PSG and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have an off-day in Paris
Going into Saturday’s game at the Parc de Princes between top of the table Paris Saint-Germain and St Etienne, naturally, the focus centred on the high-flying home side and their talisman, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish striker has been in red hot form this season, and has arguably carried the Parisians to top spot in the Ligue 1 table. His attitude – which in the past in many peoples’ eyes, hindered his success and progression as a player – has been near perfect.
He has been the go to man for Carlo Ancelotti’s side. The former AC/Inter Milan and Barcelona forward has scored 10 of PSG’s 17 league goals, with seven of those being away from home. Ibrahimovic makes PSG click, and without him on the pitch, the two-time Ligue 1 champions look a far poorer side.
Prior to the game on Saturday against St Etienne, PSG who were yet to lose a league game, were the overwhelming favourites to take the three points. However, some indiscipline from Ibrahimovic coupled with a fine display by the visitors, meant the points headed back to St Etienne.
PSG struggled to break down a stubborn Etienne defence, and after Mahmadou Sakho scored an own goal early in the second half, the home side were reduced to 10 men as Ibrahimovic kung-fu kicked his way to a red card. The 31-year-old striker attempted to bring down a high ball, but instead, took out the oncoming goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier in the opposition goal.
Although it was a blow for PSG to lose their star striker for the remainder of the game, which they went on to lose 2-1, the real effect of his dismissal will be felt in the next three league matches against Montpellier, Rennes and Troyes, which he will miss as a result of the red card.
Despite the headlines, after the game being dominated by Ibrahimovic’s sending off and the fact that PSG had lost their first league game of the season, St Etienne’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continued his fine early season form, coming off the bench to grab his side’s second goal of the game. Aubameyang’s promising talent has been threatening to propel him to the top of Ligue 1’s scoring charts for a while now, and this season’s performances have shown he has the quality to be a menacing force in the division.
After failing to make the grade at AC Milan, Aubameyang possesses the determination to succeed at the highest level, having stated that he aims to ‘prove I am a real striker’. The 21-year-old Gabonese striker, who describes his hero Ibrahimovic as an ‘amazing striker’ and ‘very tall, but amazing on his feet’, has scored seven times so far this campaign in just 10 starts, and after being linked with a January move to the Premier League, the young startlet is definitely a name to watch out for in the next few years.
Although Ibrahimovic didn’t exactly set a good example to his young admirer on Saturday by getting sent off, an event which probably angered Aubameyang more than anyone, as he probably harboured hopes of swapping shirts with his idol, the youngster will undoubtedly learn a lot from the presence of Ibrahimovic in Ligue 1 this season, and combined with his quality and willingness to do whatever it takes to fulfil his undoubted potential, he might just one day emulate Ibrahimovic.
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