Manchester United have enjoyed the best start to the Premier League in 5 years as young starlet Marcus Rashford found the net in the dying minutes of the game.
Mourinho made no changes to the team that started against Southampton, but it took bringing Mkhitaryan and Rashford on to start an onslaught of chances and to finally break the deadlock. The front four that had dominated the week earlier began to show its weaknesses, as the trio of Mata, Rooney and Zlatan proved to be too slow at times and Martial struggled to find form again on the back of a great debut season for him.
The directness and energy of both Rashford and Mkhitaryan made a huge difference to the attack and the Hull team that had defended so well all game, with massive credit to ex Manchester United assistant Mike Phelan who thoroughly deserves the job, began to crack. It is now time to start both of them but the question is who do you take out?
Martial should probably sit out a few games as he could try to find form coming off the bench, and it makes you question whether there was a reason as to why Deschamps didn’t seem to trust him in the Euros or maybe the fact that he didn’t play is the cause to him losing confidence. Whatever the reason is though, he should be back to his best soon as he is a very talented player.
As for the other player to make way it is between Mata and Rooney as Zlatan is definitely not losing his starting place anytime soon. Mata has impressed me very much in recent games as he is showing Mourinho exactly why he should keep him. His quick passing could be key to breaking tight defences up during key moments of a game and his partnership with Valencia is looking promising already.
What Rooney offers to the team though is different and so the decision should really come down to the opponent, as Rooney is much stronger defensively, and despite his dodgy first touch can provide that key assist or goal in a crucial part to a game. Therefore against Manchester City, Rooney would probably be the better option to keep, especially with Fellaini ruled out, but Mata can still be an important member to the team whenever the team needs a creative spark in attack.
Finally, having mentioned Fellaini, he will be a big miss to the team having started the season so well. His physical presence just in front of the defence has made it hard for teams to really threaten De Gea, who may as well have stayed on holiday. Credit is also due to Bailly and Blind who have been absolutely brilliant together. To replace Fellaini then I would be really interested to see Herrera pair up with Pogba in the middle of the park as I believe they would complement each other well.
Mourinho has got off to a brilliant start in charge of Manchester United and the international break couldn’t have come at a worse time just before the biggest game of the season. The players have a new lease of life and there could be nothing more Manchester Unitedesque than an academy product scoring in the final minutes. It’s almost laughable thinking about all the initial doubts that Mourinho would abandon the club’s traditions and one could even argue that he will maintain them better than Moyes and Van Gaal by both winning and bringing through the right youngsters.
David De Gea: 6.
Antonio Valencia: 7.
Eric Bailly: 7.
Daley Blind: 8.
Luke Shaw: 7.
Marouane Fellaini: 7.
Paul Pogba: 7.
Juan Mata: 7.
Wayne Rooney: 7.
Anthony Martial: 6.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 8.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 7.
Marcus Rashford: 8.
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