Ibrahimovic scores 2 as PSG beats Marseille 4-2 in Cup final
ABS-CBN Sports on May 22, 2016 11:31 AM
PSG's Zlatan Ibrahimovic kicks the ball during the French Cup final soccer match between Marseille and PSG at the Stade de France Stadium, in Saint Denis, North of Paris, Saturday, May 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
JEROME PUGMIRE, AP Sports Writer
PARIS (AP) — Zlatan Ibrahimovic ended his Paris Saint-Germain career in style by reaching 50 goals in an outstanding farewell season as bitter rival Marseille was beaten 4-2 in the French Cup final on Saturday.
Ibrahimovic scored a penalty at the start of the second half and showed his altruistic side, picking out forward Edinson Cavani with a perfect pass through Marseille's defense as PSG made it 3-1.
Midfielder Blaise Matuidi created the fourth in the 82nd, allowing Ibrahimovic to charge through and coolly beat goalkeeper Steve Mandanda for his 156th goal in 180 games since joining the club in 2012 — and his 11th in 10 against Marseille.
"It has been a fantastic adventure for me," Ibrahimovic said on French television. "We know how it was in the beginning and how it is today. I can just say 'Mission completed.'"
In typical brash style, he replied with a curt 'You tell me' when asked if he will miss the French league, or whether Ligue 1 will miss him.
Asked to say a farewell in French, he instead chose to continue in English.
"I didn't speak French, and still I won everything," he said. "I came, I saw, I conquered. Thank you."
PSG secured consecutive domestic trebles, and won the cup for a record-equaling 10th time — level with Marseille, which last won the trophy in 1989.
Matuidi gave PSG the lead in the second minute and, after winger Florian Thauvin leveled 10 minutes later with a slightly deflected strike from the edge of the penalty area, Matuidi earned a penalty a minute into the second half.
Marseille center half Nicolas N'Koulou was to blame for a clumsy challenge, needlessly barging into Matuidi as he broke into the right of the area.
Ibrahimovic took his time from the spot, taking a deep breath before sending goalkeeper Steve Mandanda the wrong way.
Moments later, Marseille almost equalized through Thauvin, only for striker Steven Fletcher to waste his pass with a poor finish.
After Marseille lost possession carelessly, PSG winger Angel Di Maria picked up the loose ball and quickly fed it to Ibrahimovic, who spotted Cavani in space. Cavani confidently netted his 25th goal of the season in the 57th.
Top-scorer Michy Batshuayi pulled a goal back in the 87th, and Marseille created some pressure in the closing stages.
But it was too late.
The night belonged to Ibrahimovic, anyway, and French President Francois Hollande joined the Stade de France crowd in applauding the Sweden star as he was substituted with a minute left.
Ibrahimovic will stay in France a little longer — the European Championship begins on June 10 — but must then find a new club.
The 34-year-old Ibrahimovic won't be short of offers, with FA Cup winner Manchester United and Major League Soccer teams reportedly keen.