Jose's horses at a canter

Manchester United's Paul Pogba celebrates his goal with Romelu Lukaku (top) after making it 3-0 against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium. Lukaku was also on the scoresheet, with United winning 4-0.
Manchester United's Paul Pogba celebrates his goal with Romelu Lukaku (top) after making it 3-0 against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium. Lukaku was also on the scoresheet, with United winning 4-0.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Man United manager allows players to express themselves in another big victory

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE S

wansea City 0 Manchester United 4


LONDON • Jose Mourinho has been quick to stress that Manchester United are anything but a "dream team", but his players have made a dream start to the Premier League season.

They have collected maximum points, scored freely, kept clean sheets and looked like a side that have all the credentials to mount a legitimate challenge for the title.

But it is still early days and United will face much tougher opponents following their 4-0 thrashing of Swansea City yesterday.

Yet, there is something ominous about the fact that they have started with back-to-back 4-0 victories.

Striker Romelu Lukaku, midfielder Paul Pogba and forward Anthony Martial have scored in each of those two matches and defender Eric Bailly now has his first goal for the club, also his first-ever league goal.

Add playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan - the Man of the Match yesterday with two assists - to the equation and United are not at all short of firepower.

The Armenian midfielder praised his team for not panicking despite their slim 1-0 lead going into the interval, following Bailly's goal at the stroke of half-time.

"Of course it was a tough game, especially in the first half, but we were patient, we were doing what we had to do," he said.

"We scored in the first half and in the second half it became easier, because they played with four defenders and there was space behind the defensive line.

"We had team spirit last year, but this year we're having a little bit of luck, we've started very well. The most important thing is that we keep doing the same."

Swansea, who saw midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson depart for Everton on Wednesday, capitulated in the final 10 minutes.

United struck three goals in four minutes during that period, courtesy of Lukaku, Pogba and Martial, and Mourinho's team were rampant.

  • Assists Man of the Match Henrikh Mkhitaryan had against Swansea City

The United manager said: "It was a different performance to last week (against West Ham) but the same kind of consistency, confidence and discipline.

"After the second goal, we wanted to score more, not shut the door. Just let the horses run freely, and we were magnificent.

"I like to see the confidence that my players have at this moment. We don't panic at 1-0 even when there is risk of not winning.

"I'm really happy. But we are not getting carried away, we know we have to get better. Next week we have a very difficult match (against Leicester City)."

Swansea manager Paul Clement said that his side were "punished" by United.

"They are so strong on the counter, powerful runners. The game became very, very harsh on us with three goals in four minutes," he said.

"Ultimately we got a bit of a hammering in the end. We have to work at our game and the trip to (Crystal) Palace next week becomes really, really important.

"Obviously we are hoping to do some things in the transfer window (after losing Sigurdsson)."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 20, 2017, with the headline ' Jose's horses at a canter'. Print Edition | Subscribe