Ibrahimovic Returns from Injury to Score in his 24th League Season
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored in his return after four months out on injury as AC Milan claimed a convincing and deserving 2-0 victory over Lazio.
It is 11 seasons since AC Milan won the title. Though they finished in second spot last season, their best finish in nine seasons never looked to have a chance to overhaul the early lead enjoyed by Inter Milan.
However, this year with Inter Milan and Juventus weakening they look to have their best chance in a generation. And indeed, they passed their first real test today when they beat Lazio 2-0.
AC Milan enjoyed territorial advantage in the first-half although they did not make it pay until the 45th minute. Although they sometimes seemed to lack a final ball, it felt like this was due to the lack of a spearhead-a position Olivier Giroud who is recovering from Covid-19 and Ibrahimovic would be able to combine to fill the role through the season.
Regardless, Rafael Leao ran 40 yards then played the ball wide to Ante Rebic who received a square ball back and slid home for the opener.
Frank Kessie had the chance to double the lead on the strokes of half-time when Ciro Immobile brought him down after a corner but, he clipped the ensuing penalty against the crossbar.
The 39-year-old Ibrahimovic was introduced in place of Leao on the hour mark. This meant Rebic moved to the left flank and from there, he brilliantly set up a tap-in for the substitute in the 68th minute.
The Swedish legend also showed he has lost none of his ability to get under the opponent’s skin. In the last minute of the match, his forceful rubbing of Lucas Leiva’s head led to Maurizio Sarri running onto the pitch to remonstrate with him and earned the Lazio coach a red card.
Milan, who like Lazio came into the game with a 100% record, go top of the table above Napoli on goal difference.