Ibrahimovic’s ‘El Clasico’ match winner

IbrahimovicZlat (Reuters)

If you were watching today's FC Barcelona-Real Madrid match, you were one of millions and millions around the world, and while we didn't get the goal-fest we were hoping for, the match's lone goal was a worthy winner for any match.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic came on as a second-half sub and wasted little time making an impact. His beautiful left-footed volley gave Barcelona a lead it never relinquished.

Here is the goal:

What did you think of Ibrahimovic's goal? Impressed with Barcelona's performance? Did you already circle your calendar for the rematch in Madrid?

Share your thoughts below.

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56 Responses to Ibrahimovic’s ‘El Clasico’ match winner

  1. hawaiinate says:

    Awesome, Barca are the best team to watch. Its great that they can have success playing the beautiful way.

  2. BCC says:

    Real was the better team in many facets, just not the one that counts most. Alves’s ball was perfect, as was Ibra’s finish. Should be fun to see the rematch at the Bernabeu.

  3. g-loff says:

    Wow, much more difficult finish than it looks. Pure class.

  4. afrim says:

    4-3-3 is a thing of beauty if you have the horses to run it

  5. bob says:

    To me it looked as if he was a half step offsides.

  6. Pico says:

    One of the things that always amazes me is how easy these players make it look. If you have ever touched a soccer ball and tried to make a pass like that or try to finish with your weak foot on the fly, you have an idea of how difficult it actually is. The skill that these players possess is incredible.

    I do not know how many people follow La Liga but for those that don’t, such ball control is pretty common in league play. The crazy thing is that Barcelona has taken it to the next level. A common comment from the broadcasters is what Barcelona plays is poetry.


  7. Ed says:

    Wow that was some sub-MLS level defending right there.

  8. ericJ says:

    “Ball watching” is what I first thought when it happened…not just one guy but the whole back line!

  9. madmax says:

    Great goal. Barcelona could have broken down Real’s high back four more often but Henry couldn’t keep his arse on side.

  10. CSD says:

    I think the perfect pass made the defense look bad. It was perfectly weighted and it was almost like the defense thought the ball couldn’t be that perfect. I don’t recall a pass anywhere like that in the MLS that wasn’t a mishit fluke.

    That stadium looked big today during the game I didn’t realize until I just looked it up its the biggest stadium in Europe with 98k.

  11. jcd says:

    Offsides is what I think.

  12. DC Josh says:

    And the crowd goes nuts…

  13. Dave says:

    Awfully easy to spot the Madrid supporters in these comments…

    As great as that goal was, my vote for the Man of the Match goes to Carles Puyol. Aside from one early play in which Ronaldo outran him down the flank, Puyol played an absolutely stellar defensive game.

  14. BurlingtonChelsea says:

    Ives your still going to have a hard time keeping Barca at the top of the power rankings after Chelseas performance today….lol.

    (SBI-Says who?)

  15. Manny F says:

    Man it took Barcelona an offside goal to beat Madrid at home.

    (SBI-You might want to figure out how to use the pause button so you can watch the replay again. Ibrahimovic is even with Pepe when Alves strikes it. It’s a perfectly-timed run and a perfect cross. NOT offside.)

  16. japan says:

    I am not a Chelsea nor a Barcelona fan and Chelsea for me is the best team in Europe right now as well. However, you can also make a very strong arguement that Barcelona is the best team right now and to keep bugging Ives about this is just stupid and arrogant. I have no problem with Ives or anyone else thinking Barcelona is the best.

  17. Brad says:

    Agreed. Puyol was flying around everywhere and, as Ray Hudson so elegantly stated, “came riding in on his white horse” many times.

  18. Matt says:

    He was CLEARLY offsides. Not even close.

  19. Matt says:

    And I don’t give a p*ss about Spanish soccer.

  20. offsidesbutwhocares says:

    I’m an expert in offsides, and Ibra ,if anyone wants to be technical about it, is offsides; of course, the referee is going to have a hard time call it at match speed but clearly offside after the replay. On a side note, Casillas effort was subpar to say the least (on that particular play). Lmao! that’s how Barca wins

  21. drew says:

    yes, great goal. except that he cheated.

  22. Jonny2bad says:

    what Ives said: learn to use the pause button.

  23. A. Ruiz says:

    Someone call Madrid a waaaaambulance.

    Madrid still had 30mins to play and most of those with an extra man on the pitch.

    Heres an idea, why not spend another kings ransom worth of players next year, with some luck, maybe then you’ll tie at the camp nou next year.

  24. southkorea says:

    CLEARY offsides?

    The whole play was perfect, it saddens me that people who post and read SBI can’t even comprehend the game.

  25. southkorea says:

    Then don’t post about it.

    It’s the most beautiful league in the world at the moment.
    Like someone said earlier, the way Barcelona play is poetry, and the rest of the league is not that far off in terms of technical brilliance.

    Your two replies on this post have got to be the most arrogant of any football supporter I’ve met.
    How you cannot appreciate the beautiful game being played beautifully is beyond me.

  26. southkorea says:

    He was definitely onside.

    The Real defender closest to the linemen is clearly obstructing the view of all three players across the line.

    That is what in football is referred to as ‘onside’.
    This is the basis of the whole rule, from an officiating standpoint, which as an ‘expert’ in offside, should be painfully clear to you.

  27. southkorea says:

    If that post wasn’t clear.

    They were even.

    When players are even it goes to the attacker.


  28. BCC says:

    I am a huge Real Madrid fan and as I said, it was a good goal.

    As to your second point, who else is there to buy? This team needs to come together and play as a unit (like Barca does). The guys they bought are in their prime and will eventually learn to play together. Or get sold off, anyway.

    Don’t know if anyone remembers, but the Clasicos were not competitive last year. I thought today’s game is proof that Real is headed in the right direction.

  29. VPjr says:

    1st half was an impressive display of outstanding organization and hard tackling on the part of RM. they were unlucky not to get a goal.

    2nd half was pretty much All Barca (and I couldn’t be happier about it). Whether or not Ibragol was onside or slightly off is irrelevant. The linesman kept the flag down (good call in my books) and the rest is history. What a glorious day.

    MoM is DEFINITELY Puyol. He was out of this world today.

    Madrid is a very good team but are far more organized in defense than they are going forward. What is the purpose for Xabi Alonso on that team?

  30. JFC says:

    eh i wouldn’t say la liga as a whole has the “technical brilliance” that you refer to but i agree it is an entertaining league and as for “most beautiful league in the world at the moment” line, Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the EPL always looks good.

  31. Pat says:

    Casillas couldn’t come for that?

    Great finish though, much more difficult than it looks.

  32. bob says:

    It saddens me that you can’t use an pause button. He was a quarter to half step offsides. But that is part of the game. It was hard to see.

  33. Manny F says:

    Nope Ives, maybe want to check up on your offside rules. At 0:40 you can see Ibra half a step a head of the line as Dani still is swinging his foot forward.

  34. Manny F says:

    Nope, I learned how to play my videos in slow mo. Its better than a pause button.

  35. Manny F says:

    What this guy said. And what happened with the PK in the game that wasn’t called. Or do I need to learn to pause that Ives? I mean it was a pk right?

  36. jig says:

    I thought Puyol played well, but I can’t help but wonder if his performances are overrated due to the reckless nature with which he plays. sometimes I think he his positioning is poor, so he gets himself in these bad spots where he has to make a saving tackle.

    If I had to pick the best along the back four for barca, I would nominate Abidal. He made it look easy and nearly contributed as much to the attack as Alves. Alves had an active game, but had his service been up to snuff in the early going, the game could have been won by halftime.

    Overall I thought it was a great game, hotly contested. For me, La Liga is the most entertaining competition in the world for a multitude of reasons, not least of which the fact that there are more than two teams that can realistically compete for the title.

  37. JL says:

    Real Madrid definitely had their chances in the first half to score and possibly change the outcome of the game for good but they didn’t. On the other hand, Barcelona’s control of the ball throughout the game was impressive, especially in the 2nd half when they were a man short for most of the half and still controlled the ball. They were the better team on the pitch and deserve the win.

  38. Mason says:

    Great finish, but even greater camera work shows he was offside.

    (SBI-You guys are hilarious. He was absolutely onside.)

  39. Mason says:

    They were even.


    No. They weren’t. The AR was trailing the play slightly (as ARs are wont to do). Thus, his view was not directly across the field, but rather at an angle towards RM’s goal line. The BAR attacker was screened from his view by a RM defender (two, actually), but because he’s watching from an angle those defenders were further from their goal line than the attacker.

    He blew the call, but to be fair it was a very difficult one to get right. I couldn’t tell from the live action. Only the replay with the side on view helped.

    (SBI-Wrong, he was onside. You need to take into account that the camera angle is from midfield, so you need to consider the proper angle just a bit to get a real sense of where they are on the field. There’s no way he’s ahead of Pepe. In fact, his body is just behind Pepe’s at the time Alves strikes the ball.)

  40. Judging Amy says:

    Great game. A Madrid fan, but Barca played beautifully and deserved the win. Can’t wait for the next one.

  41. E says:

    The Assistant is perfectly lined up with the backline of Madrid.

    :40 seconds into the video. They pause it on the sideview. Perfectly aligned.

    No Offside.

    Stop whining.

  42. bryan says:

    Not offsides. Madrid was the better team for the majority of the game but got burned by a well executed goal. Puyol, Kaka, Valdes, and Ronaldo all played at a very high level.

    While Madrid is probably sad they couldn’t have finished the 4-5 clear opps on goal, they can be happy with their play overall. 1-0 away at Barca isn’t too bad. Especially given the massive ego Barca has right now and the idea it would be another 6-2 trashing.

  43. bryan says:

    “2nd half when they were a man short for most of the half and still controlled the ball.”

    actually, if you look at the possession, Madrid had more possession once the red card was issued.

    I’m pretty sure Barca had the majority of the possession the entire game. Madrid still managed to be MUCH more dangerous in the first half. Then the second half Barca continued their possession game and scored a beauty. From there they really controlled the game. Then the red card came and Madrid took over possession. They did nothing with it and once Lass got his red it was pretty much even possession again for the last few minutes.

  44. bryan says:

    “What is the purpose for Xabi Alonso on that team? ”

    Watch the first half and you will see what Xabi brings to Madrid…

  45. Pico says:

    I can’t remember the name of the program (in Spanish) where they had a chat with a retired FIFA referee and they spent a lot of time discussing the issue of offside calls. According to the guy, it is really hard to keep tab of all the guys playing in one line and the service provider at the same time. Also, when you have guys on offense that are clearly offside but do not move when the pass is made, but you have the late runs to the ball, and all of a sudden there are a whole bunch of people going in all directions. It is not for the faint of heart.

    In the Barcelona goal, Ibra and Piquet were clearly in the same line as the RM defenders (0:40 on the video.) What people seem to forget is that Ibra is really quick for a player of his size, not E’too quick, but probably faster than the two RM central defenders.

    Playing to the offside is a double edge sword, and it only takes one timely run to make the defense pay. If there is anything that the Barcelona team has been really good at in the last two seasons is the timed runs to the back of the defenders. In the last 6-2 mauling, Real Madrid tried to play with a high line and they were killed by Henry and E’too on goals 4 and 6.


  46. daniel. says:

    What about his nose? I dont think that was inside.

  47. Dominghosa says:


  48. Mason says:

    He absolutely wasn’t, and the video you posted yourself shows it. There are two camera angles being used – one live, and one replay- and the second makes it plain as day, as it is looking directly across.

  49. Mason says:


    There is no camera angle to account for in the replay that starts at 37″ in the video you posted. Plus, RM did us a favor and mowed a straight line into the grass, so we have a reference point.

    At 40″ the ball is played and the attacker is behind the second to last defender by a shoulder, head, and maybe a knee or leg.

    (SBI-No, he’s even, if not ever so slightly behind Pepe when Alves strikes the ball at :40. The camera angle at 37 isn’t in line with the offside line (only a rolling camera along the sidelines would provide that). Maybe that’s where you’re getting confused, you think Ibrahimovic is ahead based on the reference that the last defender is in line with the camera angle. He is not. The camera angle is about three or four yards off even, which is enough to give the perception that Ibrahimovic is ahead of Pepe. I think we’re going to agree to disagree, though at this point I haven’t seen anybody from Real Madrid call the goal offside.)

  50. Mason says:

    His head is pretty clearly behind anything the defender can play the ball with at 40″. The position of the defender’s arm doesn’t matter. That’s enough for the call, but it’s difficult to get right under ideal circumstances and an impossible call if you can’t see it. Basically – you have to guess, but at least you have a 50% chance of getting it right.

    I don’t have a dog in this fight.

  51. Mason says:

    Look at 40″, Ives. There’s a grass line on the pitch, and Ibra has crossed it with his head and L shoulder. No one else has. The camera is not as far up field as you are claiming. The mowing lines on the field are six yards each, and the camera is somewhere to the left of the middle of the swath right in front of it. Let’s say it’s two yards up, which puts it a yard in front of the offside line.


    Furthermore, the geometry of right triangles doesn’t work to induce the amount of parallax at these distances that you’re ascribing to it.

    Let’s do the math, with your assumption that they are even:

    There are two triangles here. The angles of the these triangles we’re interested in are at the players in question. The adjacent leg is the distance from the players to the distance the camera is off the field. This changes for each player. The opposite leg is common to both triangles. It is the distance the camera is upfield from the players.

    Pepe’s triangle is will be used as reference, since he is the backdrop against which Ibra will be measured (both in game and in the analysis). It is 1:41 A:O with a alpha (the angle at the player) of 1.39 degrees.

    Ibra’s is 1:40 with an alpha of 1.43 degrees.

    The difference in the in the angles at the players is .04 degrees. To determine how far to the left Ibra appears compared to Pepe due to parallax, you set Ibra’s O to Pepe’s O, keep Ibra’s alpha the same, and solve for his A. Then you subtract his (and for the purposes of the exercise, Pepe’s) actual A.

    Given these angles, parallax makes Ibra appear .025 yards (.9 inches) to the left when compared to the backdrop (Pepe). At greater distances of A, this parallax effect decreases (Ibra moves right). At greater distances between players across the field this parallax increases (Ibra moves left). As the camera move towards center, it increases, and decreases toward goal.

    That’s not enough to make the left side of his torso and his head appear off.


    Players and coaches don’t complain about it, because they know this is the kind of thing that happens when you try to run the trap. It’s such a damn close call that it will only ever come up in officials clinics to show that, yes, being offside by a head and shoulder is as good as being offside by five yards, and that arms should not be considered when determining offside.

    (SBI-Appreciate the effort, but nope, don’t see it. He’s onside.)

  52. Mason says:


    “Pepe’s triangle is will be used as reference, since he is the backdrop against which Ibra will be measured (both in game and in the analysis). It is 1:41 A:O with a alpha (the angle at the player) of 1.39 degrees.”

    Last sentence of this ‘graph should be “It is 1:41 O:A with a alpha (the angle at the player) of 1.39 degrees.”

    Adjacent is the long leg, opposite is the short leg.

  53. Brent McD says:

    Looked offside to me. Great volley though

  54. sellouttothehighestbidder says:


    Don’t sell yourself as well! C’mon man . . . we need a voice and your on(the in)side. Come on! His whole left arm is offside (that’s advantage enough–if you want to be technical about it). Stay loyal to the game.

    (SBI-According to the laws of the game, only a part of the body a player can use to touch the ball can be offside, so his arm can’t be offside.)

  55. Mason says:

    SBI: I see a head and shoulders behind, and you don’t. That’s cool.

    What’s not cool is saying that he appears behind because of camera angles. The numbers prove you wrong. Parallax doesn’t matter in this case for more than an inch or two. Ergo, any part of Ibra’s body (excluding arms, because they do not matter for offside) that appears beyond Pepe’s is very likely actually beyond it. Whether you see anything beyond or not is up to you, but you cannot, under these circumstances, claim that Ibra only “appears” to be beyond Pepe because of camera angle. The math of skinny right triangles doesn’t support that assertion.

    (SBI-He was onside.)

  56. Mason says:

    RE:(SBI-He was onside.)

    No. He was not called offside. There’s a difference.

    Are you saying he appears even in the video at 40″ – where the replay pauses – or are you sticking to “tangent function be damned – camera angles make his upper body look a foot offside, but he’s really even”? Basically… What I am asking is, at 40″ seconds, do you see that Ibra’s upper body and head are beyond (to the left) of Pepe’s body and head?

    Don’t forget that at that pause, the ball has yet to be delivered.