Ibrahimovic Hat-Trick Puts Man Utd in Control of Saint-Etienne Tie
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick as Manchester United opened up a commanding Europa League last-32 lead against Saint-Etienne.
Ibrahimovic’s deflected free-kick wrong-footed goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier and dribbled over the line for the opener, and he tapped home from close range after good work from Marcus Rashford, as well as adding a late penalty.
Saint-Etienne caused United problems on the break in the first 45 minutes, particularly with Romain Hamouma’s pace, while Henri Saivet and Nolan Roux both clipped efforts narrowly off target.
Ruffier’s double save denied Juan Mata, Anthony Martial forced the visiting goalkeeper into sharp saves and Paul Pogba headed against the crossbar from close range.
The two sides meet for the second leg on Wednesday, 22 February.