Zlatan Scores Twice As Manchester United Beat Southampton 2-0
With six points from two matches, the Red Devils sits comfortably at the top of the table.
Mourinho’s revamped Man Utd are already a tough opposition to beat in the new season and their new tactical approach tells the story perfectly. The atmosphere at Old Trafford was electrifying, a rare spectacle in the last there seasons under David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal.
Bringing his experience into the club, Mourinho has completely changed the game dynamics as fans got to witness the ‘’attacking prowess’’ and never-say-die attitude, which was so popular during Alex Ferguson’s era. Attack –Attack and Attack was the order of the day for the home side.
Setting aside Zlatan’s regular raids, Pogba’s clinical touches to open up spaces in the opposition box and Rooney setting it up for the others, Mourinho also encouraged Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia to attack at every opportunity.
World’s most expensive signing – Pau Pogba, played the full 90 minutes in his second Manchester United debut. The French playmaker looked a bit out of shape in the initial minutes but as the game progressed, the former Juventus star stepped up his game to a higher pedestal – linking up brilliantly with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney.
Southampton enjoyed possession in the earlier half of the game but a rock-solid Man Utd defense restricted them in the final third. Eric Bailly was the main man in defense again but had incredible support from Blind, Shaw and Valencia.
Southampton star Shane Long showed some early sparks and had an outside chance to open the account in the 25th minute. Redmond’s header on a Davis’ free-kick picked Long inside the area but his powerful strike hit the side netting.
A brilliant interplay between Pogba – Mata and Zlatan opened up a chance for the Swedish to convert from an overhead kick, but the ball went wide of the post.
Man United looked in cruise control and Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the opener for Manchester United in the 36th minute. Rooney whipped in a clinical cross from the right to pick Zlatan, who jumped above Fonte to slot home a powerful header.
Manchester United became more aggressive in the second half as they pushed more men forward to increase the lead. Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia dominated the flanks and repeatedly tested the Southampton defence.
Zlatan scored the second in the 52nd minute after Luke Shaw earned a penalty. Shaw was tripped by Clasie inside the box and the referee immediately pointed towards the spot. The Flying Swede made no mistake and rolled the ball into the bottom left corner to send Forster the wrong way, to score his third in two league matches.
Southampton looked desperate to make a comeback and their new signing Nathan Redmond posed trouble for the Man Utd defence, but he lacked the finishing on the final ball, as de Gea stood firm and was rarely tested.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 19, 2016
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was handed his home debut and Mourinho also introduced Herrera with just 10 minutes remaining. Mkhitaryan impressed with his sharp turns and technical ability down the flanks.
Southampton deployed all that they had in their arsenal but an impressive defensive display from the refurbished Man Utd squad, comfortably held on the two goal lead to maintain the top spot on the points table.