Zlatan Ibrahimovic is determined to keep Manchester United’s challenge for four trophies alive after helping them take a huge step towards the Europa League last 32.
The 35-year-old scored his first United hat-trick to give Jose Mourinho’s side a 3-0 win over Saint-Etienne at Old Trafford in the first leg of their last-32 encounter on Thursday.
It was Ibrahimovic’s third career treble against Christophe Galtier’s side and one that has put United in a commanding position to progress to the next phase of the competition.
And with the Community Shield in the bag, an EFL Cup final against Southampton to come next week and an FA Cup fifth-round meeting with Blackburn Rovers on Sunday, Ibrahimovic is eager for his side to keep up their winning run – even if a Premier League title tilt is looking difficult.
“We created good chances,” he said afterwards, as quoted by BBC Sport. “It was important to get a good win at home and we bring it with us in the second leg. It was a good game but I think we can do better.
“Every time I’ve played against Saint-Etienne, with hard work there has been a couple of goals. I’ve scored a couple of goals and hopefully I can do the same next week.
“We’re winning but in a short time everything can change. It’s important to keep getting the wins we need. Everything can change but we’re happy at the moment.
“If you look at the Premier League, the first four who go into the Champions League, one will become a champion and the rest maybe will not win a trophy.
“We’re still in all four. The fifth, the Community Shield, we’ve already won. If we don’t win the Premier League, we get some other trophies. That’s good, also.”
Ibrahimovic was delighted with his first hat-trick for United but was eager to warn his team-mates not to expect an easy ride in next Wednesday’s second leg at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
“It feels good,” he told MUTV. “I think most important was to bring a good result for the second leg.
“We did an okay game but we could have done more. We created chances and I got the three goals, so thanks to my team-mates.
“It’s a good result because I know how difficult it is to play over there. They have a fantastic crowd. It was important to get a good result.”
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