Although England's meeting with Sweden was regarded as a friendly (at Sweden's new 'Friends Arena', no less), the end result was something much more compelling, as Ibrahimovic rounded off a world-class performance with a truly awe-inspiring fourth goal that even had the English away fans applauding him.
The PSG striker kicked off his remarkable night by putting Sweden in the lead at the twenty-minute mark, powerfully jabbing the ball into the right of the net after some fumbling in the English defence. However, Manchester United teammates Young and Welbeck linked up superbly for the equaliser, with Young firing a pass across the box into the waiting feet of Welbeck to make it 1-1 in the 35th minute. Three minutes later Steven Gerrard, who was also celebrating his 100th cap for his country, managed to find 20-year-old debutant Caulker with a free kick, making it 1-2.
After half-time the pace slowed down, with Roy Hodgson making the curious decision in the 75th minute to bring on three substitutes in the form of Shawcross, Huddlestone and Jenkinson, replacing Caulkner, Johnson and Gerrard, who would later question his manager's decision to drastically alter the line-up at such a late stage, agreeing that it needlessly slowed down the pace of the game.
Then, in the 77th minute, Ibrahimovic snagged the equaliser, volleyed the ball past Hart to make it 2-2. Unfortunately, this is when the floodgates opened, with Ibrahimovic AGAIN finding the back of the net in the 84th minute, slotting a low 25-yard freekick into the bottom right corner of the net, which realistically could have been dealt with by an off-form Joe Hart, to make it 3-2.
Then came the wonder goal. In the 91st minute a fumbling Hart ran from his line to clear the ball out of the path of Ibrahimovic. However, after feebly heading the ball away from danger, Ibrahimovic responded by jumping from off his feet and blasting the ball into the back of the net from 30-yards away with an overhead kick, leaving his English rivals stunned and rounding the game off in spectacular fashion.
While Gerrard reached an admirable milestone for his country and Hodgson's new picks for his English team certainly showed promise, this was undoubtedly Zlatan Ibrahimovic's night through. Truly remarkable.
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