An unstoppable Zlatan Ibrahimovic upstaged Carlos Vela by scoring a hat-trick to help LA Galaxy see off local rivals Los Angeles FC 3-2.

Ibrahimovic lived up to all of his bravado in LA by smashing home three goals to help Galaxy claim a crucial victory.

The one and only had a lot at stake going into the match upon declaring himself as the MLS’ best player “by far”. It came following bold suggestions in America that Vela’s superior stats prove he’s been the better player this season.

All the pre-game hype, therefore, was overshadowed by the showdown between Ibrahimovic and Vela, with the big Swede determined to prove to everyone that he’s still the best stateside.

And the 37-year-old proved he isn’t all talk either by scoring with his right, head and left foot on route to a sensational treble as he destroyed the normally solid LAFC defence on Saturday morning.

So, Ibrahimovic’s pre-match comments on being a “Ferrari among Fiats” in the MLS was a hard one to argue with after producing such a staggering performance.

In a press conference afterwards, the ever-flamboyant star credited his “bullet-proof mind” for his man of the match display.

“I have a vision, I have my confidence, and I believe in myself,” said Ibrahimovic on the MLS website.

“People call it arrogant. I call it confidence. Ignorant people call it arrogant. Intelligent people call it confidence. …

“[I’ve had this] since I start to play football. I believe so much in myself, and I have a bullet-proof mind. And when I go out there, I know what I’m able to do, and I do it good. … I do it perfect.”

Vela, meanwhile, scored a double to take his tally up to 21 goals for the season, but could do nothing to upstage his new rival in the end.

Ibrahimovic has now scored 41 goals in 44 MLS games for Galaxy. He was later videoed on social media telling a member of LAFC coach Bob Bradley’s backroom staff to: “Go home, you little bi***!”.

 

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