The Red Devils tame the Saints as Zlatan steals the show again

Jose Mourinho's new look Manchester United team make their first home game count as they beat Southampton 2-0 with Paul Pogba making his debut.

The Red Devils tame the Saints as Zlatan steals the show again
Photo via Sky Sports
Manchester United
2 0
Southampton
Manchester United: DE GEA, VALENCIA, BAILLY, BLIND, SHAW, FELLAINI, POGBA, MATA (MKHITARYAN, MIN. 76), ROONEY (SMALLING, MIN. 89), MARTIAL (HERRERA, MIN. 82), IBRAHIMOVIC.
Southampton: FORSTER, SOARES, VAN DIJK, FONTE, TARGETT, ROMEU (CLASIE, MIN. 12), HOJBJERG, DAVIS (AUSTIN, MIN. 67), TADIC, LONG (RODRIGUEZ, MIN. 84), REDMOND.
SCORE: 1-0, MIN. 36, IBRAHIMOVIC 2-0, MIN. 52, IBRAHIMOVIC PEN.

It was yet another game taken in the stride of Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the Swede made his home league debut at Old Trafford count with two excellently taken goals to give Manchester United a 2-0 victory over Southampton, who rarely tested the brilliant Red Devils.

Paul Pogba did not disappoint on his league debut as he put in a commanding 90 minutes in midfield without any pre-season action, a vindication of Jose's faith in the Frenchman's abilities.

It was, all in all, a great performance by United, who were in control for much of the game.

The away side

The Saints' manager, Claude Puel, went with his usual 4-3-1-2, with Shane Long and new signing Nathan Redmond stretching the pairing of Daley Blind and Eric Bailly on more than one occasion, but the defence held firm and dealt with the pace of the two attackers well.

Oriol Romeu left the game early due to a muscular injury and he was replaced by the industrious Jordy Clasie. He and the new signing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg were the ones keeping the Saints ticking in the middle, with Steven Davis doing all the hard work and Dusan Tadic, as always, looking to be the creative spark

The Saints threatened the United defence on a few occasions, with Long going closest and Tadic's header being ruled out as offside. Yet they failed to really challenge the United defence with frequency.

Southampton had more of the ball initially, but as United grew into the game, Southampton looked more and more shaky and conceded a penalty in the second half for a foul on Luke Shaw by Dutchman Clasie, Zlatan, who else, stepped up to the task of finishing the game at 2-0 and ended any hopes for the Saints of a comeback.

Calm, composed Red Devils

It was a classic Mourinho team, showing how to win and win efficiently.

The defence was rarely questioned and Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw enjoyed freedom going up and down the right anleft-handnd sides as they joined the attack but got back well to support the defence as well.

It was surprising to see that Jose chose to select with Mata for the second game in a row and in doing so, made Henrikh Mkhitaryan wait for his full debut for the club. The Spaniard justified the boss' decision and added a creative edge to the team as he drifted inside to a more central position alongside captain Wayne Rooney.

Rooney seemingly has a free role in the team, and he showed just that when he played a simple one-two with Valencia and put in a beautiful cross for Zlatan to thump in a header to give United the lead.

It was a classic example of how effective putting crosses in can be and when you have targets like Zlatan and Pogba waiting inside the box, you can always count on them to give defenders a tough time in reaching the ball.

Zlatan and Pogba made brilliant debuts and showed exactly why they are considered world class | Photo via Getty Images

Pogba superb on return

Pogba played the whole 90 minutes of the game and he excited all of the 75,326 fans who had come to see the world-record signing make his second debut for United.

He displayed an impressive range of passing and some wonderful close control as well, while taking a pop at goal and testing Fraser Forster on one occasion when he hit a powerful shot aimed for the top corner from a tight angle, but Forster saved comfortably.

He was useful at corners as well and was a very good presence alongside the Belgian Marouane Fellaini, who once again justified his selection by putting a calm and collective performance in his defensive role, rarely putting a foot wrong in the entire game.

Possession not of great importance

As the game entered its closing stages, United had less of the ball and allowed the Saints to keep the ball among themselves and they kept probing for gaps in the United structure but were unsuccessful in any attempts as Jose's team played out the game comfortably enough and ensured three points and a clean sheet as well for David De Gea.

Another great result for United sees them stay on top of the league after two matches and things are looking on the up again for the Red Devils.