Jose Mourinho watched his Manchester United side ease to a 3-1 over Swansea City from the stands on Sunday afternoon, as he served a touchline ban. The manager spoke to the official Manchester United website after the game at the Liberty Stadium and insisted his side were always in control:
“I’m really pleased. I think for all of us from the United side, it was a calm day from the first minute. We all felt that we were in the game and that we were stable and in control and the players were really good in their focus, their effort and their concentration in following the game-plan. I thought they were really good and I’m really happy for all of them.”
“You could feel in the second half [the tiredness] that we were back at 4am [on Friday from Turkey] and then yesterday we were unlucky again because there were problems with the plane and we should have flown and had a rest here [in Swansea]. But we had to change the plane and arrived at the Swansea hotel at 8pm just for dinner but with no afternoon to rest. We had problems during the week, plus players not available to play but the important thing is we recovered from a bad result at home against Burnley, not a bad performance, but a bad result, and I’m really happy because now the players can go away [on international duty] with the feeling of victory and a good victory.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic reached another landmark in his glittering career as he scored the Premier League’s 25,000th goal and reached a personal landmark of 400 career goals. Jose Mourinho insists Zlatan is a team player, however:
“I didn’t know [that Zlatan had scored 400 club goals]. I just know that he is a great player for the team. Today he scored and he didn’t score in the past three or four or five matches but that doesn’t matter at all because there is one thing having a striker who scores goals and does nothing else. It’s another thing to have a striker that doesn’t score goals, but does everything else and during this period where he was not scoring goals he did everything else for the team. I’m happy that he is back to scoring goals.”
Much of the reaction to the game will be about Paul Pogba’s spectacular goal which may silence a few critics for the time being. It seems as though the presence of Michael Carrick allowed Pogba to play with more freedom, similar to his time at Juventus with Andrea Pirlo. Mourinho thinks the presence of Marouane Fellaini also allowed Pogba to prosper:
“I thought Michael [Carrick] was the stability, Marouane [Fellaini] was the balance, [Paul] Pogba was the freedom, and all of them together meant the performance was very positive for us.”
United certainly played a lot better on Sunday, than in recent weeks. It was a much-needed performance, and although Swansea were poor, you can only beat what is in front of you. Zlatan picked up a booking which means he will be suspended for the Arsenal match after the international break. Possibly a chance for Marcus Rashford, or even Anthony Martial to recover some form. No doubt Arsenal will be a tough match but this result against Swansea will certainly give the players some confidence going into the clash.