When Adrian Mutu followed his former Juventus team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimović to France a month into the season, the Romanian wagered that he would outscore the Paris Saint-Germain FC striker with his new club, AC Ajaccio.
Things have not quite worked out in one respect, with Ibrahimović already racing clear in terms of goals, with 20 from as many Ligue 1 games. However, the Swedish international will have had reason to remember Mutu fondly on Sunday after the 34-year-old's two goals condemned PSG's main title rivals, Olympique Lyonnais, to an unexpected 3-1 defeat in Corsica.
With 13 places and 23 points separating the sides ahead of kick-off at the Stade François Coty, OL had the lion's share of first-half possession and took the lead through Alexandre Lacazette on 53 minutes. However, Chahir Belghazouani replied three minutes later and after Memo Ochoa denied Bafétimbi Gomis from the spot, Mutu took his cue.
On 65 minutes, the former Chelsea FC and Parma FC man headed his side in front, then registered his seventh Ligue 1 goal in 17 appearances from the spot in added time, making amends for a flamboyant penalty miss against Valenciennes FC two weeks ago. "To be honest, it crossed my mind to try a Panenka again, but I was not brave enough," he said.
Having left FC Dinamo Bucureşti midway through their title-winning 1999/00 campaign, Mutu shone for the likes of FC Internazionale Milano and ACF Fiorentina, but left relegated AC Cesena in the summer to "start with a blank page" at Ajaccio. "He is a man in line with the philosophy of our club, with a Corsican mentality," said club president Alain Orsoni.
Mutu has ceased to talk about rivaling Ibrahimović's final total for the season, but he feels he has more goals in him. "I needed a bit of time to adapt, to get used to how my team-mates played," he explained. "It's getting better and better. I am scoring more, which is good for me and the team, and hopefully I can keep that going."
With Ajaccio to host another side with title aspirations, FC Girondins de Bordeaux, in their next home game, Ibrahimović may have his fingers crossed for his old team-mate too.
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