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Overhead lightning: Ibrahimović dazzles Europe

Published: Friday 16 November 2012, 11.00CET
A week after Taison hit one of the greatest goals in history, Zlatan Ibrahimović may have struck an even better one: digests seven days of wonders in European football.

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Published: Friday 16 November 2012, 11.00CET

Overhead lightning: Ibrahimović dazzles Europe

A week after Taison hit one of the greatest goals in history, Zlatan Ibrahimović may have struck an even better one: digests seven days of wonders in European football.

Player: Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden)
"Magic, magic." The Paris Saint-Germain FC forward's description of that goal – his fourth in Wednesday's unforgettable 4-2 win against England – summed up his performance in the first game at Sweden's new home, Solna's Friends Arena. Named Sweden's player of the year on Monday, the 31-year-old's all-round display was both merciless and marvellous, yet his outrageous overhead kick may prove the defining moment of his week, season, career even. Midfielder Steven Gerrard, who collected his 100th cap for England, said it was "one of the best goals I've ever seen live". Ibrahimović’s team-mate Martin Olsson told "I don't think any other player would have tried it. Not from there – it's just not possible."

Other goal: Rauf Aliyev (Azerbaijan)
Since strict rules forbid a player getting the player and goal of the week honours in the same edition, kudos to Azerbaijan's Rauf Aliyev. His superb swerving drive against Northern Ireland in Belfast came close to earning Berti Vogts's side only the second competitive away victory in their history – David Healy's free-kick denying them a 1-0 FIFA World Cup Group F success at the death. "Some might think I was really lucky with the goal, but I was trying hit it that way," said the 23-year-old Qarabağ FK forward. "I saw their keeper coming off his line and decided to have a go. This goal is of huge importance to me, because I hadn't scored for a really long time either for my club and for the national team. Hopefully now the goals will keep coming."

Other, other goal: Ayanda Patosi (KSC Lokeren OV)
In any other week, this Taison-worthy volley would have been goal of the week, or maybe other goal of the week, but given the standard of the opposition, a bronze goalscoring medal is quite a prize for KSC Lokeren OV's South African striker Ayanda Patosi. The 20-year-old cracked in a mighty effort in a 2-1 Belgian First League win at home to R. Standard de Liège on 9 November – and has watched in awe as the video clip went viral. "I saw the goal again on YouTube when I got home and it was amazing," he said. "I am full of confidence at the moment and said to myself: 'Go for it!' But my goals are not important, the team performance is."

Team: Molde FK
Last Sunday's 1-0 home success against Hønefoss BK, coupled with defeat for challengers Strømsgodset IF, confirmed a second successive Norwegian Premier Division title for Molde FK – and confirmed Ole Gunnar Solskjær as one of Europe's hottest coaching properties. Forward Daniel Chima notched the only goal in the 59th minute to kick-start the celebrations for the UEFA Europa League contenders. "There was much talk of us not being able to win the league again, but we have proved them wrong," said the 39-year-old, who played for Molde before arriving at Manchester United FC. Solskjær, who has stayed at the Molde Stadion despite interest from several teams on the continent, is now looking to the future. "We intend to strengthen the squad. Some changes are always for the good."

"Fantastic goal! I'll be honest – I think his one is even better than mine, as he hits it with the outside of his foot, while I had my ankle turned in at that moment. Both goals are of extreme beauty of course."
Marco van Basten acknowledges that Taison's goal in FC Metalist Kharkiv's UEFA Europa League Group K win against Rosenborg BK may have the edge on his epochal strike for the Netherlands against the Soviet Union at the 1988 UEFA European Championship.

Number: 300
FC Dinamo Minsk's Aleksandr Sulima has set a new mark as the first goalkeeper to play 300 games in the Belarusian league, with that number doubly significant since he has also conceded 300 goals in the course of those matches. Looking back, however, the number that the 33-year-old former international really wanted to stress was 113 – the number of clean sheets he has kept in league action since his senior debut in 1997. "Do I feel like a veteran? Not at all," he said. "I am still young and hungry. It is good to have played 300 games though – that gives me a lot of pleasure – but 113 clean sheets is a really good result."

The unbeatables: Spain and Montenegro
Spain's 5-1 triumph in Panama saw them end 2012 unbeaten in 16 games, but Montenegro became the only other European national side to finish the year without defeat – making it five wins and two draws from their seven matches with Wednesday's 3-0 World Cup home victory over San Marino. That result also means they will kick off 2013 two points clear of England at the top of qualifying Group H. "It's obviously a pleasure to share a statistic with the brilliant Spain, but nobody compares us to them," said coach Branko Brnović, who spent six years playing in the Spanish Liga with RCD Espanyol.

Dose of reality: Viktor Fischer (Denmark)
The 18-year-old AFC Ajax forward's career has come on in giant leaps in the last seven days. At the weekend, he marked his first Eredivisie start with two goals and an assist in a 4-2 victory at PEC Zwolle; then, on Wednesday, he found himself fast-tracked into the Denmark senior team for their 1-1 friendly draw against Turkey in Istanbul. However, the tyro was to learn that his golden boots still contained feet of clay when – after coming on in the second half – he conspired to almost hit the corner flag when presented with a decent chance from the edge of the box. "It was probably not that clever to hit it 17 metres wide of goal – not least when there was someone next to me who I could have passed to," he concluded. Lesson duly learned.

Cameo roles: Javier Hernández (Manchester United FC) & Edin Džeko (Manchester City FC)
Not for the first time this season, Manchester United FC and Manchester City FC came from behind to claim three points last weekend. Javier Hernández and Edin Džeko emerged from the bench once more as United and City snatched a 3-2 victory at Aston Villa FC and a 2-1 home win against Tottenham Hotspur FC respectively. Hernández's Villa Park double arrived a fortnight after he was brought on to score the decider in United's 3-2 triumph at Chelsea FC. "We never want to give up until the end," said the Mexico striker. Five of Džeko's six Premier League goals have come as a replacement, including winners against West Bromwich Albion FC, Fulham FC and now Tottenham. "It is just a coincidence," he said, somewhat testily. "I was never a super sub, even before I came to Manchester City."

Busy boy: Juanjo (Spain)
After helping European champions Spain set up a FIFA Futsal World Cup semi-final against Italy with a superb showing in their 3-2 success over Russia in Thailand on Wednesday, goalkeeper Juanjo gave an insight into the often frantic world of the sport's net minder. "I've never felt as tired in all my life," the Interviú Madrid man said after foiling a late barrage from the team Spain beat to win last February's UEFA Futsal EURO. "I saw them coming and just said I hope they don't score," the 27-year-old continued. "Today was my turn to make the saves, but in other matches I normally get to enjoy watching my team-mates score the goals."

Last updated: 04/12/13 19.04CET

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