Zlatan Ibrahimovic has warned the rest of the Premier League that Manchester United are growing in confidence as the Reds look to climb the table during the festive period.
The Swedish striker hit his 14th goal of the season on Wednesday night to clinch an invaluable 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, where team-mate Paul Pogba was also on the scoresheet.
Ibrahimovic’s 88th-minute winner has only added to United’s growing momentum following the weekend victory over rivals Tottenham Hotspur and the 35-year-old feels the team is now on a roll.
“We are working hard, we have confidence, we believe in what we are doing, we work very hard for it and we will keep focused like we are at the moment,” Zlatan told MUTV in an exclusive interview. “We have always had the belief and we keep getting more confidence from these games.
“We have been disappointed in some games, so let’s keep going like this and get the three points that we need to get closer to the top. When you win these games, they are the ones that give you a lot at the end of the season because it is not easy to play here [at Selhurst Park]. This was my first time. All of the guys said to me it would be a very difficult game and that was what it was.
“It was going through my head, another draw where we are up 1-0 and they get 1-1. But we got the winning goal and that is the most important thing. Now we have closed the gap [on Arsenal following their defeat to Everton] even more and we have to keep like this.”
Zlatan provided an assist for Pogba’s opening goal shortly before half-time and the Frenchman returned the favour by setting up the number nine’s dramatic winner with a superb, intricate pass.
“I was waiting for the ball,” Ibra said of his goal. “I tried to keep on the line because they were a very defensive team. They were playing very well, defended well, so I picked the run in a good moment. Then I got the ball from Paul, it was a good ball, and I tried to angle it and it hit and it went in.”
On the subject of his flourishing relationship with Pogba, a fellow summer signing, Ibrahimovic admitted he enjoys lining up alongside the former Juventus midfielder but also stressed the entire team played a part in Wednesday’s important win in south London.
“We talk a lot and we try to help each other a lot,” Zlatan explained. “I think he likes to play with me and I like to play with him too. But it is not only about us two, it is the whole team.
“We all put in the hard work. You could see we were not performing on top, but still we got the winner. Sometimes you hit the top and don’t get the winner, like in the last couple of weeks.”