Manchester United galloped to a 4-1 win over West Ham United to storm into the League Cup semi-finals, and the Man of the Match went to none other than underplayed Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Red Devils finally gave the Old Trafford crowd a performance to savour as they romped to an emphatic win over West Ham. A brace each from Swede striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and French forward Anthony Martial gave United the win.
The best player on the field, though, was Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The former Dortmund player wreaked havoc in midfield, and was singled out for praise by manager Jose Mourinho after the game.
“I’m so happy with his performance today because it was against a Premier League team with Premier League qualities and characteristics,” said Mourinho after the game, according to The Guardian.
“Against Feyenoord we could think, ‘Okay, it’s a different profile of football but today against a typical Premier League team, ‘Micky’ could perform this way.
“We are really happy. We know the reason we bought him and were waiting for his reputation. It looks like it’s coming.”
Mkhitaryan has been used sparely by Mourinho this season, being used mostly as a late substitute. He made his ill-fated Premier League debut start in the 2-1 loss to Manchester City, but hasn’t started a game in the Premier League since.
However he has made the best use of his two recent starts though, winning MOTM against Feyenoord last week and repeating the feat against West Ham again this week.
The Armenian playmaker was the Bundesliga Players’ Player of the Year last season. Many fans were surprised that he hasn’t featured more prominently in Mourinho’s plans at United. The Portuguese manager explained that he felt Mkhitaryan needed time to adapt to the unique challenges and rigours of the Premier League.
Mkhitaryan has now put in two match winning performances in the Europa League and the League Cup. This is something that Mourinho cannot ignore, as Man United prepare to visit Everton this weekend.