The Premier League
Manchester United vs. Southampton
Venue: Old Trafford
Date: Friday, 19 August 2016
Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Manchester United made it two wins from two in the Premier League, seeing off Southampton 2-0 at Old Trafford.
It was a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace either side of half-time that secured the win, as Paul Pogba made his second United debut, and his first start in red since his return to Old Trafford.
This win means that United have begun the campaign with victories in two fixtures that were lost last season.
Two news signings combined early on as Ibrahimovic teed up Pogba, and his curled effort was held by Fraser Forster.
Dusan Tadic mistimed a volley and Shane Long hit the side netting in an even opening half hour.
Pogba’s dink found Juan Mata whose flicked header saw Ibrahimovic’s acrobatic attempt drop wide, with Long’s tame effort held after Tadic had played him at the other end.
Wayne Rooney could only arrow a low drive straight at Forster but turned provider moments later.
Picking up the ball near the corner flag, the skipper was afforded time and space to cross, as Ibrahimovic rose highest as his powerful header found the bottom right-hand corner in front of the Stretford End.
Barely five minutes into the second half, Anthony Martial’s positive dribbling saw him cut inside and force Forster into a smart parry.
The second goal then arrived as Jordy Clasie, on as a first half substitute for the injured Oriol Romeu, tripped former Saints player Luke Shaw, which left Anthony Taylor with no choice but to award a penalty.
Up stepped Ibrahimovic, who sent Forster the wrong way, placing his kick into the bottom left-hand corner.
The game should have been sealed as Pogba headed over from Mata’s corner, with Martial seeing a shot blocked when he potentially could have squared it for Ibrahimovic.
Long headed wide, Pogba curled an effort wide and Tadic fired wide from Matt Targett’s low cross, as both sides cancelled each other end towards the end.
There was time for a stoppage time break, as Henrikh Mkhitaryan teed up Pogba, who could only guide his first time effort wide.
Two goals and a clean sheet, with United deserving their opening wins without hitting top gear by any stretch.
Jose Mourinho’s side are certainly playing with much more purpose than last season, as the new era begins in promising fashion.
Up next is a trip to take on Hull City, where a 5:30pm BST kick-off time commences proceedings against former player and coach Mike Phelan, who is currently in caretaker charge of the Tigers.
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw; Fellaini, Pogba; Mata (Mkhitaryan 76), Rooney (Smalling 89), Martial (Herrera 82); Ibrahimovic.
Subs not used: Romero, Schneiderlin, Young, Rashford.
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Southampton: Forster; Cedric, Fonte, van Dijk, Targett; Davis (Austin 67), Romeu (Clasie 12), Hojbjerg; Tadic; Redmond, Long (Rodriguez 84).
Subs not used: McCarthy, Yoshida, Ward-Prowse, Pied.
Manager: Claude Puel