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'Lions don't recover like humans' - Ibrahimovic thrilled to be back

The Swede made his long-awaited returns from injury in the 4-1 win over Newcastle United.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned from injury in Manchester United's win over Newcastle United
Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned from injury in Manchester United's win over Newcastle United

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC IS determined make a statement after he recovered from a serious knee injury to feature in Manchester United’s 4-1 win over Newcastle United.

Paul Pogba — featuring for the first time since September following his own return from injury — starred for Jose Mourinho’s side at Old Trafford, as he set up Anthony Martial’s equaliser and scored United’s third in the emphatic victory.

Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku, who has struggled in front of goal in recent weeks, netted as well, with Ibrahimovic introduced from the bench late on.

It is an early comeback for the 36-year-old, who was expected to be out for another month, but the former Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona striker claims he never had any doubts he would return.

“No, because lions do not recover like humans,” Ibrahimovic quipped when asked by BT Sport if he was ever concerned about his rehabilitation from the cruciate ligament injury sustained in April.

“It is special [to be back]. It’s a different day, but [I'm] the same quality.

I’m not worried. Not worried at all because I know what I do I train hard, sacrifice a lot. It is my head that is playing, my knee just needs to follow, so I’m not worried at all.

“It is not easy. In my case, I was on top, but from one day to another I could not do anymore.

“I had a different summer because I was out of contract, but as soon as I signed I was focused on the team and getting back to help the team as best as possible.

But when you cannot do that, you have to focus on one thing and that is coming back, and coming back good. You can’t just come back, it’s about making a statement.”

United and Mourinho had come under some criticism prior to Saturday’s encounter, with Pogba’s absence cited as a major reason for their inconsistent performances.

And the 24-year-old proved his worth with a superb individual display, but the France star is adamant United’s squad have never paid attention to their critics.

“I see the same team. I feel the same atmosphere,” he told BT Sport.

“Just to come back, the season is very long. We forget about the criticism.

“It hurts because you want to help the team. You just do your recovery and try to get back and play.”

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