SPORT

Ibrahimovic scores in Barcelona’s win

Ibrahimovic… dream debut.

Ibrahimovic… dream debut.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: AP

BARCELONA: Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored on his debut on Monday as Barcelona began its Spanish league title defence with a 3-0 victory over Sporting Gijon.

The Swedish striker dived low in the 82nd minute to head in Daniel Alves’ deflected cross to round out the scoring. Earlier, Bojan Krkic and Seydou Keita had also scored from headers at the Camp Nou, where the Catalan club opened its season without star forward Lionel Messi who had travelled to Argentina to prepare for Saturday’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Brazil.

Keyta flicked on a corner toward the far post in the 17th minute and Krkic headed home to open the scoring. The Mali midfielder then met Alves’ swinging cross in the 42nd to beat Juan Pablo with another powerful header.

Barcelona paid €66 million and sent leading striker Samuel Eto’o to Inter Milan in order to bring Ibrahimovic to the Camp Nou, and it was certainly a relief to the crowd, the Sweden striker and his teammates when he opened his account.

“He just arrived, he needed to find his rhythm, know his teammates,” Alves said. “But we always knew the goals would come because of his quality, ” said Alves.

New signing Dmytro Chygrynskiy watched on from the stands after the Catalan club completed the Ukraine defender’s €25 million transfer from Shakhtar Donetsk earlier on Monday. — AP

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