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Ibrahimovic ‘exceeded expectations’ in Cagliari victory – Pioli

Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Cagliari vs AC Milan
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The veteran striker hit a brace, scoring in his ninth successive start in a top-five league for the first time in his two-decade-long career.

Stefano Pioli has hailed Zlatan Ibrahimovic as “a champion in everything he does” after the striker helped AC Milan move three points clear at the top of Serie A.

Milan stormed to a 2-0 away win at Cagliari with both goals coming from Ibrahimovic, who was back in the line-up for a league match for the first time since November.

The 39-year-old took his tally to 12 goals in just eight Serie A games and is now the second-best scorer in the league alongside Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku and Lazio’s Ciro Immobile despite playing less than at least half the games as them.

He also reached a new personal best by scoring in his ninth successive start for the first time in his career in a top-five league.

“Ibrahimovic is a champion in everything he does. Of course, now that he is back, we have more options and qualities,” Pioli told a news conference, via Stadium Astro.

“The more choices and strong players we have, the more likely we are to win games.

“He still surprises me, but now I know him so well. We always expect him to give the maximum, and today he exceeded our expectations.”