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Thursday 8 December 2016

Ibrahimovic 'sorry' for booking

Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo: PA
Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photo: PA

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (below) has apologised for landing the suspension that will rule him out of his side's clash with Arsenal a week on Saturday.

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.

And 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."

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