Zlatan Ibrahimovic dazzled the watching world with a match-winning performance during Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Southampton in the League Cup final.
The Swede opened the scoring after 19 minutes with an inch-perfect free-kick, swerving the ball around the Southampton wall and past Fraser Forster into the bottom left hand corner.
He then grabbed the winner in dramatic fashion, powering home a close range header with just three minutes left and in turn securing his first major trophy at Man United.
A look at Ibrahimovic’s stats sheds light of the emphatic nature of his performance.
Ibrahimovic's game by numbers vs. Southampton:
2 key passes
3 aerial duels won
40% chance conversion
On a free from PSG… pic.twitter.com/69JruvWrFI
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 26, 2017
Prior to the clash with Claude Puel’s side, Zlatan had been an excellent asset. Now, however, he is more than that. He is a history maker. The first major trophy of the Mourinho era – a clear, unavoidable sign to the footballing world that this side, spearheaded by the rampaging Swede, are a side moving strongly in the right direction.
Doubt remains over whether Ibrahimovic, now 35, will stay at Old Trafford for another year. But the win at Wembley served as a potent sign that Mourinho’s side could, with further progress and a few signings over the summer, emerge as a powerful, challenging force next season. And Zlatan, one suspects, would be reluctant to miss out on the fun.