Football

St Etienne not obsessed with nemesis Ibrahimovic

ROUND OF 32, 2ND LEG
ST ETIENNE MAN UNITED
  • Man United lead 3-0 from first leg

St Etienne are Zlatan Ibrahimovic's preferred victims, but the French club will not pay special attention to the Manchester United striker ahead of their Europa League last-32, second-leg clash tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

No other team in Europe have been more haunted by Ibrahimovic, who has now scored three hat-tricks against the French club, including one in the first leg that put United on the brink of qualification with a 3-0 win.

Ibrahimovic has scored 17 goals in 14 games against St Etienne.

"Ibrahimovic's stats against us are outstanding, he is a great player," St Etienne midfielder Romain Hamouma said at a press conference yesterday.

"However, we cannot be obsessed with just one player."

St Etienne coach Christophe Galtier said United could inflict damage through any number of players.

"You can have an anti-Ibrahimovic plan or an anti-Paul-Pogba plan but, with this team, danger can come from anywhere," said Galtier.

St Etienne go into the match as underdogs and Galtier said his team would need to capitalise on their chances with the home fans behind them.

"We need a great start. We will have chances like in the first leg but, this time, we will have to convert them," he said.

Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney trained with his United colleagues yesterday morning ahead of their trip to France.

United's all-time record scorer has missed the past four games, but participated in a session before the flight for the game with St Etienne.

A muscular injury has sidelined Rooney for a length of time in which his team have pieced together a four-game winning streak.

Only midfielder Ander Herrera, who cannot play in the competition due to suspension, and birthday boy Phil Jones, who has been carrying a foot injury, were missing as Jose Mourinho watched on at the Aon Training Complex. - WIRE SERVICES

EUROPA LEAGUEManchester UnitedZlatan Ibrahimovic