PSG routs Malmo 5-0, advances in Champions League
Nov. 25, 2015
MALMO, Sweden (AP) — Angel Di Maria scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain crushed Malmo 5-0 on Wednesday and secured a spot in the knockout stage of the Champions League.
Returning to his hometown, Zlatan Ibrahimovic also scored for PSG and enjoyed a standing ovation from the fans of his former club.
"It was a great moment for me and my family. This is where everything started," Ibrahimovic told Sweden's TV3 after the game.
Exploiting gaping holes in Malmo's defense, Adrien Rabiot headed in an early lead and Di Maria made it 2-0 off the post within the first 15 minutes of the Group A game.
Despite unyielding support from the home crowd, Malmo wasted a penalty and never posed a threat to the vastly superior French club.
Picking up a pass from Blaise Matuidi, Ibrahimovic scored at the start of the second half, beating goalkeeper Johan Wiland from a tight angle. Malmo fans rose to their feet and chanted "super-Zlatan" as he was substituted five minutes before full time.
"I got goose bumps. It felt like I was home," said Ibrahimovic, who left Malmo in 2001 to join Ajax.
All hopes of a Malmo comeback died when captain Markus Rosenberg struck the post from the penalty spot in the 61st minute.
Di Maria headed in his second goal on a cross from Maxwell minutes later and second-half substitute Lucas made it 5-0 when he curled a free kick into the top right corner.
PSG wore the slogan "Je suis Paris" on its shirts in solidarity with the French capital after the Nov. 13 attacks.
The French club will join Group A winner Real Madrid in the knockout phase.
Thousands of people who couldn't get tickets watched the game on a big screen that Ibrahimovic had arranged to be set up on a square in downtown Malmo.
"Zlatan's career, all the way from Malmo to Paris right now, is a dream come true for many people," said Amin Harmansson, a 37-year-old fan of the Swede. "And for him to return to Malmo ... it's a great thing and Zlatan made it happen, and Malmo made it happen as well."
Associated Press writer Karl Ritter contributed to this report.