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31st Dec 2016

Fans are baffled as this Zlatan Ibrahimović volley is disallowed

A controversial call.

Tom Victor

Zlatan Ibrahimović needs two goals today to overtake Lionel Messi as the top scorer in European football’s top leagues in 2016.

His Manchester United side are up against Middlesbrough, and the Swede thought he had drawn level with his former Barcelona teammate when he prodded the ball into the Boro net in the first half.

However, referee Lee Mason intervened, disallowing the strike and keeping the scores level at 0-0 going into the break.

Zlatan’s foot was high, but there was some debate over whether his actions constituted dangerous play.

There is no doubt that his boot was nowhere near head height by the time goalkeeper Victor Valdés was in shot, and that is a point being made by a lot of people.

And it didn’t take long for more theories to emerge about Mason’s decision-making.

Of course it didn’t escape people’s attention that Valdés, the villain of the piece, had a score to settle with United.

After being frozen out by Louis van Gaal and allowed to leave after a season on the sidelines, was this the Spaniard’s revenge?