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Superb Ibrahimovic Hatrick Puts Manchester United On Cusp Europa League Glory

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Superb Ibrahimovic Hatrick Puts Manchester United On Cusp Europa League Glory

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 16: Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester United celebrates scoring his sides first goal with Ander Herrera during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 first leg match between Manchester United and AS Saint-Etienne at Old Trafford on February 16, 2017 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s hat-trick gave Manchester United one foot in the last 16 of the Europa League after a 3-0 win against Saint-Etienne at Old Trafford.

The Swede scored in both halves for the Red Devils as they overcame a difficult challenge against a well-organised and dangerous side on the night.

United survived an early scare after a dreadful backpass from Eric Bailly handed Saint-Etienne an early opening, but Sergio Romero covered well to close down the chance.

Marouane Fellaini had a goal disallowed at the other end, but it wasn’t long before United found a breakthrough, even if it did come via a huge slice of luck.

Ibrahimovic won a free-kick in a dangerous position before attempting a cheeky effort under the wall, which found its way in thanks to a huge deflection that wrong-footed goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier.

The 35-year-old continued his quest for goals in the second half but saw another strike ruled out for offside after finding the back of the net with a header.

Still, Ibrahimovic was on hand to tap home after good work by substitute Marcus Rashford on the left-hand side, making it 2-0 and putting United in a strong position.

In the end, they were able to get even more daylight between themselves and their Ligue 1 opponents, with Ibrahimovic slotting away a penalty in the 88th minute to surely put the tie to bed.

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