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Ratings: Mkhitaryan scored a stunner, Pogba and Zlatan combine well against Sunderland

Manchester United cruised to a 3-1 win over Sunderland with goals from Daley Blind, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to seal the match before Fabio Borini scored a volley out of nothing in stoppage time. United, setting up in the usual 4-3-3 formation, with Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba setting the tempo for Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The results were not instant, as David Moyes’ Sunderland set up in a 4-5-1 with a defender in midfield and looked to frustrate United. However, for seemingly the first time in a while, United found the breakthrough and calmly waited until they could pick up the second and third goals, and the result followed.

United’s key performers were the same as usual- despite playing relatively poorly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic picked up a goal and two assists, distancing himself from Sergio Aguero in the scoring charts, and Paul Pogba completely dominated the match, passing superbly, dribbling into space and winning aerial duels. Perhaps most importantly, though, was Antonio Valencia, who, though did not play spectacularly, provided the entirety of United’s attacking width from the right-wing. Without these three players, United would likely have struggled to win the match, but while saying that, most of the rest of the team also played quite well.

Goals: Daley Blind 39′, Zlatan Ibrahimovic 82′, Henrikh Mkhitaryan 86′

Assists: Zlatan Ibrahimovic 39′, 86′, Paul Pogba 82′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Blind; Carrick, Herrera (Fellaini 84′); Mata (Martial 74′), Pogba, Lingard (Mkhitaryan 62′); Ibrahimovic

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Smalling, Darmian; Rashford

Bookings: Daley Blind 19′

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Made a couple of excellent saves, but was denied a deserved clean sheet after a world class volley from Borini.

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25 Antonio Valencia

Combative, dominant display on the right. Pogba made him an outlet with diagonal balls and the Ecuadorian made the most of it.

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4 Phil Jones

Did his job and distributed the ball surprisingly well. Continues to evolve as a defender.

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5 Marcos Rojo

A leader at the back, but arguably accountable for Borini’s goal. To be fair, it would be incredibly harsh to dock him points after that strike.

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17 Daley Blind

The most technically gifted defender in the Premier League by a distance, for what that means. Took his goal superbly.

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16 Michael Carrick

Did his job, distributed the ball well and showed composure throughout.

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21 Ander Herrera

Again, did his job, though looked a little bit scrappy moving forward at times. Replaced by Fellaini.

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8 Juan Mata

Incredibly efficient and neat player, but I don’t think he offers the same pure intensity as Mkhitaryan. Replaced by Martial.

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6 Paul Pogba

Excellent display, and Man of the Match by far, in my opinion. Deserved a goal, but at least he got the assist for Zlatan’s strike.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Makes excellent runs, but offers just about nothing else, unfortunately. Same story for Lingard after a solid display at the Hawthorns. Replaced by Mkhitaryan

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9 Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Played poorly, but picked up a goal and two assists. Can anyone complain about that?

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Substitutes

22 Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Replaced Lingard. Scored the most ridiculous goal ever brought to light on this earth, though it was offside.

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11 Anthony Martial

Replaced Mata. Again, looked a bit rusty and ran into trouble, but he should be given a run in the side because he’s the best pace outlet this squad has by a train mile.

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27 Marouane Fellaini

Replaced Herrera. Played witness for Mkhitaryan’s goal.

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