The Manchester United captain was omitted from the Red Devils squad for the visit of the Ligue 1 side in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 clash.
However, Ibrahimovic excelled in Rooney’s absence as the veteran striker scored a hat-trick to help put Jose Mourinho’s side in command of their European tie at Old Trafford.
The 35-year-old broke the deadlock with a deflected free-kick before the centre-forward extended the home side’s lead with 19 minutes to play.
Ibrahimovic completed his hat-trick and scored his 17th goal against Saint-Etienne with a late spot-kick after the Manchester United summer signing was caught in the area.
And Rooney was quick to pay tribute to his experienced team-mate on Instagram after he posted the above photo and wrote the following caption:
“Good win for the lads tonight and well done to @iamzlatanibrahimovic on his first hat-trick for @manchesterunited 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼”
Manchester United are in sixth place in the Premier League table.
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