Defenders nonetheless can’t cease 39-year-old Ibrahimovic


MILAN — Final week it was an acrobatic overhead winner from Zlatan Ibrahimovic that belied his 39 years.

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This week it was a towering header in stoppage time that secured AC Milan a 2-2 draw with Hellas Verona on Sunday and a two-point lead atop Serie A coming into the worldwide break.

Sport after sport, Zlatan Ibrahimovic retains exhibiting that his markers are defenseless in opposition to him contained in the penalty space.

A lot in order that Zlatan Ibrahimovic was requested if he thought that Italian defenders had dropped in degree within the eight years between his first and second stints with Milan.

“Or possibly Ibra is stronger,” was his reply, with amusing.

The Swedish nice scored braces in opposition to Bologna, bitter rival Inter Milan within the derby, and Roma this season. His eight targets in 5 matches — he missed two video games after testing optimistic for the coronavirus — prime the Italian league’s scoring chart.

“I feel he can play till he’s 45 in our league,” retired Italy defender Giuseppe Bergomi stated final weekend. “I actually imply that.”

Having misplaced 3-0 at residence to Lille within the Europa League on Thursday to finish a 24-match unbeaten run in all competitions, Milan fell behind 2-0 to Verona earlier than Franck Kessie – whose flicked shot was deflected in off a defender – and Ibrahimovic rallied the Rossoneri.

Antonin Barak and Mattia Zaccagni scored for Verona.

It wasn’t all simple for Ibrahimovic this time, although. He missed a penalty with a depressing effort excessive over the bar at his first likelihood to equalize, then ruined a possible equalizer from Davide Calabria with a handball earlier than lastly discovering the goal three minutes into added time by leaping over a defender.

“Fortuitously the break for worldwide obligation is right here, as a result of I would like relaxation,” Ibrahimovic stated. “I didn’t have the sharpness and ordinary willpower I’ve in entrance of objective. I simply felt like I wasn’t all there.”

Milan is 2 factors forward of Sassuolo, three forward of Napoli and Roma and 4 forward of Juventus and Atalanta.

CRUCIAL CAICEDO

Lazio scored one other stoppage-time objective to rescue a 1-1 draw at residence to Juventus.

Juventus seemed to be heading for a win and into second spot after Cristiano Ronaldo’s first-half objective however substitute Felipe Caicedo pounced deep in stoppage time.

Caicedo had netted a stoppage-time winner in Lazio’s final league match – in opposition to Torino – and in addition scored late at Zenit St. Petersburg on Wednesday to salvage a 1-1 draw within the Champions League.

“We have been satisfied one thing would occur,” Caicedo stated. “Juventus didn’t play for the final quarter-hour. We by no means surrender.”

Lazio was lacking various gamers, together with European Golden Shoe winner Ciro Motionless, after conflicting outcomes for checks for COVID-19.

Juventus took the lead within the fifteenth minute when Juan Cuadrado beat a few Lazio defenders on the proper earlier than sending in a low cross for an unmarked Ronaldo to faucet in from level clean vary.

It was Ronaldo’s third objective in his two league matches since recovering from the coronavirus, which saved him out for 3 weeks.

RECOVERY

Each Inter and Atalanta have been seeking to get better from midweek defeats within the Champions League in opposition to Actual Madrid and Liverpool, respectively, and so they additionally got here away with a 1-1 draw.

Inter broke the impasse within the 58th when Ashley Younger crossed in from the left and, together with his again to objective, Lautaro Martinez flicked a header into the far nook.

Substitute Aleksej Miranchuk leveled 11 minutes from time, drilling into the underside proper nook from the sting of the realm.

OTHER MATCHES

Napoli moved as much as third with a 1-0 win at Bologna, the place Victor Osimhen scored with a header.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan netted a hat trick to assist Roma win 3-1 at Genoa.

Genoa slipped into the relegation zone after Torino drew 0-0 with bottom-place Crotone to maneuver above Genoa on objective distinction.

Crotone defender Sebastiano Luperto was despatched off late on following a second yellow card.

Defenders nonetheless can’t cease 39-year-old Ibrahimovic initially appeared on NBCSports.com



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