Tom Heaton won’t be receiving a Christmas card from Zlatan Ibrahimovic this year.
The Burnley goalkeeper was a pain in Ibrahimovic’s side during Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Manchester United, making a total of 11 saves to earn himself the man of the match award.
One of those saves has been dubbed “one of the best in Premier League history” by Peter Schmeichel, a man who knows what a great save looks like.
Heaton played for United’s youth team but was released in 2010.
Six years is a long time in football, but part of him must have been itching to show his ex-employees what they were missing out on at Old Trafford.
The Burnley shotstopper explained the true extent of the save that Schmeichel admired so much in an interview with MUTV.
It looked for all the world that Ibrahimovic would end his goal drought. The ball came floating towards the Swede, who was unmarked and only six yards from goal.
Quite how Heaton managed to block Ibrahimovic’s acrobatic effort, we’ve no idea. Check it out below.
Heaton was certainly feeling it afterwards.
Ibrahimovic has shown over the years that he can deliver a brutal shot. Heaton, who reckons the acrobatic volley nearly broke his arm, realised this yesterday.
"I knew I had two men behind me on the line, so I thought I'd get out, close the space and spread," Heaton said, via the Mirror.
"Thankfully it has hit me but it nearly broke my arm!"
Of the 11 saves he made, Heaton admitted that it was his favourite one.
“He's caught it really well,” the 30-year-old added.
"It hit the end of the arm - it was a sore one on the elbow because it was fully extended but it never quite hurts as much when you keep it out."
The bruises are probably still there. But Heaton would much rather that than to admit he let one in.
Was Heaton's effort the save of the season so far? Let us know in the comments section below!
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