Michael Owen reacts to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s free-kick in Man United’s 3-0 win over Saint-Etienne
The former Manchester United striker explains why he was surprised by Zlatan Ibrahimovic's free-kick
Michael Owen admitted that he was surprised by Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s free-kick opener after the striker’s low attempt broke the deadlock in a 3-0 win against Saint-Etienne on Thursday night.
The Red Devils were hosting Paul Pogba’s brother Florentin and Saint-Etienne in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 clash at Old Trafford.
Ibrahimovic won a fortuitous free-kick in the 15th minute to secure the chance to test the Saint-Etienne goalkeeper.
However, the 35-year-old fired a low attempt under the wall in a break from his set-piece routine and his shot was deflected into the net off Saint-Etienne defender Vincent Pajot.
Ibrahimovic’s free-kick was his third goal of the 2016-17 Europa League campaign before he extended their lead in the second half as Manchester United look to win their first European trophy since their Champions League triumph in 2008.
Speaking to BT Sport about Ibrahimovic’s opener, Owen said:
“We were waiting for the free-kick and we said he is just going to blast it because that’s what he does. He caught us all by surprise by trying to go under the wall. You can’t get it up and over with the dip from there so you usually have to smash it or hit it under the wall.”
Ibrahimovic scored a late penalty in the second half to complete his hat-trick and seal a 3-0 win.
Manchester United finished in fifth place in the Premier League table last season.