English Premiership

Mourinho hails twilight zone Ibrahimovic

2016-12-18 14:01
Jose Mourinho (Getty Images)

West Bromwich - Jose Mourinho hailed Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the veteran striker scored twice to secure Manchester United a fourth consecutive victory with a 2-0 win at West Bromwich Albion.

The United manager sang the praises of the evergreen Ibrahimovic after he struck early in each half as United moved alongside fifth-placed Tottenham on 30 points the Premier League table.

"He is doing amazingly well, even in the period when he was not scoring goals," said Mourinho.

"He is important to us for many more reasons than the goals but in the last two matches he has scored three goals and got us six points in two away matches which is very important.

"I was expecting him to have the impact he has had this season because I knew the reasons he was coming here. He was not coming for the money or the prestige, he was just coming to enjoy his football and to play in the best league in the world."

The 35-year-old Ibrahimovic has now scored 16 times since joining the Old Trafford club last summer and is flourishing despite being in the twilight of his career.

"I was very lucky in my career because I had a lot of players with enthusiasm and players in the last phase of their career, 35, 36, 37 and they were still magnificent in their attitude," Mourinho added.

"But he is not just a normal player, he's in a position where you cannot hide and just play with experience. Amazing central defenders can play until they are really older but as a striker you cannot hide and he's doing very well.

"We communicate, we exchange ideas at his situation and his feeling and up until now he is feeling great."

Meanwhile, the Portuguese played down an altercation between Salomon Rondon and Marcos Rojo, which saw the Venezuelan striker appear to slap United's Argentina international.

"I was happy with the decision, it was correct," he said. "The referee did fine."

Mourinho was clearly in a festive mood and ordered his players to throw their shirts to visiting supporters following the final whistle.

"I told them to do that," he said. "It's Christmas time and a shirt for a fan coming direct from the game, with sweat means a lot. For them it's just one more shirt. It is a pity that not everyone can get one but for the ones that get it, it is great."

Ibrahimovic put United ahead in the fifth minute when he nodded in a delightful Jesse Lingard cross and doubled the lead in the 56th minute with a shot that beat Ben Foster thanks to a deflection off Craig Dawson.

However, Albion manager Tony Pulis suggested that Ibrahimovic should have been sent off for flattening Dawson with a crude aerial challenge in the first half which had home fans screaming for his dismissal.

When asked about the incident, Pulis remain tight-lipped, stating: "Ask the 28,000 supporters what they thought. I'm not commenting on it."

Pulis revealed that he hopes to strengthen his squad during the January transfer window.

"The second goal took the wind out of us," Pulis said. "I'm very pleased with the players' efforts but United have some real class.

"We're still seventh. We have to ensure we hang in there till the window opens and fingers crossed we can add one or two to the squad to keep things going in the right direction."

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Fixtures
Monday, 16 September 2019
Aston Villa v West Ham United, Villa Park 21:00
Friday, 20 September 2019
Southampton v AFC Bournemouth, St. Mary's Stadium 21:00
Saturday, 21 September 2019
Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur, King Power Stadium 13:30
Manchester City v Watford, Etihad Stadium 16:00
Everton v Sheffield United, Goodison Park 16:00
Burnley v Norwich City, Turf Moor 16:00
Newcastle United v Brighton & Hove Albion, St. James' Park 18:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

And the 2019/20 English Premiership champions will be ... ?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.