Zlatan gives his verdict on controversial opening goal

Date published: Thursday 15th December 2016 9:25

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Handball controversy

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has admitted the ball “could have” hit his hand in the build-up to Manchester United’s opening goal at Crystal Palace.

On a poor night for referee Craig Pawson and his officials, Paul Pogba prodded United in front despite looking offside and with Ibrahimovic having handled the ball in the build-up.

The visitors would then be left feeling hard done by as they had a strong penalty appeal turned down when Joe Ledley cleared a corner with his arm, before Juan Mata saw a goal wrongly disallowed for offside.

But arguably the biggest flashpoint came when Rojo, who should have been sent off for a two-footed challenge on Everton’s Idrissa Gueye less than a fortnight ago, executed a similar challenge on former United man Wilfried Zaha.

The Red Devils showed character to battle to a 2-1 win at Selhurt Park as Ibrahimovic netted an 88th-minute winner to keep Mourinho’s men six points off the Premier League top four.

It had looked as though the visitors had once again thrown away points from a winning position as James McArthur equalised for Palace after Pogba’s controversial opener.

And Ibrahimovic was unable to give a definitive answer after the full-time whistle, but asked if the ball had hit his hand, he told BT Sport: “Could be, could be.

“The situation went fast, I tried to just forward it to Paul [Pogba] because I saw he was free. I think it touched my hand a little bit and then my stomach. I need to see the images.”

Ibrahimovic found the winner in the closing stages courtesy of a magnificent ball from Pogba.

“I would have liked to score earlier, but the possibility came with a great ball from Paul. I tried to hit the goal and it went in, luck or not it went in and it gave us three points which was very important,” added the Swede.

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