Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s dangerous shoulder charge against Chelsea star Cesar Azpilicueta sees the Sweden star suspended from the World Cup finals
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was caught when he beat Cesar Azpilicueta with a ruthless and dangerous shoulder charge in Sweden’s World Cup qualifier loss against Spain.
The AC Milan striker was rejected outside the camera after the clash, which means that he is suspended for Sweden’s decisive World Cup final.
Sweden and Spain met in an important top match in the group at the Estadio de La Cartuja in Seville, with qualification for Qatar 2022 at stake.
The pair played a 0-0 draw at the European Championships 2020 this summer, but it was late drama in this match.
Alvaro Morata was on hand to win 1-0 in the 86th minute after Robin Olsen tipped Dani Olmo’s header into the crossbar.
It sealed Spain’s place in the Qatar World Cup 2022, as they qualified for the tournament for the 12th time in a row.
Sweden must now qualify for the World Cup through the play-offs, which take place in March, but they will be without former Manchester United star Ibrahimovic after his excessively late challenge.
Even Zlatan could not inspire his team to victory over Spain after being played out in the 73rd minute.
The 40-year-old, who only returned to the international group this year after a five-year absence, failed to make a major impact on the game.
His only real involvement was a shocking incident in which he was seen planting a solid shoulder in the back of Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta before a corner.
The defender was left in a pile on the ground and although it seemed that Zlatan had escaped all penalties, the report after the match shows that the frontman was canceled from the camera in stoppage time after the incident.
And since this is his second warning during Sweden’s qualifying campaign, it means that he will now miss the first match in their playoffs in March.
However, Azpilicueta calmed all fears of an injury, as the Chelsea star wrote on Twitter after the match: “Everything is fine here.”
And Spain had the last laugh, as they qualified for next year’s tournament.
After the match, manager Luis Enrique admitted: “I felt more pressure now in the European Championships.
“We tried to work hard on the mental side, always tried to keep it positive and the players responded well. I’m so proud of them and how they responded.”