Guest Post By Barrie’s View
Barrie’s View gives us an insight into Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s record against English clubs in Europe as Les Parisiens get set to take on Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
He has won league titles with every club he’s played for since leaving Malmo. He’s scored regularly for every club he’s played for. He’s one of the Champions League’s all-time leading goalscorers. He’s virtually scored 1 in 2 at international level. He’s scored numerous goals of the highest quality. He’s even written a top selling autobiography. But there’s still one thing Zlatan Ibrahimovic has not proven.
Zlatan has a woeful record versus English sides in club competition.
The Swedish striker has scored 41 goals in 102 Champions League matches. That’s a goal ratio of 0.4 in Europe’s elite club competition. In fact, take out his games against English opposition and he has a goal ratio of 0.44. Even more impressive.
But when it comes to playing English Premier League sides in the Champions League – Ibrahimovic has only scored three goals in 15 matches. All three of those came against Arsenal. Two being in one game.
For it was the English press who previously doubted the Swede’s credentials when he made a €69.5 million move from Internazionale to Barcelona in 2009.
That season he started to prove doubters wrong with a brace against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the Champions League. Those goals ended a run of 10 matches versus English opposition without a single goal.
The last knockout tie Ibrahimovic faced English opposition was at Milan in 2012 at the round of 16 stage when the Italian side progressed 4-3 on aggregate. The Swedish striker scored one of the Serie A giants’ four goals against the Gunners.
Prior to that, Zlatan and his team mates largely failed to break down English opposition:
2011-12 round of 16
AC Milan 4-0 Arsenal (90 minutes, 1 goal)
Arsenal 3-0 AC Milan (90 minutes)
2010-11 round of 16
AC Milan 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur (90 minutes)
Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 AC Milan (90 minutes)
Arsenal 2-2 Barcelona (76 minutes, 2 goals)
Barcelona 4-1 Arsenal (did not play)
2008-09 round of 16
Internazionale 0-0 Manchester United
Manchester United 2-0 Internazionale
2007-08 round of 16
Liverpool 2-0 Internazionale (90 minutes)
Internazionale 0-1 Liverpool (79 minutes)
Arsenal 2-0 Juventus (90 minutes)
Juventus 0-0 Arsenal (90 minutes)
Liverpool 2-1 Juventus (90 minutes)
Juventus 0-0 Liverpool (90 minutes)
2002-03 second group stage
Arsenal 1-1 Ajax (78 minutes)
Ajax 0-0 Arsenal (83 minutes)
It’s interesting to see that as the main striker, Ibra’s sides have failed to score in 11 of the 15 match-ups versus English opposition. You could argue that his side were inferior of course, or that the English defences shut him down.
In the first five knock-out meetings versus English opposition, he was on the losing side and eliminated. However, he has won the previous two – both against Arsenal as a Barcelona and AC Milan player respectively. So a 2-5 record overall.
Last season was the first time Zlatan did not make the trip to England to play in the European Cup, ending a five-year streak.
Paris Saint-Germain host Chelsea in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie on Wednesday. The Parisians have a 13-point lead over AS Monaco with 7 games to play in Ligue 1 meaning Laurent Blanc can fully focus on the continent now.
Meanwhile Chelsea’s surprise defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday has damaged their Premier League title chances to the point that manager José Mourinho said they are over. Does this mean his side will also focus fully on the Champions League, resting the first team over the weekend in between the two legs?
Do you think Zlatan Ibrahimović will score in either leg versus Chelsea and will Paris Saint-Germain eliminate the English side
Written by Barrie’s View – follow Barrie on Twitter for more UEFA Champions League stats.