New Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic feels “alive” in the Premier League after announcing his arrival in the English top flight with a fine goal against Bournemouth.
Ibrahimovic’s 25-yard drive helped seal a 3-1 victory for United at the Vitality Stadium and means the striker has now scored on debut in the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and the Champions League.
Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney’s goals had earlier put the visitors in command as manager Jose Mourinho, and Ibrahimovic, enjoyed winning starts to their United careers.
“It was good, very good. I feel alive,” Ibrahimovic said.
“I always try to create some chances, help my team-mates, whoever scored today was not important. Only get the win to start the Premier League well.”
Ibrahimovic, who also scored United’s winner in the Community Shield against Leicester, did not always look comfortable against the Cherries but the 34-year-old former Sweden striker is renowned for producing individual moments of magic and he delivered again.
“I found it was a good game, not easy, the first half was hard,” Ibrahimovic said.
“The second became easier. We found our game much more in the second half and scored a second and third one. The game then was, not easier, but much more open.”
Mata will also have been pleased to make an impression after enduring the embarrassment of coming on and off as a substitute in the Community Shield.
His United career only began because Mourinho viewed him as surplus to requirements at Chelsea but the midfielder insists he is happy under the Portuguese.
“The season has started in a really good way,” Mata wrote on his blog.
“It was important to have a positive start in the Premiership against Bournemouth, a team that had a good last season.
“We did it, and overall I think the whole team played a very complete game. I believe our victory was well deserved and, on top of that, I was lucky to score the first goal of the game, which is always an extra reason to be happy.”
Only Aston Villa conceded more goals than Bournemouth last season and Eddie Howe’s team were again exposed too easily by their opponents.
An under-hit back-pass from Simon Francis gifted Mata his opening goal while both Rooney and Ibrahimovic were completely unattended as they put the game out of sight after half-time.
“It’s something we need to improve on,” Bournemouth defender Steve Cook said.
“If it didn’t hurt it’d be worrying. These sorts of games were the ones where we conceded goals last year so maybe when we go 2-0 down we need to be more defensive and stay in the game rather than chase it.
“But we’re an attacking team, we nearly got back into it. It’s a shame we couldn’t get a second goal and put them under more pressure at the end.”