Ighalo equals 95-year Manchester United record, eclipses Ibrahimovic
In netting against the Canaries, Ighalo became only the second player in the club’s history to have scored in each of his first four competitive starts for the Red Devils.
According to Opta, the previous player to do this was Jimmy Hanson, who achieved the feat in 1925 when he scored in consecutive starts against Hull City, Blackpool, Derby County and Aston Villa.
The Manchester-born Hanson signed for United in 1924, but suffered a serious injury five years later, and was forced to retire.
Back in 2016, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on the brink of equalling Hanson’s record when he scored in three consecutive competitive outings for United. However, while the then-34-year-old made a strong start to life with the Red Devils after signing on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain, he drew a blank in his fourth competitive start—against Hull—and missed out on Hanson’s record.
Ighalo, however, has emulated Hanson’s achievement during a remarkable run early in his United career.
The former Watford man began his scoring run with a goal in United’s 5-0 victory over Club Brugge in late February, before scoring twice against Derby County in the FA Cup in early March.
On his third start for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, against LASK in the Europa League, he scored and contributed an assist in a 5-0 victory, before opening the scoring against Norwich on Saturday.
Ighalo’s opener was cancelled out by a Todd Cantwell effort from range, although Harry Maguire bagged in extra time to send the northern giants through at the expense of Daniel Farke’s strugglers.
Despite his immense scoring record in matches in which he’s started for United—all of which have been in cup competitions—the striker is yet to score in the Premier League for the Red Devils.
He’s made six appearances—all from the bench—amassing 83 minutes of action back in the top flight.
“It is great to have the option to rotate,” Solskjaer told BBC Sport after the match. “Anthony Martial came on and did brilliant, but Odion gives me a chance to rotate.
“He’s a proven goal scorer and played his part in both goals,” the Norwegian coach continued. “He is a great person to have around the dressing room too.
“Odion knows how much we value him in and around the dressing room; he’s a goal scorer, a poacher, he’s strong, we can play the ball into him, he showed for the second and Paul [Pogba] found him.”