Reuters

Zlatan Ibrahimovic nets brace, Paul Pogba has debut as Manchester United’s perfect start continues

Zlatan nets brace as United’s perfect start continues
By Eurosport

19/08/2016 at 22:51Updated 19/08/2016 at 23:28

Premier League, Old Trafford – Manchester United 2 (Ibrahimovic 36, 52 pen) Southampton 0

Zlatan Ibrahimovic bagged a brace as Manchester United continued their perfect start under Jose Mourinho with a 2-0 win over Southampton in the Premier League.

Paul Pogba's first game for Manchester United since his return from Juventus started well when Ibrahimovic put the side ahead with a towering header.

In the second half, Ibrahimovic made it two with a simple penalty. At that point United gained almost complete control, allowing Jose Mourinho to enjoy victory on his first game in charge of United at Old Trafford.

His side go top of the league - probably briefly - but there are encouraging signs that it won't be the last time this season.

TALKING POINT

Paul Pogba is Manchester United's best midfielder since the famous five of 1999. Ever since Roy Keane left, they've tried to find somebody worth putting in the middle of the pitch for United. With Cristiano Ronaldo, they were able to get by with Michael Carrick and others, but Pogba looks like the first player who actually could get anywhere close to Keane's level.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United): He was occasionally prone to duff moments; overrunning the ball, or a loose pass sometimes. But his excellent technique made Rooney's speculative cross into an unbeatable header, and his calmness converted a crucial penalty to settle the nerves.

Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates with Paul Pogba after scoring their second goal

Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates with Paul Pogba after scoring their second goalReuters

MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY

PLAYER RATINGS

Manchester United: De Gea 6, Valencia 6, Shaw 6, Blind 6, Bailly 6, Fellaini 6, Pogba 7, Mata 6, Rooney 6, Martial 5, Ibrahimovic 7. Subs: Smalling 6, Herrera 6, Mkhitaryan 6.

Southampton: Forster 6, Cedric 6, Targett 6, Fonte 6, Van Dijk 6, Davis 6, Hojbjerg 5, Romeu 6, Tadic 6, Redmond 5, Long 6. Subs: Clasie 5, Rodriguez 6, Austin 5.

KEY MOMENTS

26' - LONG MISS: The ball is knocked into the air by Valencia, and it eventually drops to Long in the box. He spins adroitly, and fires a shot just wide of the edge of the post.

32' - LONG CHANCE: United are increasingly pressing high up the pitch, but they've not got Southampton panicked by any means. Tadic then slips through Long with an excellent pass, and his early shot is woefully scuffed, easily saved.

36' - GOAL! Manchester United 1-0 Southampton. Ibrahimovic scores: Valencia dinks a pass to Rooney in the corner, who curls in a cross for Ibrahimovic to attack. He meets it beautifully, forcing it low into the corner, and United are ahead.

51' - PENALTY! Shaw ambles into the box and Clasie just clips him, foolishly. It's just daft.

52' - GOAL! Manchester United 2-0 Southampton. Ibrahimovic scores: The Swede scores as elegantly as the variation in this sentence. Clipped into the corner as Forster dives the other way to his left.

64' - POGBA HEADER: Mata curls in the corner, Pogba leaps to meet and sends it just a yard or two over.

KEY STAT

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored as many goals - four - as Radamel Falcao did for United, after just three games.

THE MATCH IN A TWEET

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