MOTM: Mkhitaryan shone again, as Lukaku and Rashford both score against City

It was the first real challenge Manchester United had ahead of the new season. Having won the two games, the team went with full morale into a game where it was Jose Mourinho against Pep Guardiola. With two games already in hand, Manchester United had a big advantage ahead of Manchester City and this shown on the football pitch, yet this is no excuse for a bad first half performance pulled from City as they didn’t seem comfortable at all.

Sensational first half for United as they didn’t just dominate in the football, but they were imposing their game to City, showing it how it’s done. Nothing changed in the second half, as having noticed he couldn’t do much to change the fate of the game, Guardiola changed his starting XI. Mourinho did some substitutions as well. United were still dominating, as Marcus Rashford was giving Mangala a hard time in the wing.

The goals came from the usual (getting used to this) Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford with the later pulling a decent performance for a Man of the Match contender, speaking of which I had to go with four players this time as United did really well:

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan:

You never get tired of watching him play, like ever. Jose has apparently, more than obvious found his place in the team and it’s the number 10 position. Crucial in both goals United scored in the first half he had to be top of the list for the place. Some really great runs coming from outside the area, some key passes, yet keeping the ball longer than is actually needed. However, down the middle, he can do wonders and proved it several occasions in the game. If we stand by his words that the best is yet to come, then we definitely should be excited.

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Marcus Rashford

The kid had to be involved and it’s not because he scored. He was tearing City defence apart, as whoever came against him had to sweat a lot to keep the ball or in Eliaquim Mangala’s case even get a yellow. That’s how good he is and this has been going for a while now. In the first half Marcus had his chances but only managed to score once as his run was indeed incredible. The pace that he owns is spectacular and he never forgets to show it, especially against top teams and this was another case. At almost 20 his calmness in front of the goal is terrifying as everything seems so natural to him. Absolutely amazing once again.

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Ander Herrera

This name couldn’t just no be there in games, despite being just a friendly. Maybe I am overreacting but in that first half there didn’t seem anything that could get past him or could actually stop what he was doing. Three clear chances, few clearances, but most importantly leading behind the scenes again. He is proving game after game that he doesn’t need that armband to get his teammates do it in his way. Always talking to the opponent he has no rest at all. However, his usual qualities got his name among the candidates. Unlucky to score, he put Ederson in difficulties several times and he is aiming for something higher, scoring in the Paul Scholes way. Obviously, needs a few more lessons from the best.

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Jesse Lingard

I was doubtful if it had to be him or Lukaku but despite who scored, Jesse deserves a mention. Personally, I have been a bit harsh with him, but criticism has done well, coming from others especially. It has been said that he has changed a lot in terms of playing but remains the same hard worker as usual. One special thing that has surprised me is his defensive work throughout the game, yet still needs to do a lot to get in the 100% and move the doubts away. Truly impressed from Lingard, best example to say that you never write one-off.


Strong competition, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan stood higher than anyone else. United could definitely count on him in hard times and if played in the position he can get an assist out of nowhere and will probably be the double figure in terms of scoring for the upcoming season as well. Anyway, for this game, he once again did a great job.

Written by Fabiola Cejku


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