Zlatan Ibrahimovic sorry to miss clash with Arsenal

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has apologised for landing the suspension that will rule him out of his side’s clash with Arsenal a week on Saturday.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic sorry to miss clash with Arsenal

A 76th-minute tangle with Leroy Fer led to Ibrahimovic picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in Sunday’s 3-1 victory at Swansea — a match in which the 35-year-old Swede scored twice.

It means he will be serving a one-game ban when the Gunners visit Old Trafford on November 19.

Ibrahimovic said: “You know what? Every time I try to play my game by being strong and going into the tackles, or whatever it is, I get a yellow card.

“I don’t know what the explanation was because I think I was too tired and I didn’t hear him (referee Neil Swarbrick).

“It is what it is. In England, the football is hard, it’s physical.

“I just have to accept it. I’ve got to be professional. I’m sorry I am suspended for the next game. I wish I wasn’t as it’s a game I really wanted to play in.

“But I have trust in my team-mates and the team and I know they can do fine also without me.”

Ibrahimovic’s brace, ending a six-game goal drought, took him to eight for the season so far.

There was also a superb strike from United’s record signing Paul Pogba — his fourth goal since his summer switch from Juventus — as the Red Devils registered their first win in five Premier League outings and moved up to sixth in the table.

United boss Jose Mourinho on Sunday appeared to be making reference to defenders Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw when he suggested some of his players were less willing to play through pain than others.

Pogba played the full duration of the Swansea game, despite having been an injury doubt after limping off in the first half of Thursday’s 2-1 Europa League defeat at Fenerbahce. And he said after the match at the Liberty Stadium, regarding his condition: “I always say that when you go with your head the rest will follow.

“It’s not done, but I was fit enough to play and the gaffer picked me.”

The France midfielder added: “I think every player wanted to win this game and everyone was focused.

“We gave it our best and gave everything. The first half (when United scored all three of their goals) was unbelievable.

“It was one of the best first-half performances so far and that’s how we have to play, we have to give everything, we have to press all together and when we play together we play like that.

“I think this is one of the best goals I’ve scored for Manchester United but I hope to score more goals to help the team and we win and win, carry on like that.

“We are all happy for Zlatan because he needs to be confident and he scored two goals. He gives everything for the team and that’s what we need, players playing for each other and we need that team spirit.

“Of course we needed to win and that’s what we did — we need to carry on in this way now.”

Meanwhile, former United striker Robin van Persie has confirmed he escaped serious injury after suffering a facial blow during Fenerbahce’s Super Lig win over Akhisar.

The 33-year-old Dutchman scored the opening goal in the 3-1 victory but was carried off on a stretcher after 37 minutes, having been hit in the eye during a seemingly innocuous collision with an opponent.

Television pictures appeared to show blood coming from Van Persie’s heavily bandaged left eye and he was subsequently taken to hospital.

However, echoing a club statement on Sunday which said the situation was not as bad as initially feared, the former Manchester United forward yesterday revealed he has suffered no damage to his eye, only a “little tear” to his eyelid.

He wrote in a statement on his Twitter account: “I would like to thank you all for your prayers and well wishes after my injury from last night’s game. Also a big thank you to all the medical staff who looked after me.

“I have a little tear in my eyelid and after tests in the hospital this morning I can say that my eye itself is undamaged, so all good! These things happen in football.”

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