PARIS: Zlatan Ibrahimovic set a record for league goals in a single season by a Paris St Germain player, saying farewell with a brace in the French champions’ 4-0 rout of Nantes in the final round of Ligue 1 on Saturday.
With the title long wrapped up and a French Cup final against bitter rivals Olympique Marseille to come a week later, the night was all about Ibrahimovic and his quest to break the 37-goal single season PSG record in his last game at the Parc des Princes.
Starting the game with 36 goals, the Sweden striker, whose contract with PSG has not been renewed, equalled the 1997-98 club record of Argentine Carlos Bianchi in the 18th minute after using his chest to connect with a cross from Angel Di Maria.
Ibrahimovic then netted his record 38th a minute from time from Javier Pastore’s cross to end a match-long quest that had looked set to frustrate him.
The game was briefly interrupted in the 10th minute as the crowd gave Ibrahimovic — who will play his last game with PSG when they take on Marseille — a standing ovation.
“I’m feeling very emotional. Today is a very special day after four years together winning lots of trophies,” said Ibrahimovic. “Thank you ‘Ibracadabra’, these four years will remain in my heart.”
At 34, Ibrahimovic played one of the best seasons of his career.
Although he failed again in his task of delivering the Champions League to the Qatari-owned club, he was named last week the league’s best player for the third time in four seasons.
Playing tremendous football for most of the season, the imposing striker became PSG’s all-time leading scorer as the Parisian club won a fourth consecutive Ligue 1 title and the League Cup.
“Hopefully the team will continue to win a lot,” Ibrahimovic said, before adding “without Ibra, it’s difficult but it’s possible.”
PSG finish the season with 96 points.
Olympique Lyon lost 4-1 at Stade de Reims but ended up second and will play in next season’s Champions League.
Monaco are third on goal difference and will play in the third preliminary round after first half goals from Ivan Cavaleiro and a Fabinho penalty gave them a 2-0 win over Montpellier and ensured the Principality side kept their two-point lead over Nice intact.
Nice won 3-2 at Guingamp but had to settle for fourth in Hatem Ben Arfa’s final game for the south coast club.
Lille took fifth place after a 1-0 win at St Etienne and will play in the Europa League.
Toulouse twice came from behind to beat Angers 3-2 and avoid relegation. They finished with 40 points, one ahead of Reims, who went down along with Gazelec Ajaccio and Troyes.
Courtesy : Dawn News