The Jose Mourinho era is firmly underway at Old Trafford following Manchester United’s impressive 3-1 victory over Bournemouth yesterday afternoon. All eyes were on the the Red Devils and their £157 million worth of new talent as they made the trip to the south coast.
Unfortunately, the world’s most expensive player, Paul Pogba, was suspended for this one after picking up two yellow cards in last season’s Coppa Italia, so he was also be forced to watch his new teammates as they avenged the 2-1 defeat they experienced in this fixture last season.
United were not at their very best but got the job done down on the south coast, and there were plenty of positive signs to satisfy supporters ahead of the new season.
Here are three things we learned from the game:
United already look like a Mourinho side
It was only his second competitive game at the helm, but United are already performing as you would expect a Mourinho team to do so. They weren’t quite in top gear, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic & Co were incredibly effective as they swept Eddie Howe’s men to one side. United were extremely organised and difficult to break down, whilst taking their chances when they arrived at the opposite end.
Under Louis Van Gaal, United were often criticised for retaining possession for the sake of it, however, that was rarely the case here, as they displayed plenty of attacking intent when on the ball. Of course, it must be stressed that it was not a perfect performance and there is still some way to go before Mourinho’s system is fully understood by his players, but there were plenty of positives to take from yesterday afternoon. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s debut goal was the perfect start to his spell in England, while Antonio Valencia’s marauding display at right-back suggests that he could have an important part to play under the new regime. Add to this goals for Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata, plus the fact that Luke Shaw managed a full 90 minutes following his return from injury, and the signs that things are on the up at Old Trafford certainly appear to be there.