Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has reacted to Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s display during Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Everton on Tuesday night, noting that the Swede looked off the pace against the Toffees.
The 35-year-old spurned a superb one-on-one chance during the opening stages against Ronald Koeman’s side before having his second half header wrongly ruled out for offside.
He did manage to claim his 27th goal of the season during injury time, calmly slotting home from the spot to hand Jose Mourinho‘s men an unsatisfying draw – their ninth in 12 games at Old Trafford.
And Keown, speaking on BT Sport after the game, was quick to note that the Swede produced a lethargic performance against Everton.
“Zlatan is 35 and he looked it [on Tuesday night]. He has been out injured and he looked off the pace,” he said.
You can always bank on Keown to act as a living example of the manic hyperbole existing at the heart of modern footballing discourse. Make no mistake: had Zlatan’s second half header been correctly ruled as onside, Keown – along with all other former professionals – would have been lining up to hail the 35-year-old for producing another match-winning performance.
Football, at least from an observational point of view, is a game of fine margins, but the reality of Zlatan’s performance lies somewhere in between: determined, occasionally wasteful, but ultimately crucial in saving Mourinho’s men from complete embarrassment.