Manchester United have played their first match in the Jose Mourinho era, easing past Championship side Wigan Athletic with a 2-0 win.
Fringe players Will Keane and Andreas Pereira scored the two goals to give Mourinho his first win as manager of Manchester United, albeit in a friendly.
However, it took the Red Devils almost 50 minutes to break the deadlock against Wigan, which was cause for some concern among the United fans. The Manchester United players showed a lot more intent (than they showed under former manager Louis van Gaal) though, which is something that the fans appreciated a lot.
— Gautam Kar (@gautamkar28) July 16, 2016
No passes to the keeper in the second half. Been two years since that last happened! #WIGMUN
— Advaith (@scianbo) July 16, 2016
Mourinho had sanctioned the £37.1 million sale of Juan Mata (arguably Chelsea’s best playmaker at that moment) to Manchester United, reportedly due to the Spaniard’s low defensive work rate. Hence, when the Portuguese took over the reins at Old Trafford, it was speculated that Mata would be on his way out of the club.
Ironically though, it was Mata’s pressing high up the pitch that created the chance for United’s first goal of the match.
#WIGMUN 1st goal in the Mourinho era belongs to Will Keane. An assist from Mata LOL.
— HerreraFanGirl (@LiveTVIsAwesome) July 16, 2016
— Caroline Busson (@CarolineBusson) July 16, 2016
— Ricardo (@ricardowho_) July 16, 2016
— Jonesy (@theox_inthebox) July 16, 2016
The Red Devils’ latest centre-back signing Eric Bailly churned out a calm and composed performance at the back, something that soothed a lot of United nerves.
— Johnny (@JohnnyLUHG) July 16, 2016
However, the biggest praises of the day went to Armenian playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who excelled in the no.10 role for United in the match. There was a lot of doubt over whether the former Dortmund midfielder could match up to the physicality of the English game, but judging by the 27-year-old’s performance, he is going to be a big hit at Old Trafford next season.
— SCHOLES (@iamscholes) July 16, 2016
Mkhitaryan looks good but he’s very small and looks like he needs no contact to do his thing. BPL isn’t like that. #WIGMUN
— Tom (@KanelsAbel) July 16, 2016
— June 27 || S.L V (@_Lerod) July 16, 2016
Henrikh Mkhitaryan already United’s best player. Breezing past players in midfield. One lovely backheel to set up chance for Memphis.
— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonMEN) July 16, 2016
Mkhitaryan looked a natural No10 today…
— jamie jackson (@JamieJackson___) July 16, 2016
Mkhitaryan’s awareness excellent. Mata won’t be only one in trouble if he continues playing like this at 10. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) July 16, 2016