Making a statement: Perfect start for Mourinho as United win 3-1


Mourinho is desperate to restore his tarnished reputation after being sacked by Chelsea last season and the United manager enjoyed an encouraging return to the touchline. PHOTO: AFP

Mourinho is desperate to restore his tarnished reputation after being sacked by Chelsea last season and the United manager enjoyed an encouraging return to the touchline. PHOTO: AFP

BOURNEMOUTH: Manchester United made a flying start to the Jose Mourinho era as goals from Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealed a 3-1 win in their Premier League opener at Bournemouth yesterday.

Mourinho is desperate to restore his tarnished reputation after being sacked by Chelsea last season and the United manager enjoyed an encouraging return to the touchline in his first league match since a December defeat at Leicester triggered his exit from Stamford Bridge.

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In the absence of Paul Pogba, their world record signing, United eased to victory after Mata punished a horrible mistake by Bournemouth defender Simon Francis just before half-time and Rooney added the second after the interval.

That set the stage for the latest memorable moment in Ibrahimovic’s glittering career as the Swedish forward netted with a fine strike to mark his Premier League debut in the same goalscoring style he celebrated his maiden appearances in Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and the Champions League.

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Guardiola admits Man City ‘a little lucky’

Pep Guardiola conceded that fortune had favoured Manchester City after beginning his tenure as manager with a laboured 2-1 win over Sunderland on Saturday’s Premier League opening day.

City needed an 87th-minute own goal from Sunderland debutant Paddy McNair to secure victory at the Etihad Stadium after Sergio Aguero’s fourth-minute penalty was cancelled out by Jermain Defoe.

Despite dominating possession, the hosts carved out relatively few clear-cut chances and Guardiola said the match would form part of his players’ learning process.

“We definitely deserved the victory. The first games are always difficult,” he told BT Sport. “We spoke during this week about what we had to do like a team and we did it. Sometimes, you are a little lucky. We should have been a bit more aggressive, but these kind of things have to happen to know how to get better in the next game.”

Pochettino expects improvement from Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino believes his players might take a little longer to completely recover from their international exertions after they salvaged a 1-1 draw at Everton on Saturday.

Pochettino was happy with the second-half comeback that earned his side a point in their opening match of the Premier League season, yet a flat first-half display led to some tough talk from the Argentine at half-time in the visiting dressing room.

And Pochettino believes the lack of energy before the interval might well have been down to his players shaking off the effects of international duty during the close-season.

“We started the game slowly with a lack of energy and I am very disappointed with that,” said Pochettino.


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