Gerrard applauds Ibrahimovic wondergoal

Steven Gerrard won his 100th cap for England but found himself overshadowed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic. In one of international football’s most brilliant displays of attacking play, the Swedish captain scored four times as his team came back from a half-time deficit to crush England 4-2.

Ibrahimovic’s fourth goal was a stunning strike, a spectacular overhead volley from 25 yards out. England goalkeeper Joe Hart cleared the ball with a header, but Ibrahimovic spun in mid-air to loop the volley high over the goalkeeper into the net.

Ibrahimovic was surprisingly reticent about the goal. "I hit it in mid-air and, when I landed, saw their defender running back to try to clear but it bounced over him. It was a good try, that is all. When it comes off it looks fantastic but, for me, I liked the first goal more because it was history: the first in the new arena."

Steven Gerrard was more effusive. "It was the best goal I have ever seen," he said, after collecting Ibrahimovic’s shirt as a souvenir. “The best before that was Wayne Rooney's. Everyone knows how special that one was, but this one tonight, an overhead kick from 25 yards when the ball is six feet in the air . . . well, only certain players can do that, and he is a special player."

England’s captain was far from disheartened by the defeat, preferring to admire the genius of Ibrahimovic and applaud the contributions of England’s young players. "Sometimes you have to hold your hands up to a special individual performance," Gerrard said. "But, from our point of view, there were a lot of young lads making their debuts and they did well. We collapsed a little bit near the end but there were plenty of positives."

Stephen Caulker scored for England on his debut, and Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling impressed on his first appearance for England.

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