MONTREAL — Eight games into his MLS career, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has his first MLS red card.
The big Swede was sent off late in the first half of Monday’s game between the LA Galaxy and Montreal Impact for slapping Michael Petrasso on the side of the head:
#Zlatan gets his 1st #MLS red card!!! Michael Petrasso stepped on his foot off the ball, and Zlatan slapped him in the head. Absolutely had to be a red card, based on precedent of other players getting sent off this season for much less. #LAGalaxy down to 10 men. #IMFC #MTLvLA pic.twitter.com/uc9TXvt4K6
— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) May 21, 2018
Ibrahimovic was initially spared, but was shown a red card after a VAR review.
The 10-man Galaxy won 1-0 on Ola Kamara’s 75th-minute winner, but the incident was, naturally, a major topic of postmatch discussion. LA Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid questioned the decision – or at least certain aspects of it.
“His big toe got stepped on pretty good,” Schmid said of Ibrahimovic. “I’m a little confused. If he got stepped on and then he hit the guy, it seems to me in the order of fouls the stepping occurred first. So I don’t know why it’s not a PK.”
Ibrahimovic did not speak to media after the game.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, sent off in the first half of the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 win in Montreal, in no mood to talk on his way out of Stade Saputo. pic.twitter.com/9kZKKadHZu
— Doug McIntyre (@ByDougMcIntyre) May 21, 2018
Schmid also thought the fact that Petrasso received a yellow card was problematic.
“If they’re saying that the step was accidental, then why did they give him a yellow card?” he asked rhetorically. “It makes no sense. If you give him a yellow card it means you stepped on him on purpose, and if you stepped on him him on purpose, then it’s got to be a PK. And Zlatan gets a red card for his reaction to it. So the sequential order I’m a little confused by.”
It’s not the first time Ibrahimovic has slapped an opponent. While with AC Milan, he reached around a teammate to slap a Napoli player, and saw red.
It’s no surprise, either. Frustration had been growing for Ibrahimovic. The Galaxy had lost four in a row entering Monday. They’d conceded 11 goals in those four games. Ibrahimovic’s stunning two-goal debut, and his winner against the Chicago Fire, seemed like ages ago.
“We’ve talked about that,” Schmid said of Ibrahimovic’s frustration. “He wants to win and he’s more frustrated at us not being able to get results than anything else.”
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