 goals in one season. The fact that anybody doubted the Swede upon his arrival is, with this in mind, quite frankly laughable.