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Zlatan Ibrahimovic Sent Off for Red Card in Champions League Match vs. Valencia

Tim KeeneyContributor IDecember 25, 2016

Paris Saint-Germain's 2-1 road victory over Valencia in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 came at a price. 

With just moments left in injury time, superstar forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic was given a straight red card for a reckless challenge on midfielder Andres Guardado.

Here's a look at the play, which will surely spark a massive debate about whether or not he deserved the harsh booking (courtesy of FeintZebra.co.uk):

The Swede will now be forced to sit out the second leg of this match, which takes place in Paris in early March.

PSG has an enormous advantage heading home with the aggregate lead, but losing Ibra is a massive blow. In Ligue 1 play this season, the 31-year-old star has slotted home 21 goals and dished out five assists in just 21 total appearances.

According to WhoScored.com, he also has an average Ligue 1 match rating of 7.95, which leads the team, and an incredible nine Man of the Match nods. 

The big Swede hasn't been as effective at finding the back of the net in Champions League play, but he has made just as much of an impact as a pure playmaker. In seven appearances, he has two goals, five assists and an average match rating of 7.42. 

Essentially, Ibrahimovic is a major force at the front for PSG. He has shown the ability to dazzle in a variety of ways, and is undoubtedly one of the best forwards in the world. 

Twenty-five-year-old Frenchman Kevin Gameiro, who has five goals on the season, will be asked to pick up the scoring load up front along with Ezequiel Lavezzi, who put home the first goal of the match against Valencia. 

 

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