Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored on his emotional return to Malmo as Paris Saint-Germain clinched their place in the Champions League last 16 with a convincing 5-0 win at the Swedbank Stadion.
PSG star and Swedish national hero Ibrahimovic, who began his glittering career at Malmo, netted the third goal of a routine victory for the French champions, who are now guaranteed to finish second behind Real Madrid in Group A.
A double from the impressive Angel Di Maria, as well as Adrien Rabiot’s early opener and a stunning late free-kick from Lucas Moura, gave the scoreline a one-sided, but fair look, as PSG outclassed the pool’s bottom-placed side.
Malmo’s evening was summed up by Markus Rosenberg missing a penalty on the hour with PSG 3-0 up, and the home fans’ biggest cheer of the evening was reserved for Ibrahimovic, who received a standing ovation when he was substituted five minutes from time.
The hosts began brightly and Rosenberg was left unmarked to test Kevin Trapp with a header after they forced a corner.
But two minutes later PSG took the wind out of Malmo’s sails when Rabiot surged out of midfield and started a move that ended with him nodding Gregory van der Wiel’s cross past Johan Wiland.
Di Maria doubled their lead with just under quarter of an hour played, with Blaise Matuidi bending a low cross past a crowd of static Malmo defenders and the Argentinian coolly slotting home from the edge of the box.
Malmo should have pulled one back when Jo Inge Berget embarked on a mazy dribble that left him with only Trapp to beat, but his shot drifted just wide of the post.
PSG forward Edinson Cavani could have put the game beyond doubt when Ibrahimovic played him in, but his shot hit the outside of the post as it went wide.
But within five minutes of the restart, Matuidi gathered a loose pass and played in Ibrahimovic, who raced away unchallenged and scored despite Wiland getting a hand to his shot.
The Sweden captain offered a muted celebration in respect to his boyhood club.
Malmo were gifted the chance to get back into the game on the hour, when a mix up between Marquinhos and Maxwell saw the latter trip Nikola Djurdjic in the penalty area, but Rosenburg’s effort from the ensuing spot-kick slammed against the post and bounced clear.
Maxwell made amends for his error moments later, when he received a pass from Di Maria and sent over a cross that sat up perfectly for the former Manchester United man to head home his second goal of the game.
Substitute Lucas scored perhaps the best goal of the evening to wrap the game up, sending a superb free-kick dipping into the net from 25 yards, before Ibrahimovic was given a rousing send-off by all present when Laurent Blanc replaced him with Jean-Kevin Augustin.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!