Jose Mourinho gets off to winning start as Manchester United manager
Wigan: Jose Mourinho has taken charge of his first game as Manchester United manager, a 2-0 win over second-tier Wigan in a low-key preseason friendly.
New signings Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly impressed for United, and England left back Luke Shaw made his first appearance in 10 months after a broken leg. Left-back Shaw had been out since suffering a double fracture of his right leg last September and played the first half against the Latics.
Will Keane and Andreas Pereira scored the goals on Saturday.
Despite resting players that featured at Euro 2016, Mourinho still used 22 players on his touchline debut with the club. United ended the first half goalless but controlled possession and the game.
In the second half, Wigan goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen's error led to the first goal in the 48th minute. Jaaskelainen's woeful short pass was intercepted by Juan Mata and Keane coolly finished to score the first goal of Murinho's reign at United.
Nine minutes later, Pereira found the top corner to secure the win for the visitors.
Along with the new signings and the likes of David de Gea, Chris Smalling, Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to return, United's squad boasts depth and quality. They do seem to have the strength and capability to improve significantly on last season's fifth place.
"Mkhitaryan is a top-class player and currently at the best stage for a footballer – 27/28 years old. He is magnificent the way he thinks about football, he thinks very quickly and it’s so sweet how he touches the ball. He can play in different positions behind the striker," the manager told Manutd.com after the match.
However, Mourinho will reportedly axe eight footballers as he tries to land Juventus’ French midfield sensation Paul Pogba, who has a nearly $130 million buy-out clause.
United fans chanted Mourinho's name seconds into the match and he was given a huge ovation as he waved toward supporters after the final whistle.
Mourinho arrived on a three-year deal in May after Louis van Gaal was fired.
(With inputs from AP)
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