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SBI QOTD: Did Zlatan go too far against RSL’s Onouha?

It’s safe to say that both L.A. Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Real Salt Lake defender Nedum Onuoha had an interesting battle in the L.A. Galaxy’s 2-1 win over RSL on Sunday.

Zlatan, frustrated that he wasn’t seeing as much of the ball as he’d like, took it out on Onuoha, grabbed him and spun him to the ground at the hour-mark. Zlatan earned a yellow for his tackle, but Onouha got into Zlatan’s face about it afterward as well.

Both players mixed up with one another for the final 30 minutes and afterward in the locker room, Onuoha wouldn’t accept an apology from Zlatan.

“He came in to apologize after the game, because from 60 minutes in, he’s saying to me he’s going to do me, he’s going to hurt me for that game,” Onuoha said. “And this is the guy who’s the face of the MLS, as he calls himself, but this is the way he plays on the field.

“So I don’t care. Someone comes in and tries to do that to me – you don’t say that on the field. I don’t care. I’m not going to accept his apology. It’s unacceptable.”

Zlatan didn’t have much of a response, but said that he “likes to feel alive.”

“I like when it becomes duels and that, because sometimes – not that I fall asleep, but I don’t feel alive if they don’t actually activate me. … When I get angry, I feel good.”

So, who’s at fault for this potential episode of Zlatan vs. Onuoha? Did Zlatan go too far? Or should Onouha handle trash talk better? Or is this much ado about nothing? Cast your vote below and let us know.

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  1. Ibrahemovic is a great player, I am a fan. One thing about being cool with someone, is calling them out when they are wrong. Ibrahemovic was very wrong. I am proud of Onuoha for having class and not retaliating. Ibrahemovic was coming off as a school bully demanding your lunch money or get put in a locker or swirley ?

  2. In terms of outcome, it wasn’t determinative because we fell apart, but against the Dynamo April 19 I thought he was getting away with verbal and physical murder while his opponents accumulated cards. It felt like home cooking/ star treatment in the VAR era. He is free to play the game how he wants, and I get the idea at least part of his game is a Karl Malone mindgame where he tries to egg you into retaliation fouls, by means which if detected are themselves cardworthy. But in a little over a full season of MLS he has 7 yellows and 1 red, and if he wasn’t given a star pass my sense is he would probably have even more. He has a ton of goals and some are amazing, but being a name brand shouldn’t get you a pass from the rules some nights. If he plays that way every night he should get about 20 cards a season and some suspension time.


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