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'Ibra' in sublime form in rout of Anderlecht

Updated: 2013-10-25 07:28
By Reuters in Brussels ( China Daily)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored four times - including a breathtaking 25-meter half volley that capped a 19-minute hat-trick - as Paris St. Germain humbled Anderlecht 5-0 in their Champions League Group C match on Wednesday.

The Sweden international struck in the 17th, 22nd and 36th minutes - the eighth quickest treble in Champions League history - and added PSG's fifth just past the hour to lead the French champion to victory at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium.

His third goal was so good it earned a round of applause from the generous home fans, and Ibrahimovic - seldom afraid to play to the galleries - applauded them back.

'Ibra' in sublime form in rout of Anderlecht

Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani was also on the score sheet in the second half as Laurent Blanc's team moved to nine points from three games, top of the group and within sight of the knockout stages.

"I feel good," Ibrahimovic said. "This year we are stronger, we have stronger players. We could win the competition; but remember that the further you go, the harder it is."

Anderlecht, a one-time UEFA Cup champion, had no answer to Ibrahimovic's power and finishing, and is last in the section after three consecutive defeats.

Ibrahimovic's feat made him only the fourth player to score four in one Champions League game, and he now has 10 goals in the past five games for club and country.

He missed a presentable early chance, too, stabbing wide from an angle with only keeper Thomas Kaminski to beat.

Thereafter he could hardly miss.

The highlight of the match arrived nine minutes before halftime, when Ibrahimovic pounced on a loose, bouncing ball 25 meters out and produced a right-foot half-volley that kept bending away from Kaminski's outstretched hand until it slammed into the roof of the Anderlecht net.


(China Daily 10/25/2013 page23)