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Ibrahimović's happy return as Paris thrash Malmö

Malmö 0-5 Paris
Zlatan Ibrahimović marked his return to his first club with a goal, Ángel Di María getting two as Paris guaranteed second place in Group A.

Ibrahimović's happy return as Paris thrash Malmö
Ibrahimović's happy return as Paris thrash Malmö ©UEFA.com
  • Paris Saint-Germain secure second place in Group A with comfortable win at Malmö
  • Adrien Rabiot's first UEFA Champions League gives Paris early lead (3)
  • Ángel Di María scores his second and third goals against Malmö this season (14, 68)
  • Zlatan Ibrahimović on target against his former club (50); Lucas adds late fifth
  • Final Group A games: Real Madrid v Malmö, Paris v Shakhtar Donetsk (8 December)

The return of Zlatan Ibrahimović to Malmö, 14 years after leaving his home-town club, was a dream scenario as soon as the group stage draw was made – and the striker duly marked the occasion with a goal as Paris Saint-Germain earned a comfortable win that secured second place in Group A.

"It will be something to remember," Ibrahimović had promised in the build-up, and as if keen to ensure a memorable evening, Paris started at pace and took a third-minute lead when Adrien Rabot was left unmarked to head in. The midfielder launched the attack himself, combining with Ibrahimović before meeting Gregory van der Wiel's floated cross.

Malmö, however, might quickly have been back on terms, passing up a double chance. Jo Inge Berget's volley from point-blank range was wayward yet looped up for Markus Rosenberg, who could not get enough power on his header.

Di María, Maxwell, Zlatan
Di María, Maxwell, Zlatan©AFP/Getty Images

Instead, the hosts was given a lesson in controlled finishing by their visitors. Blaise Matuidi was allowed room on the left to to send in a low cross, and Ángel Di María supplied a low finish into the bottom corner past Johan Wiland.

Ibrahimović took on a supporting role for much of the night, seemingly content to thread the ball through to create opportunities for team-mates, but five minutes into the second period he reminded the home fans of his scoring prowess. When Anton Tinnerholm failed to clear, Matuidi put the Sweden captain through, and Wiland was unable to keep out the curled effort.

Malmö did have another chance to get on the scoresheet when Maxwell felled Nikola Djurdjić, but Rosenberg's penalty came back off the post. Again Paris showed the Swedes how it should be done, Di María heading a fourth from close range before a fine Lucas free-kick made it 5-0.

Not that that quietened the Malmö fans, who backed their team till the final whistle, and gave their favourite son a rousing reception when substituted late on. Paris will finish second in Group A; Malmö must contest the UEFA Europa League spot with Shakhtar Donetsk.

Key player: Ángel Di María
The Argentinian posed a threat all night. When he struck, he struck with venom, handing Malmö a master class in finishing. He doubled the advantage with a trademark left-footed shot, into the bottom corner of the Malmö goal. His subsequent second – Paris's fourth – came with a close-range header, rather more uncharacteristically.

The homecoming
Ibrahimović had looked forward to this fixture for months, as had all of Malmo. After mostly providing passes for colleagues to finish, he got onto the scoresheet himself with a curled effort early in the second period. Though the crowd did not cheer then, they gave him a rapturous ovation when he was withdrawn on 85 minutes.

The party
Crashing 5–0 at home did no favours for the home side's hopes of playing in Europe after the winter break. Yet there were not many sad faces at Malmö New Stadium, where much of the crowd accompanied their team in the closing stages by jumping in unison, singing their undying support.

©AFP/Getty Images
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©AFP/Getty Images