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Man Utd off to winning start

Jose Mourinho made a winning Premier League start as Manchester United manager with a comprehensive opening victory at Bournemouth.

Juan Mata, who was substituted after coming on in last week’s Community Shield, opened the scoring with a tap-in after Simon Francis’ error.

Wayne Rooney headed the second before Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked his United league debut with a goal from 25 yards.

Adam Smith scored a consolation goal for the Cherries.

United were without world-record £89m signing Paul Pogba through suspension, while midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan started on the bench, with Mata preferred.

As starts go, this was a highly satisfactory day for United – the Mourinho era began with a solid victory at a ground where they came unstuck under Louis van Gaal last season.

United started slowly and did not register a shot on target until a Rooney effort produced a comfortable save from Artur Boruc in the 27th minute.

Yet it was job done once the visitors opened the scoring with a messy goal and added two more in the space of five second-half minutes to put them in a commanding position.


Rooney (right), Mata and Ibrahimovic scored the winning goals for Man Utd (Photo: Getty Images)

Mata looked unhappy when he was replaced 30 minutes after coming on at Wembley against Leicester last Sunday but the Spaniard was all smiles as he got Mourinho’s reign up and running.

Boruc made a fine block from Mata after Francis’ under-hit back-pass but the rebound bounced off Francis into the former Chelsea player’s path and he tapped home.

United’s second goal was also down to some good fortune – Rooney was well positioned to head home after Anthony Martial’s mis-hit shot fell perfectly for his captain.

Ibrahimovic was denied by a one-handed Boruc save but the Swede made it 3-0 with a drilled low finish from outside the area to leave Mourinho smiling.

Ibrahimovic continued his remarkable record of marking debuts with a goal.

The 34-year-old Swede has now scored on his first league starts in England, Italy, Spain and France, and in the Champions League.

Any concerns the frenetic pace in English football’s top-flight might not suit Ibrahimovic were dispelled with his well-executed finish to follow a goal at Wembley last week.

It was his third goal in total for his new club after scoring on his first appearance in a United shirt in a friendly against Galatasaray as well as the winner in the Community Shield against Leicester.

Mourinho’s oldest signing of the summer could turn out to be his shrewdest.


Source: BBC

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