16 July 2016

Mourinho wins first game in charge of Manchester United

Mkhitaryan and Mata star

My piece for MARCA

Manchester United got off to a promising start in the Jose Mourinho era as they romped to a routine 2-0 win away to Wigan Athletic.

The Red Devils' ranks were heavily depleted with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, David De Gea and Marcus Rashford all still on extended break after European Championship duty, but second-half goals from Will Keane and Andreas Pereira were enough to see them emerge victorious.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan was fresh from an outstanding campaign with Borussia Dortmund, where he hit 23 goals and laid on a further 32, and fellow new boy Eric Bailly started in the heart of the defence.

Defence was the limit of the ambitions of their opponents, recently promoted to the Championship, and United were left to dominate possession but couldn't find a way through before the interval.

Juan Mata entered at half-time and made an instant impact, seizing upon a misplaced pass to tee up Keane who opened the scoring in the 49th minute and ten minutes later Pereira doubled the lead.

Naturally Mourinho chose to ring in the changes as the game progressed but Spaniard Ander Herrera still enjoyed 80 minutes in central midfield, with Memphis Depay and Daley Blind - the latter linked with a move away - both playing from the start.


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