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Ratings: Excellent defence gives United attack time to secure 4-0 win

Working tirelessly to prevent Manchester United’s attacking stars from scoring, Swansea City eventually succumbed to the threat and allowed Jose Mourinho’s men to pick up their second 4-0 win in their second match of the Premier League season.

Eric Bailly’s opener, and first goal for the club, allowed the defence to hold a 1-0 lead against Swansea’s threatening forwards, particularly Jordan Ayew, which they did superbly until Anthony Martial came onto the pitch and changed the game, allowing United to score a further three goals in just three and a half minutes.

Martial, who struck his own and was heavily involved in the creation of Romelu Lukaku’s first goal against Swansea in seven matches, virtually guaranteed his place in next week’s Starting XI with a swashbuckling performance from the left-wing. Now directly involved in three goals this Premier League season after two appearances that ranged 40 minutes, the Frenchman is in line for another fine campaign in United’s side.

United’s other players also benefitted from the late rampage, as Paul Pogba picked up a goal and an assist, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was marked by Swansea debutant Roque Mesa throughout the match, took his opportunity after the Spaniard was substituted to pick up two assists of his own.

Goals: Eric Bailly 45′, Romelu Lukaku 80′, Paul Pogba 82′, Anthony Martial 84′

Assists: Henrikh Mkhitaryan 80′, 82′, Paul Pogba 84′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Blind; Matic, Pogba; Mata (Fellaini 75′), Mkhitaryan (Herrera 85′), Rashford (Martial 75′); Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Smalling, Lindelof; Lingard

Bookings: Paul Pogba 26′

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Composed, excellent distribution from the back and assured from Swansea’s set-pieces and dangerous crosses.

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25 Antonio Valencia

Tested down the right by Jordan Ayew but ultimately did his job, Valencia maintaining a consistent figure at the back amid the inconsistencies of other performers.

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3 Eric Bailly

Poor clearance led to a half-chance for Ayew and Tammy Abraham in the first half from which the former smashed the crossbar, but Bailly then scored the winner and snuffed out a series of attacks from Swansea’s danger.

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4 Phil Jones

Another excellent display from Jones, who looked formidable at the back and even comfortably distributed the ball. He looks a completely different player this season, hopefully he can stay fit and continue the upward trend.

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17 Daley Blind

Blind’s slow pre-season has been followed with two excellent performances in the Premier League, though many have not understood just how well he has performed. The criticism he gets is completely unwarranted, and he created United’s winner with a stunning corner before shutting down the left flank in the second half.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Calm and composed. Matic wasn’t as impressive on the ball as he was against West Ham, but his defensive positioning was brilliant throughout the match and he played a massive part in United’s clean sheet.

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6 Paul Pogba

Big match for Pogba, who was almost sent off in the first half and looked shaken before playing a major role in Bailly’s goal and picking up a goal and assist for himself. This type of mental strength will be crucial in his development.

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8 Juan Mata

Important in keeping the tempo of United’s possession and made exceptional runs. Jones should have scored from Mata’s excellent free kick early in the first half, but he also hit the crossbar.

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22 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Classic from Mkhitaryan, who struggled to get the ball at feet before finding space and assisting two goals in quick succession. That’s four assists in two matches.

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19 Marcus Rashford

Intent on making things happen for himself and others, but sometimes it skewed his decision-making. He also missed a few good chances to score. This reaffirms the notion that Rashford can’t play on the wing when space is limited because he doesn’t have the creative ability in tight spaces. Using Lingard and Rashford together as wingers last season led to many of United’s draws.

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9 Romelu Lukaku

Marked expertly by Federico Fernandez before losing his marker and producing a sublime finish.

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Substitutes

11 Anthony Martial

Electric again, the way he attacks his marker down the throat and turns quickly before finishing is impossible to defend when he gets moving. Needs to start next week.

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27 Marouane Fellaini

Don’t really understand why he came on but he didn’t do anything wrong.

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21 Ander Herrera

Mourinho brought Herrera on very late to shut up shop at 4-0, and he didn’t have time to influence as a result. Won the ball excellently a couple of times, though.

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Written by Aaron Moniz

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