Zlatan hits brilliant free-kick before being booked for goading fans amid ‘gypsy’ taunts from Roma supporters
Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck the 400th league goal of his remarkable career as he steered AC Milan to victory over Jose Mourinho’s Roma, although the occasion was marred by reports of ‘gypsy’ insults being hurled at the Swedish star.
The evergreen Ibrahimovic, who turned 40 earlier this month, drilled in a low free-kick in the 25th minute of the clash at a heated Stadio Olimpico on Sunday to hand the visitors the lead.
After Ibrahimovic turned to the Roma Ultras in the Curva Sud section of the stadium, raising his arms, he was reportedly subjected to chants of “gypsy” from some members of the crowd.
The big Swede ended up being given a yellow card for his overexuberant celebrations, apparently having sarcastically urged the furious home supporters to taunt him even louder.
Ibrahimovic is also said to have been targeted with the same chants after having a goal ruled out for offside in the second half, and again when he was replaced by Frenchman Olivier Giroud in the 57th minute.
Ibrahimovic had by that stage won a penalty which allowed Milan to go 2-0 up after he was fouled by Ibanez in the Roma box.
Midfielder Franck Kessie, who converted the spot kick, was reportedly subjected to monkey chants by home fans in what some sections of the local media described as a “horror show”.
Roma fans were chanting “Sei uno zingaro (you are a gypsy)” in reference to Ibrahimovic. After scoring Zlatan told them to sing louder and was booked by the referee[via @Guillaumemp] pic.twitter.com/gn6klA6fly— Milan Eye (@MilanEye) October 31, 2021
Ibrahimovic, who has Bosnian and Croatian roots through his parents, has previously been subjected to gypsy chants during his career in Italy, which has included spells at Milan, cross-city rivals Inter, and Barcelona.
“How do I feel? Physically, I’m fine, I recovered well, but I missed the minutes,” the Swede had told DAZN before the game.
“Let’s hope they boo me, at least I will feel alive. Jose Mourinho will have loaded his players, to come up with an aggressive game.
“But we have to stay focused and play our game.”
The defeat for Roma meant Mourinho’s remarkable run of never having lost a Serie A home game came to an end, with the Portuguese having previously enjoyed remarkable success at Inter between 2008 and 2010.
Jose Mourinho's unbeaten home run in Serie A is finally over.The longest home streak for a coach since 1994/95 👏 pic.twitter.com/uUAmY0Mb4w— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 1, 2021
Nothing but respect between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jose Mourinho 🤝 pic.twitter.com/a9pcI79yXU— Goal (@goal) October 31, 2021
Milan had held on to win on Sunday despite a 66th-minute dismissal for Theo Hernandez after he picked up a second yellow card.
Stephan El Shaarawy pulled a goal back in injury-time but it was too little, too late for the hosts.
Roma lie fourth in the Serie A standings on 19 points from 11 games, while Milan continued their unbeaten start to the season and are alongside fellow breakaway leaders Napoli on 31 points – already seven clear of defending Scudetto champions Inter.