Winners and losers: Ibrahimovic in eventful Ligue 1 start
Zlatan Ibrahimovic had quite the start to Ligue 1 this weekend. The Paris Saint-Germain striker scored twice and missed a penalty and a sitter as the champions stumbled at the first step of their title defence, drawing with Reims.
With another 37 games to go - and a budget that dwarves every other side in the division bar Monaco - there’s still plenty of time for Ibra and PSG to recover. He doesn’t exactly seem the sort of person to dwell on the bad and there was plenty of good to go with it. Ibrahimovic scored 26 times last season and already looks to be in good shape.
But there’s an argument to be made that PSG are too reliant on the talismanic Swede. They may also have Edinson Cavani, Javier Pastore and Lucas Moura, yet only Zlatan truly looks at home in the capital. There have been rumours linking Cavani with an exit - the Uruguayan said to be unhappy at playing second fiddle to Zlatan - while Pastore hasn’t hit the heights he threatened at Palermo. Moura, meanwhile, is an encouraging prospect, but not yet on Ibrahimovic’s level.
Then again, Ibrahimovic has shown throughout his career he can be relied upon. He has been prolific throughout his senior career, even in an unhappy year at Barcelona when he netted 22 times. The lowest tally Ibrahimovic has mustered in a full season is nine, during his first Ajax campaign - and with the three goals netted for Malmo that year, before he moved to the Netherlands, he was still in double figures.
He’s certainly got the statistics to attract any manager and is among the most-bought players in EuroFantasyLeague.com. Unsurprisingly it is players from PSG and Monaco who are most wanted and while there were good weekends for Ibrahimovic and Radamel Falcao, another weekend goal scorer - again in a surprise draw, Lorient holding Monaco - it was some of the more unsung players who grabbed the points.
Andre-Pierre Gignac netted twice for Marseille but Marcelo Bielsa’s side was held to a 3-3 draw by Claude Makelele’s Bastia, a case of good for the player but less so for the club. Marseille were leading 3-1 but dropped two points in a fog of muddled defending. And while the early signs are good for Gignac under Bielsa, time will tell how the hefty forward copes with the Chilean’s passion for fitness training.
They may have the same number of goals after the first round of Ligue 1 games, but it’s fair to suggest Ibrahimovic is just getting started while Gignac may have already peaked.
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