News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

United make it 2-0 for Mourinho

Rooney, Mata, Fellaini and Martial. Ibrahimovitch walks away

Jose Mourinho began his Manchester United reign in the Premier League with a 3-1 victory over Bournemouth as Zlatan Ibrahimovic got himself on the scoresheet once again for his new club.

It was the second victory of the season for United, since Mourinho took over in summer. The Reds also claimed the season-opening Community Shield, beating the champions Leicester.

In the away-game at Vitality Stadium, Juan Mata, playing in his 52nd consecutive league game for United put the Reds ahead after capitalising on a defensive area just before the break.

Wayne Rooney headed a second after the interval, before the impressive Ibrahimovic drilled home from 25 yards. An Adam Smith strike was a mere consolation for Bournemouth.

Mourinho made two changes to the side that won at Wembley in the Community Shield seven days earlier as Jesse Lingard, who picked up a knock in that game, and Michael Carrick made way for Mata and Ander Herrera. There were Premier League debuts for Eric Bailly – in imperious form at the back alongside Daley Blind – Ibrahimovic and, later in the match, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, while Antonio Valencia notched his 250th appearance for the Reds.

The Ecuadorian and Swede had already linked well during pre-season with Valencia setting up Ibrahimovic for a goal on his friendly debut in Gothenburg and another on his official Reds bow at Wembley. And the duo almost combined again on 13 minutes but Simon Francis bravely rose to head clear as Ibrahimovic was about to pounce. That was the only real half-chance of any note during a scrappy and pretty even opening 20 minutes.

United’s main threat was down the right side, with Valencia seeing plenty of the ball in attack. He was involved in the best move of the opening period on 27 minutes when Herrera found him in space. His pull-back found Mata who set up Wayne Rooney, but the skipper couldn’t get enough pace on the ball to trouble Artur Boruc.